Even a chairlift of sorts:
And then it got warm.
And muddy. It's hard to get to a bee yard in the mud. So I neglected a decent opportunity for feeding.
I went out for a run at dark last Sunday evening. Slipped, got all wet and muddy, and trudged on for forty minutes thinking about how much I hate Ohio weather. Right on cue, it started to rain. Then pour. Sideways. It's like Ohio heard my thoughts. Another forty minutes rolled slowly by, I returned home soaked and shivering in a 36 degree stiff wind. The temp. was barreling down!
Next morning: here's the view from our porch door-
Gotta love it.
"Polar Vortex" was a new concept to me...
|Time to grow the beard.|
I was afraid to check hives.
But we had our own survival to worry about. It was just cold enough to think about firewood again. Another oak at Crown Hill Golf Course. This one we had to strap up:
|Of course Justin didn't want to use his pretty truck.|
The tree was only twelve feet from the edge, and leaning out over #13 green. We thought we should probably steer clear of dropping it right on the green. Hole in one!
Frozen ground, frozen feet, frozen fingers...
Was the strap long enough?
|"If your gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough."|
Had a good twenty feet to spare. No problem.
This tree, with it's crashing fall, even helped us in the job of cutting firewood.
So, two trucks loaded with good solid oak, I got up my courage to run across the #14 fairway and check a bee yard. Braced myself for the worst.
A cold but pleasant surprise-- out of twelve hives only two had succumbed to the bitter temps. I'm amazed at the fortitude of bees. And I'm probably to blame for the two dead. This was one of the yards that I left too light. They were out of food. I use a paper towel to hold the feed patty. You can see the hives below, fed December 3rd, had left little trace of that food.
|So good to see you!|
I made it around to five bee yards the next day, checking hives, feeding when needed. I continued to be surprised and amazed. The bees were hanging tough. This shows the loss in a typical yard:
|12 of 16 still alive.|
In the truck is the day's worth of dead-outs.