Our New Zealand Bees hit the ground running, er, flying!
So as I said earlier 3 out our 4 hives made the winter. I'm told that 75% is a great average and I was disappointed that we lost one hive although I kind of expected it. Bees have to maintain the temperature in the core of the hive at 30 C or about 90F. This takes a lot of energy in the form of stored honey but it also takes physically a lot of bees to create the mass and produce heat. Two of my hives were not overly robust in the bee numbers and the one succumbed. I ordered a "package" of bees to rebuild the hive. A package is a 3" diameter cardboard tube 4' long with venting on both ends. It contains a KG (2.2 pounds) of bees - about 7000 - and a mated queen. Unbelievably the bees come from New Zealand where it is early fall. My buddy Kelly picked the bees up in Edmonton for me and delivered them home. I cleaned out the old hive and with the help of my new bee wrangler my youngest son Jake we got the bees in place and out in the bee yard. The gals are happily working away as we speak!