Hive Update


Since the field day I have been over to check on what I am referring to as the "double hive", or the one we combined. I am calling it the double hive because in two weeks' time the bees have not chewed through the newspaper, so the two hives are operating separately, but one on top of the other. Since the top hive was the weak one, I tried to put sugar water on it. I did successfully put a bucket of sugar water on the hive, but I was not satisfied that they had enough empty comb to put it in if they stayed separate from the hive below. So, I tried to remove the bucket of sugar water a few days after placing it, so I could put a box of drawn comb on the hive. When I went to move it, the propolis stuck and the bucket opened and spilled sugar water down into the hive. Normally in late September that would be quite disastrous, but, with the mercury pushing 90 degrees, it turned out to be OK, no danger of chilling. So, I closed up the hive and went away, thinking how I hate sugar water!! I found a one gallon glass cookie jar with a screw on metal lid at home. I poked a few holes in the lid (some people at home were a bit aghast at this, but I figured the cookie jar only cost around $5 and a feeder from a bee supplier would be several times that). I filled it with sugar water. I had to wait two days because the weather got even hotter and I needed to go in the morning so I didn't melt into a little puddle in the bee yard. So, today I put the new glass feeder on the hive and put a spacer on the medium to fit it in. Now the double hive has four mediums on the bottom hive and three boxes on the top hive. The top box on the top hive has four or five frames of comb along with the sugar water. I have done all I can do for the moment. The rest is up to the bees. I can't feed the bottom hive, so I hope they can make the most of the available forage. The hot weather probably helps. It seems by putting them together it has stimulated them because there is a lot of activity on both hives. Since this multi-story condominium is so tall, I had to put a step stool behind the hive for this height-challenged beekeeper to access the hive. If you look closely at the picture you can see it.

I opened the strong hive a week after the field day and decided I should give them one more box of empty comb just so they could store as much as possible for winter. I put that on two days ago. I also put mouse guards on the two horizontal hives, which are both empty now. I made sure the mice were out, too!

So, on the October field day we will check the sugar water - which will be easy to do in a glass container - and refill if necessary. Then we will wrap both hives for the winter. We will also put blankets or burlap bags with wool in them in the top spacer. I am expecting it will not be 90 degrees by then!

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