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Which Bees Survived The Winter?

Last summer we had 7 hives: 2 carniolans, 2 Italians and 3 Russians. We had some bumps in the road and had to combine a couple of the Russians and went into the winter with 6 hives. We checked today to see who was alive with high hopes on the Russian bees since they are supposed to be very winter hardy. We discovered that only 3 of our 6 hives were still alive: 1 carniolan, 1 Italian and 1 Russian.

The 3 that are still alive are incredibly active.  We’re having one strange winter right now, there’s still lots of snow on the ground but it’s been over 60 degrees Fahrenheit the last few days so the bees are anxious to be out of the hive and foraging, though there isn’t too much to forage.  We did give them some buckets full of home made nectar so hopefully that will keep them busy until flowers start popping up.

To give you an idea of how active the live hives were, I set my iPhone in front of the entrance to record a video.  Apparently one bee was really interested in the phone and her buzzing kind of takes over, but it’s a bit hypnotic to watch all the bees flying outside the entrance:


1 comment to Which Bees Survived The Winter?

  • Shakti

    Our hive is Italians–lots of kids around, including our own, so we wanted docile. Our winters in MA our milder than yours generally. I’ve seen some activity, but nothing like your video. Of course, I always forget to check at the warmest part of the day. Then again, they’re not MY bees–they’re my husband’s. And he’s away on business…you are making me think I should feed them a pollen patty. I wonder if I can do that without opening the hive….