We sent our lovely bee ladies down to California back in November, and we’ve missed them.

To answer a frequently asked question as to why we send them to California in late fall, no, it’s not that the bees can’t survive a Montana winter – to the contrary, before Honeydew started bringing them down to California for the almond pollination project (about ten years ago), his dad had always wintered them through Montana’s extreme winds and temperatures.  And that’s one of the reasons we run Carniolans – they’re better suited for arctic blasts.  Last year, we didn’t have enough room on the California trucks to send all of our hives, and we kept about ten in our home yard.  It was a winter of epic snowfall, and when spring came, I was amazed to snowshoe down to the home yard and find the hives looking like tree wells, producing enough heat to melt the snow immediately encasing them.

So, the bees would be fine in December, and in February, and in April, in Montana.  But the semi truck driver might have an awfully hard time driving into the holding yard to load the bees if we waited any longer than early November to send them South.  So off the go, where they are met by our dear friend and mentor, Steve Park, who supervises them for us until we arrive in January.  Thanks, Steve, Jim, and co.

As soon as we got here, Honeydew went out to check on the bees, leaving me in our new home to meet the propane man to hook up the gas, the Dish guy to hook up ESPN, and so on.  But he brought back good reports – it’s been very cool for California, so the bees are hanging out in big clusters at the bottom of the hives, but they’re healthy and more than ready to go do their thing with the almonds.

Won’t be much longer now and we’ll be moving ’em into the orchards!

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