Snowbound Hives

Isn't this a wonderful photograph? It was sent yesterday by Bettina Utz, one of my fellow core members in the NYC Beekeepers Association.

Aside from the incredibly pleasing aesthetics at play, what's kind of great about the way the snow is capping these hives is that it mirrors the natural, bell-like shape of honeycomb itself, as seen in this picture from one of my top-bar hives taken a couple of summers ago.
One hopes and imagines that the colonies in Bettina's hives are benefiting from the insulation of their gorgeous "hats" of snow, and that spring will soon release them (and all of us!) from this long winter's nap.


Gordo said...

I love the look of hives in the winter. Not much of that around here this year, though. It's been warm and more or less snowless. :-(

Gerry Gomez Pearlberg said...

Where are you located, Gordo?
We have so much snow here, we're giving it away!!

Gordo said...

Eastern end of Lake Ontario on the Canada side. We were down in Middletown last weekend and the four inches they had on the ground then was more than we have here. The three feet more since then is off the scale.

I expect we're going to have to crack the hives open early and slip in some fondant.

Gerry Gomez Pearlberg said...

Is the lack of snow atypical or does the lake modify the winter temperatures? On the other hand, I'm thinking about "Lake Effect Snow," so that probably doesn't make sense.

Curious to know your fondant recipe. How do you make it and where do you place it in your hive?

Gordo said...

Normally, we do get quite a bit of snow. But, even when we don't, it's at least cold. It's been neither this year. The lake does modify things a bit in that it's warmer at the shore until the lake freezes, but that's about it. The prevailing winds take the majority of it towards Watertown/Syracuse, but when it shifts, we get buried.

We're testing recipes right now. Trying to find something that we can mold around hardware cloth and hang it inside the hive from a bar.

Gerry Gomez Pearlberg said...

Thanks for explaining the weather conditions there. Has it been warm enough that the bees have been a-flyin'? I would imagine that's why you're working the fondant angle. I'd be very interested to hear what you come up with for your final recipe, and I am sure other readers of this blog would as well. So, if you feel like sharing, keep us posted. Thanks, Gordo!