Graveyard

It hit 57 degrees today and the bees were out in FORCE! They were busy “cleaning the house” while they had the chance. Every hive had dead bees on the snow in front of it. I found several areas where the bees had clustered their sisters’ graves. You want to see this as the bees like to keep the hive clean–if you see NO activity and NO dead bees, there’s a problem.

As I walked by to check out the activity at the hive entrances at least 6 honey bees, probably more, landed on me. They seemed to be investigating me as a potential food source. To keep them from coming home “empty-handed” I provided them with two quart jars of sugar syrup for communal feeling, and set out some dry pollen for them to gather. I add a drop of lemongrass to the bucket edge of the dry pollen to help them locate it and to act as an attractant. A couple of dry plant stems provide a landing spot in the soft powder.

I also added pollen patties to the hives and refreshed their fondant stores which had been provided almost 2 weeks ago.

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This hive ate almost all of the fondant, yet they also have plenty of stores. But who doesn’t want a free meal? This is my ten frame nuc which was made from the pink hive. It looks very good.

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This is the pink hive, bottom box. They also had eaten their fondant. There were more bees in the top box and even more out and about. I didn’t pull frames, but I’m sure brood is present. Actually, there was brood in the hives about a month after typical “shut-down” time; I checked them in mid-November and they still had brood. If they were raising brood, they were using resources. Now that they’re ramping up production, I want to make sure I give them what they need. If they need it, they’ll use it! I’ll be checking them every week and refreshing as needed, and on warm days I’ll leave out the dry pollen and sugar jars. What I really want to do is look at the frames, we’ll see what wins: my impatience or the temperature. 🙂

 

 

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One thought on “Graveyard

  1. Be careful feeding syrup and pollen at this time of year, as it can encourage the colony to expand too much at a time when there’s not much natural forage about. Also if they try to store the syrup but can’t evaporate it down enough in cold temperatures it will ferment and could cause dysentery.

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