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Snug as Bugs

January 29th, 2010

We’ve been keeping an ear to our ladies this winter. Mr Chiots heads out after each snow fall and makes sure the doors are clear of snow and he scrapes away and dead bees from the entrance. He puts his ear up the hives and listens for that buzzing of bees beating their wings to keep warm. Both of our hives are still buzzing away, one’s louder than the other.

During winter, the worker bees cluster around the queen and brood in the hive. They try to keep the temperature at about 90 degrees. The bees from the outer parts of the cluster will move to the inside as the bees from the inside move out. This way all the bees stay warm throughout the cold winter. On warmer days they’ll take cleansing flights, basically to go to the bathroom. We haven’t had any days warm enough for such flights yet, but we may have one in the next few weeks. We’ll be watching the hives to see what happens come spring.

We’re hoping to have a good honey harvest this coming summer if both of our hives survive. Learning how bees work really makes me appreciate the honey I put in my tea, it’s amazing what they go through to make it!

What kind of foods do you appreciate that take such intricacy to produce?

15 Comments to “Snug as Bugs”
  1. kitsapFG on January 29, 2010 at 7:15 am

    I love reading posts from all of you who keep bees. I learn so much and I find them incredibly interesting.

    I don’t think there are too many foods that can compare to honey in natural processes that occur to bring it to my table. There are certainly other foods that require exotic locations or complex fermentation or curing processes to make it into the food we recognize – but those are generally human activities and not nature being so complex and interesting.

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  2. Melissa on January 29, 2010 at 9:46 am

    I love honey, too. Mushrooms also come to mind. I would love to grow some of my own one day. But to wait for a year or two, I’m not so sure. And I’m not brave enough to eat wild mushrooms collected from the woods. Lucky for me we have a fairly local supply of portabello mushrooms I can tap. : ) Melissa
    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..You are what you eat =-.

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  3. Jennifer on January 29, 2010 at 10:44 am

    I’m glad to hear your bees are doing well! I hope to be working with a beekeeping mentor this year who wants us to house some of his hives for all of our flowering trees.
    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..Chocolate and dirt =-.

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  4. Michelle on January 29, 2010 at 11:20 am

    I’m with you on the honey. I’ve been reading a lot about bees lately…in hopes of having my own hives someday. Bees are AMAZING. And honey is good for so many things! Who knew?
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..New Beginnings: The Belgium Project. =-.

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  5. Sara on January 29, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    REAL croissants…
    .-= Sara´s last blog ..Stella Pixie Hat =-.

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    • Susy on January 29, 2010 at 1:03 pm

      I keep wanting to make homemade puff pastry. I have a recipe for sourdough croissants that I’m hoping to make soon. They should be delicious.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  6. Christine on January 29, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Cheeses! There’s something so satisfying about a well-aged, handmade blue cheese. It’s something I’d love to learn to do myself, but for now, I’ll support those artisans keeping cheesemaking alive.
    .-= Christine´s last blog ..‘Coon in the garden =-.

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  7. Pampered Mom on January 29, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Cheese, honey, a decent artisan loaf of bread to name a few. Totally jealous about the bees, though. Our city zoning won’t allow anything like that.
    .-= Pampered Mom´s last blog ..Folk Music Fridays – "My Old Man" =-.

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  8. stefaneener on January 29, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    I’m so looking forward to getting in the hives come a warm flush. This year I have drawn comb in my supers just waiting.

    And I have a market for honey — I’m hoping for a big harvest again. I like it drizzled over plain yogurt. Yum.
    .-= stefaneener´s last blog ..Harvest Monday? =-.

    Reply to stefaneener's comment

  9. Beegirl on January 29, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    We’ve lost two hives so far. Drug my stethoscope out of my bag for further assessment to sure. Gwen and Beatrice are gonners. The yard is too wet to drag in and break down the hives. Maybe now if the ground is hard enough ( 3 degrees here today). Hope your girls continue to hang in there. Nervous to check our hives at the farm..
    : ((
    .-= Beegirl´s last blog ..Yarn Paralysis =-.

    Reply to Beegirl's comment

    • Susy on January 29, 2010 at 9:57 pm

      So sorry to hear about your bees. We’re crossing our fingers that they survive, we’re having quite a cold snap right now!!!

      Next time re requeen we’re using Ohio Queen project bees that will be better suited to this climate.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  10. Ria on January 29, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Beekeeping is something I really want to try at some point, preferably when I’ve got more space than just a small front porch. Bees are such fascinating creatures, and I’d love to be able to get fresh honey.
    .-= Ria´s last blog ..More free entertainment! =-.

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  11. Frugal Trenches on January 29, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    That last photo is amazing!
    .-= Frugal Trenches´s last blog ..Weekending =-.

    Reply to Frugal Trenches's comment

  12. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mark mile, Susy Morris. Susy Morris said: Snug as Bugs #miscellaneus #seasons #beekeeping #bees #honey #misc #winter […]

    Reply to Tweets that mention Honeybees in Winter | Chiot’s Run —'s comment

  13. Joe on January 31, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    WOW…that last shot of your tea is amazing! Love how you captured the steam!
    .-= Joe´s last blog ..The View from Cerro San Luis =-.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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