What a story to tell. We are having horrible weather with the rainy stuff, days of intermittent cloud and sun, but not very good weather for the bees.
I had a condition in one of my hives where probably half of the bees starved. I caught this colony in time to prevent total collapse. It is recovering, like there was no tomorrow. Lost lots and lots of young brood, this was evident infront of the colony and underneath on the screened bottomboard, which I have cleaned out a couple of times. But no more brood, nor dead bees seen. Yeah!!!!!
Today is Wednesday. On Monday, day before yesterday, I fed all the colonies sugar syrup (with the inner frame feeders, which hold one gallon of syrup) and gave them each a honking big pollen patty for safe measure.
My husband and I are going away to Toronto for 6 days and I wanted to ensure that they willl have lots of food while I am gone.
Yesterday, I took, what I thought would wind up being a quick peek, inside the colonies to see how they are managing with the sugar syrup, which was given the day before. What a shock!!!!!!
Two of the big colonies (which I had supered the same time as giving the syrup) had no syrup left. This means that within a 24 hour period they had consumed one entire gallon of syrup. Eeeks!!!!! All the other colonies have consumed about 1/3 to 1/2 gallon each. Something tells me that there is a worse dearth of nectar than I had ever imagined. One colony had almost finished its honking big pollen patty, and the others were well on their way.
When I think about the nature stuff, this does make sense, the bees have not had much chance to get out to help themselves with nourishment.
My bee flowers are coming on hard, I know that they are beginning to produce nectar, it is simply weather conditions.
Today, my agenda is to get out and feed again. My sister will accompany me and I willl teach her how to feed the bees, safely, so she does not get stung. Should she be stung, she has zero fear of bee stings, so if there are any stings, she revels in this thought of bee venon therapy
. She is my tough little sister of 44 years old, mother of 6 lovely children, whom are my pride and joy.
I felt a need to recount this experience of the amount of syrup the bees can consume. It is really quite staggaring when it is thought about.
I watched the bees yesterday, lots and lots. It was a beautiful and warm sunny day, the bees very busy, going out and doing their thing. I watched for any robbing situations that may have accounted for the enormous amount of syrup that the bees used up. There was zero robbing occurring. Robbing bees have a very distinguishable look. I know that look, I have seen the robbing bees, during my two years of beekeeping, and they are devious, smart and very different in their actions when they approach a hive.
I am pleased with how my package bees and nuc bees are building up. Very, very quickly.
I got my 4 packages of bees on April 28 (about) and the 4 nucs on May 4 (about).
My overwintered colony has gone nuts. I made a 2 frame nuc from it, using the queen from the overwintered colony, allowing the overwintered colony to raise their own queen.
This little nuc has built up so much now that it is occupying a second brood box. The overwintered colony has its third box and when I return from our trip to Toronto, it will receive a 4th box. This overwintered colony was the one that I babied through the early spring with the terrarium heater. It must be a fail proof plan. This colony (which I really never thought would have made it) had overwintered in a little cluster no bigger than a baseball. This overwintered colony has shocked me and I am grateful for the words of wisdom that came through the forum about overwintering this colony. I think that this queen was superceded last summer some time. The original queen was Carniolan, imported from Australia. She was very very dark. Her supercedure is still very dark, but not as dark as the original Carniolan. This sounds to me rather weird.
The original Carniolan queens offspring would have been dark, yes, of course, she was mated in Australia, (and they were indeed beautiful, dark bees). So if she was superceded, one would think that the new queen would have been as dark as her mother. Of course, the offspring of this new dsupercedure queen would more than likely have been a cross Carniolan/Italian. Unless this second queen was superceded as well. Then I would imagine this second superceded queen would have a lighter colour (being now a cross) and the lines would start to become lighter. Hmm.....have I got this right?
I would love to take a course in genetics, it is fascinating, and I just don't understand enough about it. Maybe that is another avenue I must travel down. I think I have strayed off topic, I can be rather long-winded, ya'll know that one. Have a wonderful day, beautiful life, and love this life you're livin'. Cindi
P.S. I will be on the forum when we are travelling. My husband is bringing a router to my brother-in-laws house so we can have our laptops. My neice is getting married and we are going to be in a hot, humid area, that will be around 33 celsius. Unimaginable!!!!!!