Even though it looks like this outside...
...and we are getting a winter storm tomorrow with 6" or more of snow, today I found this...
...on my jacket. What is it?
...BEE POOP! The temperature is warm today (it's all relative, people), about 4C and very sunny. My bees are going crazy out there. On a warm late winter day like this, they zip out of their hives for a potty break.
Honeybees will not defecate in the hive unless they are sick, so they hold it in for most of the winter until a day like this comes along.
Then they take a "cleansing flight" and the snow looks like this:
All of those yellow splotches are bee poop. The dark dots are dead bees. Unfortunately, some go out, get too cold to fly, and fall to the ground and die.
I picked this one up off the ground and took her back to a hive...
...I picked her up on that boxwood twig, but she crawled off it onto my hand!
This girl was sitting on the hive lid next to a colourful array of bee droppings!
This poor soul didn't make. Fell in the snow and couldn't get out again! Sometimes you can resurrect them by picking them up and blowing on them, but sometimes they sting you when you do that. Don't ask me how I know that.
All four of my hives had bees going in and out today. So far, they've survived the winter but it ain't over yet.
The girls were clustered around the top entrances...
...and the bottom entrances!
It was great to see my girls out and about. A few of them landed on my jacket.
Meanwhile, down in the duck run, everybody is looking forward to spring.
This guy needs a name. He looks like his dad, Amy Winehouse (yes, Amy is a boy. Long story.)
Moishe. Unless it's Twitchy. Augh, I'm not sure!
Yep, spring is coming.