Hives with real quilts
Call me crazy; you won’t be the first. When I got word that the temperature was going down in the teens for five days in a row, I decided to give my bees a little boost. I suppose normal bees in North Dakota or Ontario would be fine in such temperatures, but I have wimpy bees. It hasn’t been this cold for this long in my memory (or theirs). All my bees think winter should be 40° F and raining, not 15° and dry.
My husband suggested that if I covered the hives with blankets that I might be able to conserve a degree or two. So I raided my supply of junk quilts and blankets that I use for such purposes, and I even stole the blankets from the cats and the dog. They, after all, have the luxury of a wood stove.
Then I collected bungee cords from the truck, garage, and garden shed. I loaded up with sugar patties and was ready to go. I lifted the moisture quilts about a half inch in 20° weather, slid in a sugar cake, and then draped each hive with a blanket and secured it with a bungee. I’ve gotta tell you, it looks ridiculous. And all those ratty blankets are embarrassing. Oh well.
That was Monday, this is Saturday. So far, I can hear the bees humming away. One hive is active enough to be removing dead bees and leaving them on the landing board. That’s the hive with the gabled roof, which is a really nice feature in cold weather.
Right now it’s warming—we’re all the way up into the 30s. I need to get the blankets off before it starts raining, but I first I wanted to share with you the latest in beehive fashion.