Since we got back from our Canada trip in early October we've fed our three hives three times with three quarts each. So far we've used about 50 pounds of sugar to make syrup and the girls eat it up lickity split. Today I fed another three quarts each and broke down Bianca's hive to three boxes for the winter. All three hives have lots of bees and were all bringing in pollen -- orange and yellow. The weather the past few days has been warm and mostly sunny so they are active and still out working.
Larry dropped off several quarts of honey at the Poor Clares last week while he was in Alexandria and I got the nicest note -- even with a few handwritten lines. I told them we really need their prayers so we can keep bringing them honey and they promised to pray for the girls' winter survival.
We are not very pro-active beekeepers. We have never tested for varroa mites, the scourge of beekeepers and think our collapsed hive could have had a fall overload although we've never seen any mites on the bees or on drone larvi. Since everybody has them, though, it's unlikely we don't.
But, frankly, we don't mind the ups and downs too much anyway because too many hives means too much work -- three or four hives is plenty to keep these two old folks busy. Although we could always sell a nuke or two if we get too many hives.
Anyway, we're happy with the way the bee yard is going and if we come out of the winter with three healthy hives (or even two) we'll "bee" smiling. So with the Poor Clares pulling for us as well as the patrons of beekeepers, we hope to be in the busy bee business as long as we're healthy and strong enough to do it. Thank you, Lord, for these dear creatures who sweeten our lives!