… it’s like unwrapping a giant, sting-y present
It is probably just a tease of spring, but the forecast for this week in Calgary looks promising!
Drumroll please, it’s time to uncover the bees. Our 1-year bee anniversary is May 12th so we are crossing our fingers that the bees have gotten this far and are going to keep on truckin’ until the dandelions come out and start providing some nectar for the hive.
I have to admit, that I couldn’t quite keep away from the hive all this time and peeked over the Easter weekend (it was so warm and lovely out). I unwrapped the Tyvek and pulled off the styrofoam on just the side with our hive window. (Okay, completely truthfully here – my aunt and teenage cousins were in town and I was just so excited to show off our bees a little bit!) When we looked in the hive, there were about a half dozen of combs with bees all over them! Good sign! I was so happy that this many bees had survived!
The next day though, my sister was over and I dragged her out to show off our bees and when we opened the window… NO BEES. None. My heart sank and I immediately thought that by letting some light into the hive the previous day that somehow I killed all of the bees. I wrapped the hive back up and over the next few days was somewhat relieved to see that there were still a lot of bees coming and going from the hive on warm afternoons. It was hard to guess at how many were in the hive, but all I could do at that point was hope for the best.
Through April, the inner-city farmers went away on holidays, so we didn’t have a chance to worry about the hive. Calgary, unsurprisingly, snowed a few more times over the month and had some days that were almost 20°C. It’s now May, though, so it is time to expose the hive and what bees have made it this far to the elements.
We’ll know over the next few weeks if we have enough bees that made it through the winter to keep the hive going, but we’ll keep from opening the hive until we see some strong activity coming and going from the hive and the afternoon temperatures get up to about 20°C.
After uncovering the hive, I opened the window to take a peek and things are still looking pretty quiet in there. The odd bee was running around on the combs close to where I could see, but outside of that – no bees! There are many flying in and out of the hive though, so could they just be hiding on the side away from the window?
Fellow Calgary Beekeepers – have you uncovered your bees? Have your hives survived this past winter? Any experience with hives coming back even from small numbers after the winter?
PS> We did want to brighten up Spring for the bees, so we bought them a few flowers. (Maybe it just makes us feel better?)