It’s been a long winter (and spring) and a while since I’ve added to the blog so I’m going to share some personal updates. Winter here in MN went well this year if you enjoy winter. It was cold early, starting in mid-December, without any snow for a while. But by mid-January we had plenty of snow for skiing and the temps were getting down in the single and below zero digits. We had enough snow to keep me on skis for 52 days straight which is a new personal record for me!! I also skied the American Birkiebeiner for the 3rd time in almost perfect conditions. It’s always a blast and such a celebration of winter.
In early March temperatures started to warm up and there were a few days of great crust skiing, but after that the corn and beans fields started emerging from the snow and the long rays of sun set to melting our winter playground. Then mid-April arrived, and now we’ve been plunged back into winter with 10-12 inches of new snow!
But temperatures are looking better and we’ve been promised 60 degrees by next week! I’ve been searching through seed catalogs for several days dreaming about green spring growth and trying to choose the perfect variety of tomatoes, lettuce and carrots among other things. I’ve also spent quite a bit of time looking over mixes of flower seed, cosmos, sunflowers, lavender, bee-balm, verbena and wildflowers, trying to find some that I can grow successfully near the shaded house.
I’m also the jubilant and apprehensive new owner of two hives (although bees have not arrived yet). Along with them I purchased a gallon feeder for each hive, which seems like they may get a lot of use this April with the lows in teens and twenties. I also got an expert craftsman to help me create hive stands. I’m really looking forward to putting them to use!
For those that have bees arriving in the next few weeks, make sure to keep a close eye on the temperatures!! Packages of bees are especially sensitive to cold weather because they don’t have previously stored food supplies. Consider bringing bees inside to a warm garage at night if it gets cold and make sure you have adequate ways to feed them.
If you overwintered bees here in Minnesota chances are you have already been out to check them and feed them as needed starting during the warm days in March. If you have any questions about dead out hives or want information about disease management give me a shout!
All in all it’s going to be a great growing season and I can’t wait to get started!
Dr. Eva Reinicke