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What are the bees doing this winter?

One of the most frequent questions I get is, "what do the bees do in the winter?"

The answer is, not much.

Preparation - To prepare for winter, the bees have filled their hive with honey. The colony also starts to raise 'winter bees', which live 6 months, instead of the standard 6-weeks of a summer worker bee. To help them survive through the winter, I put a black insulated wrap around the hive and add some insultation to the top.

Survival - The bees stay awake all winter, clustered in a ball around their queen in the bottom brood box. They shiver their flight muscles to produce heat and take turns on the outside where it is the coldest. They eat their stored honey and, as the winter progresses, they eat their way up through the honey to the top brood box.

Signs of Life - When the temperature increases to around 10 degrees C, the bees emerge for a cleansing flight. The bees won't go to the bathroom in the hive, so, when it is too cold to go out, they hold it, sometimes for months. When it is warm enough, they fly out of the hive and let it all out. They leave little yellow spots all over the snow. We are always excited when this happens because it means that our bees are alive.

There is still some honey left: Mid Summer liquid honey and Vintage Creamed honey. Our Late Summer liquid honey has crystallized and is just like liquid candy, hence the name Liquid Honey Candy. And we have some new creamed honey which is delicious.

My Goodness

Dabbs of Goodness is going gang busters. When I test new products on my friends and family, I only consider it a success when they rave about it. A comment of "this is good" isn't sufficient to make it a Goodness product. "Oh my gosh, this is SO good!" makes it a Goodness product. That is the reaction I got when I tested the Mocha Energy Bars. I got the same reaction when I gave out the Bits of Badness for Christmas. Then my sister said, "why just for Christmas? Can't I have them throughout the year?" Good point. Bits of Badness goes completely against the Dabbs of Goodness unrefined ingredients charter but, sometimes it feels good to be bad.

Occasionally, I'll add an item that just make me happy. The Wholesome Crumble is one of those items. With nuts and almond flour added to the traditional oats, it's a more substantial crumble topping. My son and I love having this for breakfast the day after...and lunch, and snack, and the next day's breakfast...

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