Bees in January…er, what?

Posted on Jan 25, 2012 | 2 comments

We’ve had an unusually warm winter here in Northwest Arkansas. I have beds of spinach, kale and parsley that are thriving under row-cover tossed over them. Chickweed and henbit in the yard have stayed green all winter, to the delight of those chicks and hens.

But when I glanced outside and saw the flowering quince covered in blooms I realized just how far ahead of the normal season we are. Or is it behind, since winter hasn’t really arrived yet?

Wait, it goes beyond blooms because there’s one of the golden girls having a great time with those early blooms!

A flower and a bee: the perfect combination.

While I’m happy to see the bees, this too-warm trickery winter can be treacherous for them. The warm weather lures them out to fly around and burn up too much energy when there’s very little for them to find to eat. Plus, they may start raising young bees too early, only to have bad loss when the weather snaps back to real winter, which is more likely then not.  So I hope they will sense somehow, that this warm weather is fickle and not to be trusted….


…unlike Hearld the metal chicken, which can be trusted to keep an eye on things, even a flowering quince blooming a couple of months too early.

—A Larrapin Garden.  Posts most wednesdays & weekends. Please  subscribe to get the posts in one weekly email. You can also get bonus links, giveaways and recipes by “liking” our Facebook page or following on Twitter.

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  1. Your photos are gorgeous! I have a question about your bees. What do you use to control mites? I’m looking for someone who uses the powdered sugar method. An acquaintance in Ohio does that (no formic acid, etc) and the honey is to die for.

    • I’m using the thymol based strips (from Brushy Mountain Bee Supply). Since 2011 was my first year…we’ll see how the hive comes out of the winter. Do you keep bees?