I picked up a nuc of honey bees a month ago.  (A nuc is short hand for a new colony of honey bees, ie, nucleus) .

In talking with the owner about overwintering  bees,  he told me something very interesting.  He manages several hundred hives, has been doing  this for 40 plus years, is constantly experimenting, talking with other bee keepers, etc, etc. so when he’s talking, I am  listening.

Of all of the colonies, the hardiest and most robust bees come spring  he’s noticed this year were the ones  in a more open area (vs. enclosed/ really sheltered yards).

His comment reminded me of something my father used to say about raising cattle.   “The healthiest cattle are those with minimal shelter. The cattle in the sheds, tend to get pneumonia.”

Photo compliments of Google


I think this process is constantly happening, not just in nature, but in our personal lives as well.

What do you think?


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12 Responses to Hardening

  1. One of the startling statistics (now not so much) is that 61% of the people in New York City who ended up with the virus had been “sheltering in place.”
    Nature can teach us a lot if we are listening.

    • I should add that this was taken during the height of the crisis. Not sure what it would show now except that those who shoved all those poor people into nursing homes should have listened to the bees.

    • DM says:

      Good morning Martha! Sorry about the delayed response in getting back to your thoughtful comments here. Been a full couple of weeks @ work, and here at home, Have not had the time to give a non rushed reply until this morning.

  2. Our observation of the coronavirus comes from life experience and training in CBRNE.
    That and a learned judgement on NHS healthcare in the UK. (It’s SH#T!)
    Plus a 40% kill rate at the peak of our first wave to those admitted to the bug factories aka hospitals.

    I heard the B.S. about herd immunity and listened to the response from the world’s experts who condemned it as STUPID. The problem is that advice came too late and 42,000 souls (and still counting) paid the price.

    I actually vdmire Viruses.
    I think they are elegant, immune to most treatments, mutating to improve themselves, tasteless, odorless, and too tiny to be seen, which makes them the perfect killers.

    Bees also get infected by them, as do cattle.
    You can’t cure bees, and you shoot infected cattle.

    So, to go out and ignore the dangers of something NO ONE had immunity for would seem more than a little stupid and reckless endangerment to others.
    After all, they said at first it was only the elderly at risk, then the ages dropped, and now we have a mutant version of the coronavirus that targets babies.

    • DM says:

      Good morning Paul. Always good to get your take on issues, whether it’s prepping, a health issue, or anything really. I get what you say about admiring the virus for it’s adaptability. 🙂 I really do. Nature has a way of adapting to adversity. I have a tomato plant, the darn rabbits stripped bare of leaves..told my wife, you just wait and see..I have a hunch the roots are still viable…sure enough, week later I could see new growth pushing out of the side of that bare piece of tomato stem. Same thing with a Rose of Sharon bush I planted last fall. Winter kill on the top, but noticed yesterday, there is new growth starting to pop out of the soil. Take care. DM

  3. Jane Fritz says:

    Gosh, DM, you deleted the Chuck Colson reference before I could point out the contradiction! 😏 Wrt over-sheltered animals, I’m a bit surprised about the bees; we rarely had a successful overwintering of our bees given our hard winters. Our cattle on the other hand, not to mention our horse, developed wonderful coats and did just fine with lean-to protection available at their discretion. If observing the concerns of helicopter-parented young people at college is anything to go by, you may be on to something. I wonder if the uncertainties injected by the pandemic will change any of that?

    • DM says:

      You are quick! 😉 I am fascinated with Chuck Colson. I was kind of young when Watergate was playing out, wasn’t until I was an adult and read his book about his time in prison and conversion of faith that he popped up on my radar. I heard him speak live @ a Inspirational book sellers convention back in the early 1980’s. Riveting. No doubt he was a rascal before Prison. Heck, I can be a rascal/ contradiction,…so anyway, the story about his treating the common everyday people with respect (which I sense doesn’t always happen) touched me. Bee related, we picked up another nuc yesterday, Facebook friend messaged me earlier in the week, said he had a nice healthy robust nuc, he would be willing to barter with me for some apples (VS the $170 I paid for the other one a few weeks ago) I didn’t realize or had forgotten you guys also had bees back in your farming days. I would love to visit with you over coffee with you and your hubby and listen to your farm stories. 🙂 I really would! Take care. Dm

      • Jane Fritz says:

        I googled Chuck Colson and read about his conversion. Glad to know such truly effective conversions happen. I don’t think many people would consider Chuck Colson’s involvement in Watergate as being a “rascal”, DM, as with people like Roger Stone, who the “rascal” in the White House will pardon. I think you’re on firmer ground to admire his conversion to becoming a decent human being while in prison, as opposed to discounting his egregious behaviour before then. Forgive sure, but discount, not so much. On a more pleasant topic, enjoy your bees. Try not to get stung too often! 😏

  4. emjayandthem says:

    Growing up Dad and other farmers erected wind shelters for our cattle ~ they wintered outside, with fresh water and plenty of food, at temps to -40F, butts to the wind, tucked together against a wind shelter. (think lean-to). Strong and resilient, that they were.

    Our Governor is one who ordered COVID patients into nursing homes ~ nearly 50% (that we know of, anyways) of deaths were in said homes. Horrible decision.


    • DM says:

      You get it MJ. Good to hear from you. BTW, I was reading along last week on FB as you were telling someone some of the tips you’d learned about Intermittent fasting. I’d not heard about the importance of drinking coffee/ tea black or the sweeteners stimulate taste buds/ hunger cravings. You’d mentioned something too about listening to your body tell you when it was hungry/ vs just eating because it’s a certain time… would you consider writing a blog post on these details that you’ve learned? (Wife and I had done some intermittent fasting last year..I could use a refresher course. 🙂 Take care. DM

      • emjayandthem says:

        Yes I blogged about it Friday and you read some of that in my response comments ~ I highly recommend reading this book, “Delay Don’t Deny” by Gin Stephens- http://www.ginstephens.com/ After reading I encourage you to download and listen to her “intermittent fasting stories” podcasts where she interviews others on the same journey. I love that it’s free!! Yes anything flavored is OUT during the clean fast … stimulates an insulin response = hunger. Black coffee, plain/unsweetened tea, water during fasting. I fast until mid afternoon and then “open” my eating window around 1-2pm with a small snack or lunch, depending on hunger levels. I “close” my eating window with dinner. I started with an 16:8 window meaning 16 hours fasted, 8pm-noon. Much of that we’re asleep for. I now fast anywhere from 18-20 hours a day. The mental clarity/sharpness and energy level is ASTOUNDING .. Happy to help share more if needed 🙂 MJ

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