Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pack it up, girls!

We've had a few weeks of really fall weather now, but today was amazing - a true "Indian Summer" day. The temps were in the high 70's, so it's time to check the bees. I had wanted to see if the pink hive was going to finish off the honey, but it was not meant to be. So I removed the queen excluder, whipped up a batch of 2:1 sugar syrup (from 20 lbs of sugar), and prepared to feed.

Brown Hive

A few weeks ago I put a pollen patty on this hive, and today when I checked, the patty was just about gone. So I can remove the shim I put in to leave space for the pollen patty.

One thing I noticed when I lifted the inner cover was that there were a ton of bees clinging to the underside of the inner cover! Here's a picture:

They weren't agitated or anything, just hanging out. The only thing I can figure was that there was extra space under the cover (from the shim for the pollen patty) and they were just resting.

Green Hive

The green hive also got a pollen patty last time, but they hadn't eaten it all. Here's what was left (which is most of it):

So I left it on, and left the shim on as well.

Pink Hive

Nothing remarkable to report on the pink hive. It is still the strongest (based on the number of bees I see coming and going) of the three hives.

So I put the feed on all three hives. It is 2:1 sugar syrup, which should encourage them to take it and store it away for the winter. I also added a bit of my "secret ingredient" (which is a little lemongrass and spearmint oil) as a stimulant.

Like I said, the bees were very busy due to the nice temperatures. They were actually finding some pollen to bring in!

And I made a video so you can see how fast they are coming and going:

I guess bees don't let any opportunity to gather more and prepare for winter go to waste!

As far as preparations for winter go, I have very little left to do. I need to add the top and bottom pieces of insulation, and the entrance mouse guards (don't want any visitors!). I don't wrap the hives for the winter, or do any other preparations. Hopefully they will come through OK!

Here are the three backyard hives with the extra supers (covering the feed buckets):

1 comment:

  1. Your bees look like they are settling down quite nicely for a winters nap. Who wouldn't with the lemongrass and spearmint thrown in!!So christmasey


Blog Widget by LinkWithin