Red Bucket Farm is an urban farm on a quarter acre property in an average residential neighborhood. We are located in Wisconsin, USDA Zone 5. We focus on chickens, bees, orchard fruit, and raised garden beds for fruits and veggies. We hope to reduce our footprint on the planet by growing some of our food, reducing our use of fossil fuels, and gardening with sustainable practices. Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bee Cleansing Flights

Generally speaking, bees don't fly when the temperatures dip below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. They stay tightly clustered inside the hive, keeping each other warm and surviving on their stores of honey. But because bees are tidy little critters and they prefer to not poop inside the hive, they will make a quick appearance on "warm" winter days.

Last week we had a couple of unusually warm, sunny days. Around noon, when the air temperature reached 40 degrees, I noticed a handful of bees taking short flights from the hives. They would fly perhaps four or five feet, then swoop right back into the hive. Today I noticed little globs of bee poop on the sheet plastic wind screen that surrounds the bee yard. Most of the girls manage to make it home safely and only a few have been found dead outside the hive.

So far, so good. It's nice to see them periodically and be assured that they are still alive. It's only December and spring is still a long way off, but we'll remain hopeful and keep an eye open for cleansing flights as an indicator of survival.

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