It’s been very cold here lately. We haven’t broken any records, but we’ve come very close several times. One cold day, I went out and removed the little panel on the hive and found the bees pretty huddled up and quiet. There was no activity outside the hive, and if I didn’t know better, I wouldn’t have realized that we even had bees.
Today, it was a beautiful, sunny 63 degree day. I went out and the hive was buzzing with activity.
I even got one shot (a little blurry) of a bee coming home with orange pollen coated legs.
In other news, it doesn’t look like our poor little hen Abby is going to hatch any of the seven eggs she’s been sitting on for the last three weeks. We are going to give her a few extra days, just in case.
Hatching an egg seems is a lot of work for these little girls. They sit for hours on end without eating, drinking, walking or eliminating (which they normally do almost all the time). They sit motionless on their eggs, and spread their body to cover them as much as possible. If you pick up a sitting hen, her underside is incredibly warm, so somehow all of her body heat is centralized where it’s needed the most. A few times a day, she’ll pop up and run outside, eating and drinking in hyperspeed and eliminating a gigantic stored-up poop. (Is that too gross? I added it because I think it shows what effort this egg hatching business requires!)
In the early stages, she might take some time to do a dust bath, scratch around looking for food and maybe take in some sun, but the closer she gets to hatching, the less time she will allow herself away from her eggs. When she’s done outside, she’ll run as fast as she can and hop back on her eggs, shoving them underneath herself with her beak, as Abby demonstrates below.
One of our other hens, Society has gotten broody as well, and is sitting on three eggs. She just started a few days ago, so she’s got a while to go. (I love seeing this little hen out and about and saying “Hi, Society” – get it? Like “High Society”??)
And here is Olive’s little girl who was hatched in November. Isn’t she cute? She still is only about half the size she will be.
Keep your fingers crossed that Abby’s eggs hatch!
In the meantime, here are a few interesting links you might enjoy:
I want to meet this bee keeper someday: Hector’s Honey in Sonoma
What I want to bake someday: A Rose Cake tutorial
I never knew what this was: Romanesco
Sparking creativity when it feels like it’s lost forever: Treasure Seeking
Apps for fellow iPhone addicts: New(er) iOS Apps