2011-05-29 Stocking up for Winter

Official winter is only a couple of days away, a coolish overcast day, but the girls are workin' hard,
you could hear the hum from the chook house. I hadn't seen them for a while, I thought they were all tucked away already.

 This day they are busy stocking up the larder for those  lonely winter days and nights. Sunday had a top of only 14.3 degreec C, but Metropolis especially was humming, the gate-keepers barely keeping track of who was who. Last chance for fresh nectar!
 Over winter they don't sleep or hibernate, they just hang around, sometimes play a bit of backgammon. Cribbage also very popular. Knitting cardigans, macrame. Eating up they honey that they put away, or at least whatever I left them. Hope there's enough. Metropolis had heaps of proper honey in it, I think I counted 5 frames of sealed honey, more of unsealed / nectar. The "Other" I put 8 kilos of sugar into, via a feeder frame. They had almost starved on the hill where they had been in Buxton, and winter was coming, Amongst them are 'heater bees' (a recent discovery about bees), they de-couple their wings (!) and beat these wing-muscles, until their body temperature goes up to 44 degrees C, up from the normal 34. They move around to distibute the heat, and I bet they go through a lot of honey. Weird.

The "Other" hive.
Have to get a better name for that one.
It kinda made more sense when it was sitting next to the "Utter" hive.
I'm thinking of calling it Edo or Osaka, painting pagodas over it. Not sure.
Less movement, but still active.

Stay warm, girls, see ya's next spring!

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