2 degrees this morning, 6 degrees yesterday morning. My poor little bees, I wonder how they do it. I have lost one hive to the cold this winter so yesterday I tried a trick my dad and granddad used in the cold weather for their cars. Back in the day oil for cars didnt come in multi weights like it does today and the oil would get so thick on a cold winter night it made the cars hard to start. So using a little common sense, (which was a lot more common then than now) they used to put a trouble light underneath the oil pan where the heat from the light bulb could keep the oil warm. It didn’t seem like much but it really worked. (And it certainly worked better than setting a can of sterno on a block of wood next to the oil pan and catching your car on fire like I saw a college friend of mine do once.) So yesterday, I ran an extension cord out to my remaining beehive and put a trouble light under it. I hope it helped. Its been so cold even our little yellow finches havent been coming to the feeder we keep for them.
Its a simple thing, this little lesson and the thought of crawling under the car with my dad works like a time machine. Life wasn’t so complicated then and either were the engines in our cars. Outside of your neighbors, you didn’t have a lot of help, but in those days your neighbors really would help and often did. However, there was a pride, no it was more than that, a self-respect, that came from providing for your family. Self-reliance. Its a word and a concept thats been lost on our nation for the most part. The government wasnt there telling my dad or granddad what light bulb he had to use and there wasn’t a warning label on the side of the trouble light telling us not to put our fingers in the socket, or not to use it for a reading light while in the bath tub because of the risk of electric shock. I figure people just must have been smarter back then. A generation later, maybe there should have been a warning on the side of that sterno can telling my friend not to use it to heat the oil in his oil pan. Come to think of it, maybe that single incident set off the whole entire de-evolution process. I’m sure today if I burn down my beehive I’ll be able to sue the makers of the trouble light for not warning me of the dangers of using it to heat a beehive.