Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Update on the new bees

When I was down at the Grove on Monday I had a look inside the hive.  It was an atrocious day to do it - windy and raining horizontally, but I lit up the smoker and got into my bee suit - I look like a short fat alien, but it makes me feel safe.  Levered up the lid with my trusty hive tool and saw loads of bees, but all on one side, clinging to the frames they had come in on.  I had put new frames with lovely fresh foundation into the box, but they were studiously avoiding them in favour of building weird additional structures onto the old frames.  ( I only put 9 frames into what is a 10 frame box, so there is a bit of space.) There were too many bees to get a good look at what was going on - if it had been better weather they would have been out foraging - but I could see brood and larvae, so I assume the queen is alive and well.  However, I decided, given the paucity of flowering plants around, and my desire to keep these bees, that I would supplement- feed them.  I mixed up a sugar syrup of 2 cups of sugar to one cup of water and put it in a feeder (an inverted jam jar in a holder, with small holes punched in the lid.) It is my plan to do this until we get a decent flowering of something! We are going to the south coast for Easter, and plan to rob the hive down there.  With luck I can scrounge some honey from that hive!

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