I'm in my office when someone passes by and sticks their head in the door.  "What do you think about this?", they ask.  "About what?", I reply.  I've been lost in the virtual world of probability distributions and bootstrap estimations on the screen in front of me.  They nod toward the window beside me.  I turn to see a full white out snow storm over the parking lot outside.  Uhhg!  Spring in Idaho.
We had a covering of snow this morning.  The snow isn't so bad, but the cold is.  We've been hitting 25-28 degrees every night and the forecast, while sunny at times, is for continued cold, at least at night.  Winter has been very reluctant to give up its grasp this year.

It's always a gamble in Idaho, but knowing that doesn't make it any easier.  The bees are still clustered up where they were last time I looked.  A few have succumbed to the cold on the outside of the cluster.  They have not been active that I can tell.  Of course, they would need to endure our winters eventually, but right now they don't have the advantages of stored food and more numbers.  They haven't even had a chance to draw out comb yet.  So, it's a waiting game.  Not much we can do, except see if they make it.

I have had a bout of second guessing as to where the hives are as well.  I'm a bit concerned about being too close to the garden, etc for people and dogs.  Wendy got "popped" on the cheek the other day and was very upset by it.  I'm not sure who initiated it (probably her), but it did point out the potential.  I've debated trying to move them to the orchard where they would be more secluded, but that will require fencing the area off to avoid wildlife (raccoons and skunks mainly).  It is feasible, but would be a disturbing move for them.  I was all gungho to get on with it last night and Beth had heard every argument, for and against, at least a dozen times.  It's a wonder she's able to still tolerate all that after nearly 30 years :-)  I also kept thinking of my Dad, who's been in my mind many times during this project.  Two things I used to hear from him:  "Sleep on it" and "Difficult problems have no easy answers and the solution is probably in the middle". 

I checked things out this morning (in the cold!).  The hive entrances are pointed towards the garden, which puts the "flyway" to the hive right in the path of people.  I now think we will turn the hives 90 degrees so the entrance faces East, towards the back of the property.  That way the main part of the yard and garden will be less "in the line of sight" to the front of the hive (and guard bees at the entrance). They will still get the morning sun to warm them, and it may help mitigate the hot summer sun we get in the summer. This small move should disturb them little during this delicate stage.  At the same time, I will think about clearing an area in the orchard to have ready in case I need it or decide to expand the number of hives.  We'll see how things go.  I can initiate a move to there later, but will wait to see how much of a problem we have first.

Somewhere in the middle ......... I hear you Dad :-)


Proc Freq
04/20/2011 15:45

Beautiful shot and it's going to be 90 tomorrow. I'll try to stuff some in the suitcase for you!

04/21/2011 07:39

Thanks, Buddy! :-) Cold and rainy today........

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