For feeding sugar syrup, all I have is quart jars. I end up refilling them a lot, which is a pain. I heard from another bee buddy about these feeder pails which hold 2 gallons. That would be great, so I went looking for something local so I don't have to pay shipping. I found at Lowes a 5 quart plastic paint bucket with a lid, so I bought some of them to try it out. Not quite 2 gallons, but better than 1 qt.! I made up some sugar syrup and drilled some small holes in the lid and I'm going to give them a go. Here's what I ended up with:
The blue ovals on the lids are where I drilled the holes (I like to mark with a marker where the holes are to make it easier to line up the holes on the hive).
Did a quick inspection to day of the home hives as well. In general I saw a lot of pollen coming in, so hopefully with this sugar syrup, the queens will do well.
The hive made quick progress at removing the newspaper between the supers. When I opened up the 2 supers, there was no sign that there ever was newspaper, except for the part outside the hive! The bees were nice and calm (except for 1 or 2 who always make a nuisance out of themselves every time I inspect this hive!).
Didn't see any new eggs or brood, but I didn't do a lot of looking. I suppose the queen was still getting used to the new digs, especially since I severely rearranged the frames when I combined the hive. I'm going to give them a couple more weeks and then check.
This hive still has the shallow honey super on it, and last inspection it wasn't hardly used. I planned on putting the sugar syrup over the super, and letting them fill the honey super with sugar syrup (to be eaten over the winter). Well, I took a look at the honey super and believe it or not, there was quite a bit of nectar in it! I decided not to add sugar to this hive yet, to see what they might do with any incoming nectar. Worse comes to worse, I'll add 2:1 later and they will finish off the super. But if I am lucky, maybe I'll get some honey. Hey, a guy can hope, can't he?!?
I found the queen in the middle super, along with some good brood patterns. I can't resist taking a picture of the queen when I find her:
So I did not add any sugar to this hive at this time.
Didn't look too deep in this hive. Saw some brood, but no queen. But I am not worried with this hive. I closed up the hive, and right before I was going to put on the feeder pail, I saw a line-up of bees scenting. I t was cute, so I took a picture:
It's a little hard to tell from the picture, but those bees are all in a line with their tails in the air, beating their wings.
By next week the bees should have taken in all of that sugar syrup. Next week I plan on adding a pollen patty to each hive (since I have some left over and need to use them this year). I still need to go to Sutton to check those hives - maybe next week.
Finally, it's been a while since I posted a video. Here's one of the bees outside the hive today in the early afternoon.