Saturday, February 20, 2010
The weather was in the 40's today, but there was a lot of sun shine, so the hive got a little warmth. I saw a bunch of the girls out and about, but sticking close to the hive. Here's what I saw:
You can't tell too well, but there were a lot of bees in front of the green hive; only a few around the brown hive. You can't tell, but there are a bunch of brown spots in the snow in front of the hives; evidence of "cleansing flights" where the bees do their business outside the hive. If the weather doesn't get warm every once in a while, the bees could get sick (not being able to void their innards).
I also decided to add more sugar; I actually took some pictures first!
Here's what I found on the brown hive, which is the weaker of the two hives:
You can see the bees had eaten up through the mound of sugar. The brown block at the left is a pollen cake - the bees were also eating off of it (which is good, providing protein for the bees). The newspaper and sugar had absorbed a lot of moisture (which came from the bees) and it made a hard cake; this is beneficial since it removes moisture and the bees actually prefer a sugar cake vs. granulated sugar.
To keep the new sugar from just falling down where the bees had eaten away the newspaper in the middle, I put a piece of paper towel right on top of the bees, and then added the sugar. You can see the after picture of the green hive here:
Because this group of bees was larger, you can see that they had chewed a wider swath in the sugar as compared to the brown hive (previous picture). Once again these bees are consuming the pollen patty as well.
I am excited for the warm weather to get here for good. I need to do a little maintenance on the hives, swapping out some bad frames, and getting them all ready for a good year!