Wednesday, February 25, 2009
lots of activity with the yellow hive. good news. the pink one did have a few flying in and out, so i will check again a bit later, when even warmer this afternoon. they are really cleaning up the frames from the dead out hive i had sat out for them! that pic with bees all over it is that frame i am talking about.
hmmm not overly impressed with the bee candy either. still alot of drippage down to the bottom sheets i inserted on top of the screened bottom boards. i can definetly recommend just not bothering with supplemental winter feedings except in emergency (your bees are very light on their own stored honey). i am posting a pic of the type of poster board i found at our dollar tree store that i just cut in two, trimmed up and slid into the hives. you can see the before of how they look and then the after, of those i took out today and replaced with clean. there is some darker streaks which is the sticky candy spillage. when i made the candy i only used two with the hives and have kept the third out in the kitchen so i could see how it did over time. i had noticed that there was a bit of pooled syrup at the sides of it recently, and since yesterday was in the 40's i went and pulled mine out a bit to check them. noticed they were pretty sticky so figured the ones in the hives had done the same as the ones in the house. so this morning, cut new posterboards and replaced them. it is suppose to be warm enough today the bees should fly. when i changed out the yellow hives posterboard a guard bee did come out, so hopefully all is well there. nobody from the pink hive came out, so of course, i am on pins and needles hoping that the candy didn't melt directly on the cluster and kill them by gluing them to each other! hopefully i am just being my usual worry wort self. will keep you posted! big morning hugs to all who visit comfrey cottages!
Thursday, February 19, 2009
february 7th :well we finally had a brief lull in the weather two weeks ago so my brother came over to help me check my hives. i suspected the white hive had died out and it had! very sad, but i wasn't terribly surprized. the weather that had been to -45 degrees F windchill of earlier weeks was bound to be too much for any small hive cluster. luckily, the pink and yellow hive seemed quite strong. i took one of the hive bodies from the white dead out hive and just put it up for when my new bees i ordered arrived. i will give them some of the frames of honey to get them off to a strong start. this particular box was not where the dead bee cluster was, and also, was not the box the bees had been eating on, so i had 10 full frames of honey in it! my hubby thought we should harvest that honey for ourselves, i still might do a couple of frames for us, but the others will be for the new bees i ordered. the other hive body, the one the cluster was on, and the frames they had been feeding from, i just set them out for the other two hives to rob the honey from and clean off. in order to keep other critters out of them i put them into my husbands little pigeon coop he has for isolating any sickly ones, as it was empty at the time. also got rid of the top feeders. i just don't like them. when the weather warms any it causes the syrup to drip more and is messy and i still am scared the bees might get drowned by them. i made the bee candy that i posted about in january, and gave each hive some (in the same place the top feeder bucket was). actually, i probably shouldn't even have bothered as both hives have plenty of honey frames left. i was just so curious about making that candy i had to give it a try! the directions have to be followed closely for it to set up properly and so not to have the same problem you would have with just using the top feeding and syrup. probably going to just remove the candy the next warm day, if after a quick check there still seems to be plenty of honey for their use and save the candy for an emergency kind of thing, if their stores seem low. while we had the hives apart checking, i replace the wooden bottom boards with screened bottom boards with a piece of laminated poster board on top of the screen. it can easily be pulled out to keep clean, while still blocking any direct drafts into the hive. i had bought these screened boards late last fall and just hadn't had a chance to put them on yet. they are suppose to be very good for the hygiene of the hive and for mite control also. seems when the bees groom the mites off if you have a regular wood bottom board, the mites just crawl back up to get on a bee, whereas with a screened one, they can fall on through to the ground where they die. was worried about drafts though, as still freezing at nite and lots of stiff winds, so improvised with the laminated poster board, cut to size of screen. just hoping that when i next check them that the bees are doing well and that they weren't too cold with the new screens! sigh! i am such a worry wort but i feel such a responsibility for these poor creatures at my mercy of my inexperience! will keep you posted next time warm day we have!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
angela, at tea with friends asked us if we collected hankies. i do snatch up any cheap ones i find with pretty floral patterns, but keep a close eye out for any honey/bee/bear or kitty ones i see. here is one of my favorites. i would love to frame it but can't find a square frame! any ideas?