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Every winter it seems there is an unexpected thaw. Does that mean it should be expected? I just don’t know when to expect it. This morning I woke up and it was already 40º and there was a light wind blowing. A warm winter wind is a chinook and can be quite damaging to the snowpack. By mid-afternoon it was up to 50º and downright balmy. The snow was sliding from the roof with huge whumps, blocking our trails to the shop and greenhouse. I was shoveling snow and wearing a t shirt; it was that warm. Walking around the house to check on things, I noticed a dead honey bee on the snow’s surface. Then I noticed one flying and then I found more in the snow. At the hive, there is a great pile of dead bees near the entrance. I don’t know if any of this is normal. Ken thinks maybe the bees are cleaning out the bodies of bees that have died over the winter, taking advantage of the warm January day. I hope that’s all it is. This whole beekeeping endeavour is fraught with unknowns at every turn.
























  1. Mine flew today, too. They needed to poop out on the snow after two months of confinement during cold weather. They hold it until the temperature rises above 50 degrees rather than mess up their hive. Ah – that must feel good!

  2. Your photos are always extraordinary. I had the front desk at my mom’s assisted living place show these to her. I think we may be feeling the same stirrings as the bees! Thank you for your eye and you ability to share what you see!

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