Thursday, August 22, 2013

Honey update

A while back we noticed the honey missing from the hives.  The bees were living off their winter stores too early.  I did a little research and found that we are having a dearth summer (no nectar flow).  So we started feeding them 3 quarts of sugar water each day in exterior feeders.  (Warre hive openings are too small to insert them)

While inspecting one day I realized our bees weren't getting any of the syrup.  The feeders were full of black bees.  Very aggressive black bees who didn't like us, lol.  We switched to smaller front feeders, which we inserted into the hive each day.  Boy did the guard bees not like this set up!  They became very aggressive and started circling us as soon as we walked up.  Scary!  For the first time we started suiting up to feed the bees.

 Then the yellow jackets and wasps started trying to get into the hives to get the syrup.   We quickly added an empty box to the top of the hive and placed interior feeders in them

The view threw the window.

After 2 days the syrup still hadn't been touched.  So we took out the protective canvas and screening, letting the bees have full access to their new attic/feeding station.  Looks a mess but they are eating like mad and no robbers to compete with.

Happy bees making lots of honey = happy beekeepers =)

Of course this means I have to remove the top of the hive each day to feed them, letting thousands of bees out, but at least I wont have to deal with the guard bees.  Phew!

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