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Posts Tagged ‘Bees in winter’

I’ve written earlier how honeybees survive the winter. But what about the beekeepers?  What do they do? Winter is a good time to clean up the bee yard, rebuild old hives, and build new ones.  If one is lucky enough to have a good supply of wax, many beekeepers make candles and sell them during the holiday season.  I had only a small supply of wax, as I harvested just a few combs this year.  My garden is also sleeping so I have plenty of time to pursue some of my other hobbies.  I have started making native bee houses and selling them here at the Farmers Market. They have been very popular and folks like the idea of having something in their yard that supports the native bees. They are technically “bee nurseries” as the bees use the tunnels in the wood to lay their eggs.  You can read more about my bee houses on this page.  Here are some of my latest creations:

Bee House #1

Bee House #1

Bee House #2

Bee House #2

Bee House #3

Bee House #3

I will make them to order, so if you are interested in one, just reply to me via this blog.  I also have started working in glass, making coasters and small plates and have listed them on Etsy , and my shop is named “SantaFeCraft”.

Bee coaster

Bee coaster

I have the kiln in the garage so I call it my “studiage”.  Keeps me busy and out of trouble.  Hahaha! Come Spring and I will again be busy with my bees, chickens and my garden.  Best wishes to all for the New Year.  May 2015 bring peace, contentment and good health to all of us. And let us not forget all our pollinator friends as well!

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Yes, I haven’t posted anything all winter. That’s mainly because there really hasn’t been anything to write about.  The bees have been hunkering down keeping warm and protecting the Queen.  There were periods of time when it got down to zero and stayed in single digits for days on end….. brrrr!   But both hives seemed to have made it through the winter.  Now when it gets above 50 degrees, they venture out for “cleansing flights” and I can see them in action. Yay!  ( Bees won’t excrete while in their hive, so they have to hold it until it’s warm enough for them to fly out. ) It’s still too early to open up the hive ( don’t want to chill the girls ) and assess the strength of the hive, but so far, so good.   I’ll give them another month before I check out the hive.

But I have been busy with bees…. bee art, that is.  I have been experimenting with making glass tiles. I cut the glass and then lay a stencil on top. Then I sprinkle black glass frit ( finely ground glass) over the stencil and carefully lift off the stencil. Then it goes into a kiln and is fired until the grit melts and fuses to the glass tile.  I think they came out pretty good for a beginner!  I have made a couple of them into night lights. Perhaps I’ll fuse a whole bunch of them together to make a large honeycomb!

Glass bee tile

Glass bee tile

So that’s what a beekeeper does in the winter!

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