It has been unseasonably warm here for a few days. On Monday when I pulled in the driveway after dropping the boys off at school, what did I see? My bees were flying! It was in the low to mid fifties and my hibernating bees had decided to take a few investigative flights. I was such a proud mother! I leapt out of the car leaving the door wide open, ran inside and grabbed my camera. My bees were flying!!!
Can you see the one bee coming in for a landing in this picture? This shot doesn't show it, but there were about five to ten bees out and about around the hive. Exciting.
Now, fast forward six hours. That day, driving rain and strange gusty winds were going to be coming through. I'm not sure at what point this happened, and I don't know for how long they were exposed. But, because of the wind and rain, on my way home from an errand I stopped by the bus stop to pick up Benjamin (10). When I pulled in the driveway, I saw a horrifying mess!! The outer covers on both of my hives had blown off completely exposing the inner cover which has a 5x1 inch hole cut out of the top!! The worst part was, on my left hive, even the inner cover had blown off, leaving the frames where the bees live exposed!! Horrible! I raced over there with my bare hands and face and threw everything back together. There were a couple bees around the entrances (thinking to themselves HELP! We've been abandoned and forsaken by our keeper!!!) but they had enough problems to be worrying about me. Plus, it was blowing a gale!
I put everything back together, and slid the bottom boards out so that any moisture could drip out and evaporate more quickly. What a mess. This certainly weakens the hive and who knows how many of my bees have died as a result. Poor things. After two days, I slid the bottom boards out, since the night time weather was going to be below freezing. I did see some flying two days ago when the temps were in the upper 40's. I hope they are okay. I am disappointed.
Now I have TWO LARGE rocks on the tops of both hives . . .