Monday, October 20, 2014

October 19, 2014 - pulled "baggie" feeders

It is still nice out, and it made it to 65 degrees here today. So I got the smoker going and headed to the hives around 3pm.

Here I am in my outfit :)

Note the smoker and I'm by the hive :)
That's my A or #1 Hive 

The photo above is looking up into the top box of Hive A/1. It is my stronger hive. The bees were really active on this sunny warm afternoon. The white comb on the left is newer comb and the brown comb is capped honey and pollen. There are 6 combs which look good for winter and then the 2 newer ones on the left which are somewhat feeble.
I took each hive apart and pulled out the baggies which had syrup in them because they keep leaking down on the bottom board and the bees are accumulating on the board near the back of the hive. That's not such a big deal but there are also other bees and yellow jackets showing up so I wanted to discourage that.

I emptied the leaking baggies into the jar feeders and am really glad I remembered to bring a bucket along to minimize spillage. Some syrup still spilled, but I wiped it up as well as I could.

On  Hive B, the combs from the second box kept putting pressure on the baggie (on top of the top bars of the third box) so it leaked worse than Hive A. I pulled the bottom board out completely so I could bring it to the house to dry off. I put the hives back together and made sure the boxes' edges were aligned properly.

I am going to continue to feed them this week even though it's getting late in the season - because during the day, it's going to be in the 60's. My understanding is that they will keep taking down the sugar syrup as long as the temps are that high.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

September 29 - October 14, 2014

September 29: Hive B feeders were nearly empty. I filled the feeders and widened the holes on the lids of the feeder jars.  I put brads on the mouse guards to hold them in place.

September 30 - October 5: we went  to Guatemala and when I returned it seemed they had hardly eaten the syrup.

So October 6, I put baggies on the top of the bars of the bottom boxes - this meant I had to take the hive apart after I smoked it. The top box of Hive A/1 was lighter than when I weighed it before.

October 11: I refilled the baggies - though they still had 2:1 syrup in them, they were definitely lower in volume. Then I checked the lids of the jars and the sugar had crystallized inside the lids and that is why they aren't taking down the syrup. I did note that the top box of Hive A/1 is very heavy again. It definitely felt like 20# again. It is heavier than the top box of Hive B.

October 12: I dissolved more sugar in water - HOT water - and made sure the syrup was well dissolved. Then I refilled the jars.

October 14: There was a lot of activity at the hives - the worker bees were chasing away the yellow jackets and dragging the dead bees off the landing board.