Saturday, August 22, 2015

August - September 2015: It's that time of year -- feeding bees and feeding bees and feeding bees....

Rescued this bee from the fish pond
while we were camping this week. 
August18 -- Fed all three hives about 2.6 quarts each. Queen Anya's hive is not looking good. Queen Rachel's kingdom is strong. Queen Bianca is between the two.

August 22 -- Fed again. 2 to 1 sugar to water mix these days. Same comments re hive strength. We will do an inspection before next feeding and are considering moving a frame of brood from the strong hive to the weak hive.

August 25 -- Well, we didn't do an inspection yet. No time, but fed the bees. The middle hive (Queen Rachel) is looking good and strong. Queen Anya is questionable. Queen Bianca looks okay.

August 27 -- Fed again. Bags were completely drive. The bees are clearly hungry. The dry weather for the past few weeks has no doubt obliterated any nectar so they need the syrup to both feed on and store. We definitely need rain! As of the next feeding (tomorrow) we will have used 85 pounds of sugar. Still haven't had time to inspect.

September 1 -- More feeding before heading off to the Country Fair with two daughters and six grandchildren. Hot but what a fun day!

September 3 -- Fed all three hives 2/1 solution about 2/3 gallons each.

September 16 - 19 -- We inspected all three hives. Queen Anya is gone. We're not sure whether they swarmed or absconded. There is no brood in the hive at all and very few drones -- only worker bees. We thought they were probably robber bees but Larry closed up the hive after dark on the 18th. If they were all robbers they would have gone home, but this morning (Sept 19) when he opened the hive there were lots of bees. These are all summer bees and will die so that hive is essentially finished. The other two are still strong with lots of brood and plenty of stores. We saw Queen Rachel. She is a pretty thing. Didn't find Queen Bianca. We fed the two strong hives on the 16th giving Queen Rachel's two bags (about a gallon and a third) and Queen Bianca's one (2/3 gallon). All the syrup was gone when Larry checked this morning. Oh my goodness but beekeeping is a challenge.

September 25 - Gave both hives a gallon of 1/1 sugar syrup.

September 28 - Fed both hives but Queen Rachels still had 1/4 bag left so she got 1/2 gallon, Queen Bianca got a full gallon. It was a heavier syrup but not 2/1.

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