Bee Blog

A package of bees

I installed a package of bees last Saturday. The bees were put  into a 10 frame box using wired wax foundation in the frames. I also put a boardman feeder with sugar water to feed the bees. Feeding the new package of bees is very important. You should feed your bees until all 20 frames are drawn out with comb. The jar was more than half empty after the first two days. I replaced the feeder  jar yesterday so not to run out of the syrup. I will check the queen release this Saturday. You should wait one full week. Let the package bees get used to the queen. Do not go in to soon or to often. Just monitor the sugar syrup for now.

Getting Ready For The Bees

Today I was preparing boxes for the packages of bees. We will be getting the bees sometime this Friday. I was removing and scraping all frames side bars and bottom of top bars. So the frame will slide along the frame rest easier. I replaced the cleaned frames into the ten frame boxes. I try to give each box one full honey frame. That will be a big help to any new package. I stacked the prepared boxes until I bring them to the apiaries for the package install. I also washed all my jars and boardman feeders. Vin made the sugar syrup for the bees. I also got new and repainted bottom boards ready to replace any in the field that are in rough shape. So any of you that need to paint boxes and build frames. Get busy. 

Winter feeding

There was finally a break in the weather so I could go check the bees. Yesterday was sunny and warm. I loaded a backpack with fondant and sent off to visit as many hives as I could. The apiaries all had bees flying. I opened all the hives inner  cover up quickly not to let to much heat escape. Then carefully placing the fondant the top of frames. I closed them up quickly and moved to the next hive. I did find my share of dead hives. It is part of beekeeping now a days. I leave the dead outs until spring to clean. Then hopped into the truck and onto the next apiary. Some of the locations are off the road quite a bit. So I would walk up to 300 yds to reach some hives. Since the snow is quite deep. It makes it a little more difficult to reach. Since we have had some cold weather coming our way again. I want to get some emergency feed to the bees before it arrived.  

More Snow

We got back from Mexico just in time for this nice snow storm. There's Lily swimming with her friend, Mr. Dolphin. It's been a tough winter. We have started receiving many calls for packages and nucs. There are many dead hives this winter. The weather hasn't helped. The stretches of cold weather do not allow the bees to break cluster to get to their stores. Some of my hives had tunneled straight up into the top box in early winter leaving honey in the bottom box. I had place 2 fondant patties on top of the frames and prayed. Hopefully there will be a few warm days to help the bees out. I hope most of you are having some success with your bees this winter. I'll feel more comfortable after the month of February. There is still a long way to go.

There is going to be Bee Talk night Thursday night 7-9.

Winter Feeding

Today, Vin and I went to a few apiaries to check our hives. It was warm enough so all our hives had some bees flying. I weighed the hives by hefting the back to feel the weight. Then I cracked open the inner cover and tipped it up enough to look in and place some fondant patties on top of the frames. I did find five dead hives. I will clean those boxes out in the spring when I am getting ready to install some packages of bees. I found some of the bees had already finished all the fondant that we had put in there in November. Hopefully the rest of the hives will make it until I visit them next.
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