As a beekeeper in Illinois when winter approaches you do all you can to help ensure the survival of your bees. When that first really bitter cold snap comes you start to hold your breath for months. On those occasional “warm” days that we may get between December and March we head to our hives and look and listen for any signs of life. If it is warm enough, generally upper 40s to 50s and sunny, we will quickly pop the top and do an assessment. Is there evidence of activity? Are there bees working on the sugar blocks you left there in the Fall? Are bees coming and going through the entrance reducer at the hive entrance? These are the things you look for, pray for. These times of transition from Fall to Winter and then Winter to Spring are the times that “try beekeepers souls!”
As a keeper of bees you grow attached to your hives and the “gals” within them. You work to do all you can to help assure that you will see them in the Spring. There is a kind of relationship and respect that you develop through working with them. They are amazing creatures on so many levels. Never a dull moment! You are always learning!
It’s February 25th and we’ve had quite a severe winter but today it was in the upper 40s! So out to check on my gals. As I head out to check on the hives I am literally praying. Praying that I will see life and be assured that they are doing okay. I pop the top and…
…my prayers were answered!