The weather last week was just brutal. We had several inches of rain followed by two full days of very strong winds and below normal temps. We worried all week about the bees and the homestead. But when we arrived Friday night, the bees were just fine. They are really a hardy bunch. I am so proud of them I could burst. Unfortunately, the homestead didn't fair quite as well and suffered more uprooted trees than we could count. If you are interested, check out the Back To Basic Living website for some pictures.
Saturday was gorgeous with temperatures in the 80s. We spent almost the entire day clearing out fallen trees, but we did go down to check on the girls and they were just a flurry of activity. We could hear them buzzing about the apiary before we could even see it. We noticed that there were so many bees flying in and out of the hives that they were having some trouble getting through the hive reducers. The reducers are put on for the winter to help keep the hives warm and block some of the wind. We've hesitated removing them this spring because the weather has been so crazy and it's much colder than usual. Well, we decided that since it doesn't look like we'll be going down to freezing temps again, we would go ahead and remove them. I put some pictures of the process up on the website. I also included a few close up pictures of some of the girls. They really show a lot of patience with me chasing them around with a camera - but they do occasionally get annoyed, and they are pretty quick to let me know. Check it out.
The only straps we had when we got the bees home were motorcycle tie downs. They certainly did the job, but we actually like to use those tie downs on motorcycles, so I ordered some hive tie straps from a bee supply catalog. Next weekend we'll replace the tie downs with the straps.