The other morning I woke to -25C and although not really a surprise, it was a cold morning for mid-December. With a little help from friends, (Merci!) we shovelled snow around all the hives as wind protection. This must be one of the simplest ways I know, besides leaving ample honey supplies, to help a hive during winter. Now wrapped in a thick blanket of snow, the hive remains at an acceptable temperature all winter, enabling the clustered bees to venture around the honey stores. (The front of the hives are left clear as they face South and this side warms with the daily sun.) Now protected from the wind, some bees even came out to say hello. Two hives were very active and two more quiet. These latter two are probably in a smaller cluster than the others because of the cold wind. Their survival, or not, may surprise us at the end of winter. Once the front entrances were cleared and a mass of dead corpses cleared from the opening, we left them to celebrate the fresh air and coming festive season in peace.
Note: We have now sold all of our 2016 honey. Next supplies available mid summer 2017. Thanks to you all for supporting the bees and we hope the coming year brings another great yield.