Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spring is a time of Hope...

Usually by this time of the year, the weather is well into spring. But we still have tons of snow on the ground. I think things are about 4 weeks behind weather-wise.

Last week the temperatures got high enough for the bees to fly. There was some good activity on the brown hive, but little on the green hive. Yesterday it got to the high 40's and the bees were flying out of the brown hive. I didn't want to dig into the hives, but needed to feed the bees. I decided to set up a couple of jars of sugar syrup on a cinder block and let the bees feed free. The bees found the syrup and they were feeding.

Today it got to the low 50's, and there were a lot of bees again on the brown hive. The green hive, not so much. There was also a lot of "bee poop" on the front of the hive:

This usually means the bees succumbed to an intestinal disease of some kind.

So I suited up and decided to check things out. I cracked open the green hive, expecting to see dead bees, but to my surprise, there were bees on the bars!!

There was only about 2 or 3 frames of bees, but I wasn't going to complain! I put a pollen patty on the bars, and added a couple of jars of syrup.

Then I checked the brown hive. Like I suspected, it was doing a lot better than the green hive. It also got a pollen patty and some sugar syrup:

I didn't take a picture of it, but I saw some bees with pollen on their legs. I don't know where they are getting it...

The pink hive was still dead. I broke it apart to clean it up. Here you can see the dead bees on the bottom board.

By the way, I got a good deal on pollen patties a month or so back. Here's what I am using:

So here are the hives today:

When the weather gets warmer, I'll go through the hives frame by frame. It was a tad too windy and chilly for my liking to do it today.

You'll notice there is no hive stand. It blew over when the storm took out the hives.

I decided to do something different for a stand. We went to Lowe's and I got some cinder blocks and landscaping timbers. I'm going to make a simple low shelf to set the hives on. The hive stand I used last year was a shade too high and unstable. I don't need it that high.

I haven't been out to Sutton for a while. I'm kind of scared what I'll find there. I know one hive is already dead - I have a package of bees ordered to replace it next month. If the other hive is dead, I'll plan on splitting from this package and making 2 hives.
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