Snow At The Hives

The February snows have arrived.  I woke up last Sunday to the realization that a bit of snow had fallen and it was not going to stop.  That slowed things down a bit this week, thus this photo essay of Brookfield Farm Hives in the snow.

Our two livestock guard dogs came with me to check the hives.

Livestock Guard Dogs and hives in snow

The larger one is the “puppy”, he is just one-year-old.

Snow covered hives at Brookfield Farm Bees And Honey, Maple FAlls, WA

It’s a winter wonderland – one I could do without.  Snow should stay on the high mountains and not at the farm…if only nature could get that straight.

All was well, even with big chunks of snow falling all around us.

Beehives in Snow

The next day my husband, tiny dog, and I attempted to drive up the 3/4 mile to the farm.  1/4 mile in, the drive became and uphill walk.  The farm is on a ridge – lovely, but challenging at times.

Brookfield Farm's road covered in snow

It doesn’t really show, but that’s a fairly steep uphill section that’s preceded by the “bad corner” : a steeper corner where the road makes an “s” shape.  The groove in the snow was from Ian using his childhood sled to bring down goods to the truck.

First I went to get water for the packgoats.  I had installed a rain chain to direct water to a collection bucket.  It was a bit icy.

Ice covered Rain Chain

I could watch the melting water descend down the chain inside the ice.  At the bottom the water dripped off the icicle and was filling buckets rapidly.  So goats were fine for water.

Icicle at end of Rain Chain


Then out to the hives.  Fine, and beautiful.  But, understandably, not a lot of bees flying.

Snow covered beehives in the sun

The bottom entrances were clear on some; I cleared others.  But none of the bottom entrances were being used.

Beehive bottom entrance in snow

A few bees were using the top entrances to check out the sunny day.

Top entrance of beehive being used by honeybees

I drill two 7/32 holes for top entrances.  These fit the bees and the mice cannot get though.  (I have no idea what 7/32 is in mm – we are so behind the times here in the US)

A few bees decided they liked an alternate top entrance, where the collars sides had slightly separated.

Honeybee exits  top collar of hive


Overall, everything was fine  in the yard

Snow on beehives at Brookfield FArm, Maple Falls, WA

After the storm

…except for that 1/2 mile walk back down the ridge at the end of the day.  Since then, my husband, Ian, has dug out the road.

That’s the news from Brookfield Farm Bees And Honey, Maple Falls, Washington.  We consider ourselves lucky.  The world-wide weird weather has hurt so many people and animals.  This snow storm has come and gone leaving only sore back.

How are your bees in your parts of the world.  I hope the weather is treating you well.


About Bean

I am the beekeeper at Brookfield Farm Bees And Honey, near Maple Falls, Washington. My bees fly from naturally treated, antibiotic-free hives in the foothills of Mt. Baker (the second most glaciated volcano in Washington). I sell the raw honey my bees make, as well as honey produced by Washington beekeepers who are friends - the emphasis is on raw honey from naturally treated, antibiotic-free hives. I also make and sell Beeswax Salves. You can find me at the Ballard Farmers' Market in Seattle on Sundays from 10-3. When not with the bees, you'll most likely meet me up some mountain trail, pinhole camera and digital camera slung over my shoulders, and my pack goats trailing behind me.
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