March 2nd — Signs of Spring?

After surviving very difficult temperatures in February, the past week has been offering us glimpses of better days to come — temperatures in the mid 30’s and 40’s with beaming sunshine able to melt the unwanted snow. (On a separate note, cross-country skiing has been put on a temporary, possibly months-long hold).

The next 10 days, though, will be in the 40’s and 50’s and I cannot wait. Signs of spring have been showing up in quite a few places.

My pond’s “watering hole” has reopened, after being completely closed up by the continuous sub-zero weather of last month.

Bucks have been in the process of losing their antlers, something that can happen starting in late January, into February and sometimes March. I’ve seen some of the bucks that visit the yard with just stubs where their antlers have already fallen off, but sometimes one side just won’t cooperate…

But most importantly…my bee hives. I checked on them last week during a warmer day, trudging through the deeper snow on the way to the ridge where the beehives sit. Still nestled in a cushion of snow, I freed the entrances and removed ice from the top covers. Sure enough, after a couple of taps on the hive boxes I heard their inspiring call of life…humming. And then, of course, the occasional honeybee flying out of the warmth of the colony to see what the heck was going on. This happened with all three hives. They are alive! I left them alone after that, not wanting to create a flurry of outdoor activity for the bees, who would surely die if they stayed out too long.

Now my attention will turn to them in earnest. With the temperatures hitting upper 40’s and 50’s later in the week, I will venture to open the hives to make sure they still have food. If you remember, last December I put sugar patties on the top of the frames as a supplement to their honey supply. When I’m able to open the hives for the first time, as winter slowly wanes, the bees are usually on the patties. Not to say there isn ‘t any honey left, but hey, why not? They are a complete sugar rush and a great source of carbohydrates. But when I do open the hives, I most probably will put a pollen patty on the top frames. Now they’ll need protein.

I also bought a new book,

that I am excited to read. I love reading “seasonal” guides. It is a great way to acknowledge what you are doing, what you could be doing better, and what you could change. This is an older book from 1985, with a republishing in 2011, and I will be interested to see what has changed and what has stayed the same over a period of 35 years.

I also have two honeybee posters (that I had laminated) on the wall of my garage. Believe it or not, they are quite handy. Even though beekeeping can become intuitive, I still need guidance, help, and affirmation that I am treating these beautiful creatures with the respect they deserve. Therefore, I feel comfort in my notes, visuals, books and conversations with other beekeepers.

I hope your weather, wherever you may be, treats you well, and I will give you a cautious “welcome to early spring” greeting.

#beekeepinnginmn #backyardbeekeeping #backyardbeekeepinginmn #whitetaildeerinmn #nature

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