Feed Me!!!

Well, the bees in hive #2 are certainly gobbling up the sugar syrup.  I started a week ago and they are well into their second full coffee can of 2:1 sugar water.  Hopefully, this will help them fill up the frames in the top hive body and they will be set for winter.  With this brief stint of warmer weather, the bees have been very active.  Today I noticed lots of orange pollen being brought into the hives.  Still many things in bloom, from our red raspberries to the goldenrod, sunflowers, and many flowering plants in the prairie.  I reversed my decision for hive #1 and replaced the super, though did not bother with the queen excluder since the bees will get any honey they put in there.  I was afraid, as active as they have been, that they will put too much honey lower in the hive and not leave enough room for brood.
On another note, Kathy ran into one of our former "colleagues" from our bee class last year.  He came up to her in the grocery store and asked "Did you harvest any?"  She told him we had gotten one super's worth of honey, which amounted to about 2 gallons.  He sadly responded he had not gotten any honey yet, though he started with two hives and we only had one.  This spring he started several others, and of course will not harvest from them.  He did have a swarm, which he was able to capture.  He seemed pretty down, unsure as to why his bees are not producing.  After some thought, I began to wonder if he just does not have enough good forage area for the bees.  They live within two miles of our place, but we have some forest but also large pasture areas, prairie areas, and farmland within sight.  His place is basically on a peninsula, with a reservoir on three sides.  The land around him is all residential or forest.  Bees would have to go 2 miles through forest or across the expanse of water to get to any other type of forage area. Is there enough for them to forage in an area mostly wooded, with maples, elms, oaks and walnuts the predominate trees in the area?  I plan to go on the Bee Source site to see if any there have some answers.  He may just have a bad location.  I'll let you know what I find out.


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