Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fall Hive Visit

We were really blessed today with awesome weather. The whole long weekend--it's the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend--will be great weather. Temperatures from 19 to 22 Celsius.

At a glance you could tell the bees were pretty happy about it too. By 3:00 p.m. they were all busy flying, coming and going on their foraging trips.

I checked the hive top feeders. I'm giving them a strong mixture of sugar syrup right now, hoping they'll fill their combs up. I'd rather have them have too much honey than not enough.
Winter is only a few months away. It's hard to imagine winter after the exceptional summer we've had, combined with today's great weather.

Hive #1 with my specially bred hygienic queen always amazes me. They eat all the AFB medication. They eat all their Fumagilin B sugar water. They clean up everything that's put in the hive right away.
And these well behaved bees eat up all their sugar water. They're very progressive bees and great producers too.

Hive #2 I'm concerned about because of excessively high mite counts. I blame myself in part because without a queen excluder in place, the queen had laid some drone eggs in a foundationless frame I'd given them. It was meant for comb honey. I probably should have cut the drones out. Maybe that helped increase mite counts.

I had done an experimentation by not using an excluder, based on many comments from beekeepers that don't use them. My final conclusion: Next year I'll use them.
Hive #2 has been slow to eat their sugar syrup baggies, their AFB medication, etc. Now this hive has always done things a little differently than the booming Hive #1. But Hive #2 produced just as much honey as Hive #1--they just do it differently, slower. While Hive #1 had tons of bees up in the feeder and at the top of the hive, Hive #2 didn't appear so busy until the inner cover was removed. They were there all right.
The two Nuc hives are doing well and they've got lots of bees
They aren't taking back the syrup too much but I believe it's because they've got enough workers that they're bringing in nectar from the fields.

Our blooms right now are: Asters, Chrysanthemums, Golden Rod, and Sedums. Those are the main ones. The area the hives are in is very blessed with many wild flowers.

I got stung too. After finishing and doing several impromptu group education sessions (people coming by the purchase apples from the orchard come by to ask about the bees). But what stung me was a small yellow jacket. Figures.
I found my wrist where I was stung was swelling. I really find ice helps to take down the swelling as well as pain or irritation.
It was interesting to see how a small bit of water collected from rain on a container lid is used by the bees as a source of water. Why not? It's not far to fly--about two feet from the hive.
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