Friday, May 28, 2010
Tonight we were heading to Urbana to drop the kids off when I got a call from Dad at the farm for a bee update. He said the East hive was 2/3 empty, but the West hive was only down a half an inch and the bees were buzzing all around the feeder like never before. We made a quick stop at the farm to check out what was wrong. When I pulled the mason jar out of the feeder base I could see that the sugar did not dissolve properly and was clumped up at the bottom by the feeder lid. When I examined the lid with the pin holes I found it dry and crusted with dried sugar. The bees were not able to get any sugar water at all and were trying their best to get at the artificial nectar. I cleaned off the dried sugar and shook and shook it to dissolve the sugar into the water, then placed the jar back into the feeder. While doing this the bees were very upset with me and kept bouncing off of my face shield. I'm afraid my enjoyment of gentle bees that I could handle without protection may have passed for the time being. Warmer weather and increased bees in the hives may have changed their character. We plan to stop by this weekend to refeed and see how they are doing.