Thursday, April 17, 2008

Denny's bees...

This spring weather is really warming up and of course the bees are building up fast now. I just finished going through all my hives, taking note which queens are doing best, and there are some that need new queens. I'm going to order some Carniolan queens from Koehnen & Sons, Calif.
I've had good luck with their queens in the past, and another beekeeper in the village has a very strong hive headed by a Koehnen Carniolan introduced into her hive last year. Here's a photo of it at the beginning of April.... right in the middle under the bees is a pollen patty I had given her... the bees all over it. I feed within an empty chamber.
Last year I had a bottom mounted Sundance Pollen trap on a hive and gathered 5 or 6 quarts of pollen, which I froze and used in my pollen patty mix this spring, and gave all the hives a series of pollen patties beginning around the first week of March. It really helps kick start the brood rearing, especially for those clusters that don't happen to be parked near any frames with pollen. It's also good to give them sugar syrup, 1:1 ration of sugar to water.
The pollen patty recipe I use is ... equal parts of feed grade Brewer's Yeast and Mann Lake "Bee Pro", ...then add to that between 15-20% bee pollen by weight, 1 tablespoon olive oil, add some honey from my bees, and enough 1:1 sugar syrup mixed in until the consistency is like peanut butter.  I paddle out fistful portions and squish between wax paper, ... here's a patty ...notice the bee pollen pellets within.

This supplemental spring feeding will help your bees build up for the early flows such as Black Locust which have that light colored wonderful, elegant honey which doesn't crystallize quickly.

Right now the Red Maples and Willow should be giving the bees some good pollen.
I hope your bees are all doing well in the warm spring weather.

Also, here's a great beekeeping forum that I've found to be a great resource...
More later..



WOWOTE said...

CoyoteWoman and Denny,
Thank you both so much for this post-- beautiful photos, pertinent remarks and so much helpful information for everyone, umm-hmmm, sweet and flowing as the nectar.

Bearakade Bud said...

Thanks for all the tips and pictures. Your advice on only feeding with pure cane sugar may be more important than I had thought. The hiving instructions with the new package specifies cane sugar also. I had always just used what ever white granulated we had in the kitchen.

Visiting Plum Blossoms 5/08

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