Monday, March 15, 2010

Feeding time



After much reading and debate, I decided to begin feeding today. High was 60 degrees, sunny, and the bees were really out flying. This early, and with snow still in little patches in the ditches, there is nothing blooming but spring plants are sticking up through the soil now and it won't be long there will be some flowering plants. The temps are to stay above freezing all but one day early next week, so I decided to go ahead with a 2:1 sugar water feed. I also decided, with the warmth, to take a little deeper look into the hive. So far, I have only peeked under the outer cover.
Bees were really flying as I went out to the hive, as you can see in this image. I removed the insulation but kept the tape on the seams that I had under the insulation. There was still a pile of watery sugar under the outer cover that I had put a couple weeks ago and there were probably 100 bees on top of the inner cover. I smoked, then removed the inner cover. I saw a lot of bees, between each frame on my top of 3 medium hive bodies. I pulled one of the outer frames to examine and saw mostly empty comb, a little uncapped honey. I should have looked at more, but I wasn't wanting to keep things open too long. So I decided to put the inner cover back on, add a super above (which I insulated with styrofoam again, on the inside this time) and added a coffee can of sugar water right above the oblong opening of the inner cover. Then I closed things up.
I think things look good. If we continue to get warmth, we will get blooming plants and the bees will be very happy. Later, I was out walking past my birdfeeders and saw bees all over the seed, no birds! The bees, however, were literally rolling in the seed, I imagine gathering up corn pollen? I had recently heard (or read on one of the message boards about bees) that someone had worried about bees in their birdfeeder. Now I see it for myself. They were also all over the ground, where spilled seed and seed shells litter the ground. I guess they are desperate right now. The birdfeeder is almost 300 feet from the hive. So I know they are getting out and about!

1 comment:

  1. I'm going to a talk today about organic honey. I'll let you know what I find out.

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