I have been worried lately that the bees may not have enough food stores to get through winter. We have had a very mild winter so far, which equates to faster food consumption. Two of my hives are of particular concern since they went into winter on the light side, and one of those two has been the repeated victim of robbing as well. Although it feels rather early to be installing sugar patties, I decided I would do so just for some peace of mind, especially since we have a very long way to go before spring (which doesn't happen until mid June here in the mountains). I would hate to find out (like I did last year) that I waited too long before offering them some survival rations. So today, although it is chilly, I made quick business of installing a king sized lump of sugar in each hive. I am very happy to see all hives are alive and well, although they are enjoying life in the penthouse. I have not been able to remove the quail feeders I put in some time ago. The weather has been too cold, and the bees are at least in part clustered on the jars. At least they are all still buzzing.
I am excited about cyber Monday when I will be ordering a bunch of bee stuff from Brushy Mountain Bee Farm (free shipping!). I signed up with them as a distributor, but the cost of shipping quickly dissolved any hope of my business plans. So, as a consumer, when their annual free shipping sale comes along, I am jumping for joy. It will be a hefty bill, but I will be set for the entire next year. I love free shipping.