Monday, December 17, 2007

Winter Bees

This is the one hive of bees that live in our yard. Last week it was warm & they were really working all the flowering rosemary up in the corner bed. I enjoy their presence & regularly check to see what they're up to. But a beekeeper I am not, at least not at this time in my life. That entails management, strategy, treating for mites (a common bee parasite), and the most common reason bees are kept = the taking of honey.
I read in a book one time that there's a difference between "bee-keeping" and "bee-having". I fall into this second group. With all my best intentions, I rarely do more than occasionally light up my smoker & poke around in this hive to take a look at their honey stores & to see that there is indeed a working colony of bees inside.
I've had this hive for five years; that they've survived for so long, with so little supervision on my part is actually something of an anomaly. I've read most hives will not last more than three years left untreated for mites & then there's the "hive disorder" that hit last year (taking out 25% of all US hives).
Anyways, I hope my bees make it through another winter. The hive is heavy with honey & the population seemed ample. Maybe next year I'll do a little "hive management" & actually take some honey.

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