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Snowy Landscapes

January 29th, 2009

What a snowfall we got the other day.  Our thoughts are with all those folks struggling to get their lives back together after the ice storms this week.  Thankfully we only received the white stuff- about 6-8 inches worth.    The kids were out of school for a couple of days, and we enjoyed a chance to spend some time together.     

The Shiba Inu loves to run around in the snow, and has a coat so thick he would be just fine outside all the time.    He’s running through the garden here and likes to look for rabbits and moles. 

Shiba Inu in winter

Speaking of the garden, it’s pretty sad looking.  I’m embarrassed to show how we’ve barely cleaned up last year’s growth.  The next warm spell we get I’m going to head out and clean it up, and topdress the rows with leaves.  It’s time… I’m already imagining tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, beans, peas…

Garden bare in winter

I keep telling myself spring isn’t far off, especially while plowing the gravel drive.  I took half the snow off, but it’s still a few inches deep.  I don’t want to plow too closely or I would scrape away the packed gravel base.  We park one of the cars near the road during snowstorms because it doesn’t drive very well down and up the snow-covered slope.  Hopefully some of this will melt off today.

Plowing snow on gravel drive

But I just love how the landscape looks when covered in snow.  Maybe it even keeps the bees a little warmer?  Who knows, but in about a month it will be time for the queen bee to start producing a lot more baby bees.  Oh, if you’re wondering- the beehives are black looking because I wrapped them with black-painted insulation for warmth. 

Some people debate whether you should wrap hives in winter in the midwest.  Some believe it makes them too warm and hence they could be more active and eat more their winter stores of honey.  I like to think it helps them stay warmer, using less of their own metabolic energy to stay warm comparatively, and hence eating less of their stored honey over time.  I’m sure there are a lot more opinions and research out there… I’m a new beekeeper and still learning.  But this winter has been colder than normal for us, and I’m glad I wrapped them up. Hopefully they make it to late winter when I’ll start feeding and the cycle will begin again.

Winter landscape and bee hives

3 Responses to “Snowy Landscapes”

  1. Pabloon 30 Jan 2009 at 6:58 am

    Looks like you may get to work on that garden this weekend. We’re supposed to get into the 60s on Saturday here in KC.

  2. Ed Abbeyon 30 Jan 2009 at 9:08 am

    I never heard that about wrapping may cause bees to eat more of their stores. Whenever I cracked a lid in winter to take a peak on the warmer sunnier days, even with the black felt on the outside, they were still massed in the center. Of course we are a little colder up here so maybe that would only apply to places farther south like you. In the end, I don’t think it matters too much as long as they survive the winter.

  3. Beauon 30 Jan 2009 at 6:20 pm

    That is warm Pablo- hope we get up there too!
    Ed- I’ve seen them bunched up also- but good point… just get through winter!

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