Monday, April 15, 2024

T Stands for Bee-ing Busy

 Hi everyone. It's time for T Day once again over at    Bleubeard's and Elizabeth's blog.

   Last week was a busy week for me; I had a lot going on and add to that my skin hives (not bee hives, but actually my medical  chronic urticaria) were flaring so my skin was covered with lots of red itchy welts.  Grumble and groan and scratch.😩 Luckily as of now they are on the improve, and I hope they get back under control ASAP.  But speaking of hives, over this past weekend my husband and I took down the winter windbreak we put up in the autumn around my honey bees.  

     Boy that looks a mess, doesn't it? Because of our cold winters I also wrapped the hive in a hive blanket, and underneath the stand I put some trash bags with leaves to help insulate the bottom.

      I left the hive blankets on because our nights are still on the cold side, but the bags of leaves have been moved. The last couple of years my hive didn't survive the winter, and even though I knew there  were still some bees alive back in February and early March, I hadn't actually gone into the hive to see how many were left. Now that the wind break was off I could easily get in and check.

    While I was removing bags, there were a few greeters that came out of the hive to see what all the commotion was about.

And then I had a big smile when I took the top off if he hive. The good news is that I have a good number of bees functioning inside. ❤❤❤

The white you see in this next photo is some dried winter bee food called fondant. I put it on a screen frame right above the bees so they can eat it but not have it smother them.

It was still a bit cool outside, and I didn't want to lose too much hive heat, so I didn't leave the cover off too long. Here's one more photo I snapped.

I'm so excited they're looking good. 

    I've wanted 2 hives (of bees) for the last few years, and you may remember I've had some issues accomplishing that. One year I had 2 hives going and then all of the bees from 1 hive went into the other hive.  Last year my second batch  of bees arrived with 95% of them dead. Because it was a late order for the bee season, I couldn't replace them. 

      This week I have a batch of bees arriving so keep your fingers crossed they get delivered alive and  settled nicely into their new home.

     Another thing I did last week was make some more liquid bee food to help my present hive and the new arriving batch of bees survive. It's a sugar water solution, and it's my drink for T day this week.

I make my own batches and store them in empty water jugs in our basement refrigerator so it's ready when I need it.  In this last photo there's a cool reflection of the opening to the jug. Doesn't the circle in the liquid look like it's a mouth or a portal into some secret world?

I know none of us want to drink this sugar water. It's not a clear solution because I buy unbleached sugar for the bees which is not pure white. I even use it myself in baking etc. I am sure the bees will love this nutritional drink until there is more plant nectar for them. So cheers to the bees and another hopefully season.

Have a great T day and week ahead everyone.



Tom said...

...I'm sorry to hear that you have more than one hive problem. One sounds like enough for me. I hope that all goes well for you on both fronts.

The Happy Whisk said...

I love that you give them unbleached! Wonderful treat. Sorry about the hives. Hope then stay all the way away.Cheers, Ivy.

Mae Travels said...

I hope your bee keeping efforts this year are all a success! You do have to go to a lot of trouble for them.
best, mae at

Anonymous said...

Sorry about your skin condition-Christine

kathyinozarks said...

I have been thinking about your bees and hoping most survived your winter. Looking good so far.
that is a cool photo. when I bake with sugar these days I only use the fair trade organics the flavors are sooo much better especially the dark brown sugars.

Angie's Recipes said...

urgh...hives..that's not fun, Erika. You have been taking good care of your bees, they are going to be very happy and productive this year, for sure!

Iris Flavia said...

Ack for "those" hives - since the sandfly-attack I can relate... yuck!
But YES to the bees. I have one right here (it´s but a key holder).
Amazing your bees survived in the cold, yippee!
Fingers and toes are crossed for the new ones! Great drink for T-Day. To secret worlds (I´m still watching Warehouse 13). Hugs and good luck this year - to honey!

Valerie-Jael said...

Glad to hear that your hive and bees are doing well, you worked so hard to keep them safe. And as for the other hives, I hope they soon leave you alone. And good luck with the new bees and that they settle down well into their new home! Hugs, Valerie

David M. Gascoigne, said...

I am very happy indeed, Erika, that the bees have overwintered successfully - you certainly did everything possible to insulate them well. I saw a few wild bees on my walk yesterday and the woodlands are filling up with spring flowers so nectar is on the way! What would life be like without my honey - the flesh and blood one or the syrupy stuff out of the jar? All the best - David

Let's Art Journal said...

Yay, so pleased to see your bees doing so well! Looks like they loved your winter frame, it must have kept them nice and warm 🐝🐝🐝. Take care and I'm glad you are feeling better. Hugs, Jo x

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I keep asking about the bees and am SO glad you shared this with us. Sounds like the hive is doing well. I hope BOTH survive this year. Fingers crossed the bees arrive healthy and don't disturb the postal clerk (grin).

Bee food for your drink is definitely outside the box, which I LOVE. Let's enter that portal and see where it takes us! Thanks for sharing your bee update and bee food with us for T this Tuesday, dear Erika.

Lisca said...

I'm so glad that your bees have survived the winer! They seem to be happy and I'm sure you will feed them sweet things until they can forage for themselves.
Spring is on its way and they will enjoy the warmer weather.
Happy T-Day,

Lisca said...

I'm so glad your bees have survived the winter! I'm sure you will look after them now with sweet treats. I love reading about your bees.
Happy T-Day,

Lisca said...

Yes, I had read about the lighthouse being moved but I didn't have much information and I couldn't find out when it happened so I didn't write about it.

Jeanie said...

This is just fascinating. I love hearing aboutyour bee project and I'm so glad that so many (all, maybe, or most?) have survived the winter. You had some biggies and probably smart, still leaving the hive blanket for another week or two or three. I bet you'll get good honey this year! Loved seeing your drink of the day!

Violetta said...

Good luck for your bee hives. Hope you will get lots of good honey.
All the best and have a good time

Neet said...

Hope your body hives clears up soon but am delighted with the news about your bee hives. Very interesting post, I almost held my breath as you told us of the unveiling of the hive and the peek inside. Good to know you had a fair number of bees that had survived.
Now to the next hive and batch of bees.
Hugs, Neet xx

pearshapedcrafting said...

So pleased to see the bees made it through the Winter! Now for some Sunshine, Chrisx

Mia said...

Beautiful photos of your bees!!!