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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Feeding the Bees

I stopped by the farm today to feed the bees in preparation for winter.  From my inspection last weekend, I have several hives needing some help with their winter food supply.  I wanted to try a couple of new feeding methods.  Typically I use enterance feeders, but some hives I want to pack with sugar water.  I remembered that Lonnie Langley had given me some 1 gallon feeders that had been tucked away in a corner of the woodshop and forgotten.  A gallon of sugar water holds 4 pounds of sugar.  I placed this on Hive #14

I also made an internal jar feeder out of one my candy boards that I made last winter but never used.  I drilled six holes in the board and placed window screen over the middle two to allow for ventilation.  I placed this feeder on Hive #13.

I also noticed something that gives me mixed feelings for Hive #13....I found a supersedure queen cell near the top of a frame.  I would rather they not try and swarm at this time of year, but maybe they know more than me.

I also placed a double feeder on Hive #15, the Wallace Hive because it was starting out having to make comb from scratch.  I placed two enterance feeders on it.

I also found two dead hives today: #8 & #10.  It was sad, but expected as they were not doing well.  These hives were the Kull Extraction and the Buzzard Swarm.  As I think back over the time with them, both had poor laying queens.

I also followed-up on a phone call last week about a bee tree that blew down and there were bees keeping it from getting cut up.  I stopped by the house and easily found the tree in the backyard.

As I inspected the tree, I realized that the flying things were not honey bees but were yellow jackets!  I informed the home owner of her options, and that she didn't have to feel bad about killing them since they weren't honey bees.

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