February Fireside


There is finally a light at the end of the tunnel as far as winter is concerned, and although we are currently wading through the coldest part of it, the extended forecast looks good and there is even talk of an early spring.

Hell, after last year I’d take a normal one! We've got less than 60 days before the bees start waking up, and this is the time of year I start getting antsy and impatient to get back to the bees and Her Majesties.

I often get questions from folks who are worried about how the bees are doing through periods of -30 degree Celsius weather, and I reassure them that this isn’t anything they can’t readily deal with. Have you ever left the window open on a chilly autumn night, but were all cosy and snug wrapped in a warm blanket? Best-Sleep-Ever! Well, the bees just tighten up together and generate a bit more collective heat, and I like to think that they feel the exact same way. Cold rarely kills bees, however excess humidity certainly can.

Bee hives are not sealed up tight over winter, but the entrance is reduced, and there is a slightly smaller top entrance as well. Cold air enters the bottom entrance, but the heat generated from the bees neatly channels it up the interior front wall of the colony, and exhausts it right out the top entrance. This continuously removes some humidity from the hives that the bees generate as they breath. We all know how much colder a miserable wet day is compared to a dry crisp winter day. The bees feel it the same way. As long as they are dry, and have food stores, it can dip below -30C without causing them any damage.

So, to pass the time until the Queens begin taking over my life again, I’ve been fussing around playing with skin cream recipes and I’m pleased so far at how it’s turned out. I also found the cutest molds to make beeswax containers for it, so if you are in need of a good Valentine’s redemption gift, then look no further

Fundraising season is gearing up for a lot of schools and other organizations. We just launched our new Gift Card Fundraising option that’s very streamlined and very simple to organize. If you, or a group you belong to could use some help with raising money for your causes, just contact us at any time. You can read more right here

Next month we are going to share some lists of pollinator friendly plants you may want to consider planting in your flower beds this spring. Providing nectar sources for all species of bees and butterflies really draws life onto your property with minimal effort. With our native pollinators under new environmental and climate stressors, providing a free lunch for them makes a significant positive impact in the environment we all share. I give presentations on building pollinator friendly gardens to community groups, and if you want to discuss arranging one for your group please reach out for further discussion!

To wrap up, I want to thank Sandy Hill for the hard work in putting together the Honeydew Muffin recipe tutorial this issue, just wow. These are ridiculously delicious to the point where I caught myself making more coffee so I could properly finish off the last of a half dozen. Something you really must try in your own kitchen if you're a fan of a good biscuit.

Until next time, Happy St. Valentine's Day, my friends.

John Russell