Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Quick Check...

The weather was great today, and heavy rains are planned for the weekend. So I took advantage of the evening light to do a quick check of the hives.

It's been about 3 weeks since I put on the Formic Acid pads, and it was time to take them off. So I suited up and fired up the smoker a little (not too much - it was a quick check after all).

The green hive hadn't taken any syrup over the past week. I thought that it was strange, but when I lifted off the upside-down bottle I found out why - the small holes were apparently clogged (probably with sugar crystals). I didn't have enough either - only 4. The brown hive had almost emptied their bottle.

I found that the bees had added propolis along the underside of the pads, plugging up the holes. I guess they really didn't like the smell! They also didn't eat much of the pollen patty. I suspect that it was because of the odor of the pad - they were staying away. I added another pollen patty to both hives; we'll see what they do this next week.

I took the opportunity this evening to cook up a batch of 2:1 sugar syrup, and added some Fumigilin-B medication (to treat for / prevent Nosema). I needed a better set of feeding jars, so I bought a 12-pack of quart canning jars. Since I had bad luck with the metal bands and lids, I found a set of replacement plastic lids which fit the jars. I could have chosen a larger jar (and thus have to add syrup less often), but I liked having to only use one super to surround the jar. I figured I can fit 3 jars per hive along a long set of riser sticks I cut. Here is a picture of 6 jars ready for feeding. The lids have small holes drilled in them (if you can see them):

I should note that most people would be showing jars of honey produced by the hive, but alas, such is not the case for mine...

I'll probably put the jars on tomorrow morning after they have cooled.


  1. Not to worry, Steven, very seldom do first year hives produce honey. Come this time next year, I'll bet you have plenty of honey to show!

    My bees are also beginning to build up propolis because of the cold weather. We had flurries this past weekend.

  2. I'll be removing my formic pads tomorrow. Then finally I can put the entrance reducers back in. The bees will appreciate being warmer I'm sure.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin