It is -20 with lots of snow, and I thought I should check on our bees in their cozy top-bar hive. We have fed them sugar syrup a couple of times to supplement their honey cache, and I brought another feeder full of syrup to keep them hydrated and nourished through this deep freeze we are all enduring. We have had 2 bouts of several days at -30 in the past 2 months, and I hadn't checked the bees since Dec. 17.
When I took the cover off the hive and put my ear to the opening to hear what was going on in there, I was rewarded with a couple of BZZTs from within. After clattering away for a minute or so trying not to make too much noise, the bees came into action and started a pretty impressive buzzing deep inside the hive.
I felt happy in the way that you do when you go to see your baby sleeping and watch his little chest go up and down as he breathes, and you know all is well. After putting the feeder down into the hive, I carefully covered them all up again and proceeded back to the farmhouse, content in the knowledge that our little flock of bees is surviving the winter, keeping their brood and their queen alive and ready for the first flowers of spring.