Thursday, October 30, 2008

Feedin' and hopin'

Seems like I am doing OK at the present as a beekeeper, but not so well as a blogger.

In the last month we had a little run-in with the mosquito sprayers. I had just returned to the house with empty sugar water jars when I heard the plane fly directly over my house. I went out to the hives and added a little cover, but you could already taste the pesticide in the air. I left them alone until the next day and found piles of bees outside each hive :( The next day I went back out and the bees had cleaned up their dead and I put on full feeders.

Last weekend I went back in for a full inspection and things looked amazingly well. There was brood and honey in good quantities across the hives. Of course hive 4 was still smaller, I am not sure exactly what to do with these guys. I checked the syrup jars this afternoon and found that Hive 2 was empty while Hive 1 was full - no clue. Hive 3's jar had clogged to I unclogged it. Hive four had only taken about a third of their syrup. It is amazing how different they are.

That's all for now.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fall is here!

Well I am back from my trip, and there is definitely a cool down in progress.

I went into the hives to see how they were doing. Generally, hives 1-3 are in similar states. The top box has a little or no honey, the next box down has about 70% honey and brood begins in box two. I did not go any lower but assume box one has mostly pollen as it was a month ago. Hive 4 is still only in two boxes with mostly honey in the top box and the brood in the bottom.

So, I decided to go ahead and begin feeding these buggers to get them set up for the winter. I really do not have a good idea how much honey they need to get through the winter, but since there is room, I'll give them the chance to fill it up.

I got quart jars on two of the hives then ran into a snag on the other two. I had made inner covers for these hives, but had not included the normal lip. The resulting box was therefore not tall enough to cover the jar - I'll have to fix this tomorrow to get the other jars on (or maybe I'll just put on pint jars...).