Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Quick Update on the New Bees

Everything seems to be settling down to work as usual. A lot of pollen carriers coming home loaded out.

I took Denny's advice and added the second brood box of mostly new foundation frames to give them something to work with. That has solved the wild comb building in the empty feeding chamber. I peeked in today to check if they needed any more syrup. Seems they are not taking as much as last week. They are only taking about half of a pint every couple of days.

When is it OK to pull the feeder and let them fend for themselves? Is that the time to put on a honey super with the excluder? It seems that there must be a tipping point from needing food to storing food. That point eludes me.

We could not ask for better weather to get the new hive started. I feel good about the prospects. Our apples are just starting to show some pink up here. No dandelions yet though.



WOWOTE said...

Good goin', Bud. You deserve a lot of credit for being so persistent all these years. A friend of the honeybee is a friend of the people. I hope you get some good answers to your questions.

CoyoteWoman said...
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CoyoteWoman said...

Sorry, Bud, I accidently deleted my comment trying to make a correction. Here it is again.... with my correction of " 2 Quarts per week".

Yes, the girls are really 'haulin' pollen". I've noticed the color of the pollen has changed too, from a creamy white a week or two ago, to bight yellow now.

On the feeding question: Today we replaced an empty bucket of 1 quart 'sweet tea' - the third since we began feeding. We give the girls 2 Quarts per week.

Ours hive is not new and we have probably a couple of thousand bees that came through the winter with a small amount of honey stores left.

If it we me, Bud, I would keep feeding them up until you see they are loading up a few frames with honey. Sometimes I just keep offering until the dandelions are out.

John and I were so amazed at how gentle and easy-going the girls were, even with all the wind, as we worked with them. Must be all that good Chamomile sweet tea, and of course all that beautiful sunshine.

Hope this has been helpful,


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Visiting Plum Blossoms 5/08

Visiting Plum Blossoms 5/08
Photo: Coyotewoman, Newfane Hill, VT