Sunday, August 10, 2008

Bees Starving!!

Just wanted to alert other beekeepers that I and another local beekeeper have had bees starving for lack of stores,.....yes, in the middle of summer!
A few weeks ago I noticed dead bees on the entrance of a nuc. When I checked them they had no honey in the frames and they were cannibalizing the brood. They were desperate! I immediately started feeding them sugar syrup, and things turned right around,...they're doing fine now. I checked my other hives & nucs and found some others that were out of stores, too.

Yesterday another local beekeeper called me saying they had a hive with many bees dying, and when I got over there it turned out they were starving, too.
It seems the ones most likely to be on the verge of starving are the hives I made up in the spring or later with frames of capped brood/honey/ pollen. The weather has been so rainy, and we're into the summer nectar dearth, so the bees with little stores have had to consume all they had just to survive, leaving them precariously low, or entirely out of stores.

So I just wanted to let other folks know, and you might want to check your hives and feed any that are light.
Hopefully the fall flows of goldenrod and bamboo (japanese knotweed) will be good.
Good luck!

1 comment:

CoyoteWoman said...

I opened up our hives recently, in-between downpours, and found that the honey stores in our two hives have not been increasing, but actually decreasing.

Additionally, I discovered MOLD on the inside edges of the top covers, and excess water pooled on the mite trays below. I also found a colony of ants living between the metal roof and the wood of one 'old' cover. I think the ants may also have been enjoying the honey stores as well.

I am thankful we did not extract the honey from the frames we brought in last month. We can give them back to the bees, just as soon as we get another sunny day.

Thanks for the post....

Visiting Plum Blossoms 5/08

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