Thursday, December 20, 2012

Just Add Sugar

The temperatures have been in the 60s for a while now and the bees are still flying.  The trouble is there's nothing for the bees to gather this time of year.  When it's cold, the bees cluster and they require much less food.  When it's warm, they're more active and they eat up their stores.  So, just as a precaution, I put a sheet of newspaper on the top of the frames, and poured sugar on the paper.  I misted the sugar with water and Honey B Healthy to help the sugar clump and to keep it from sliding down into the hive.  I placed a hive box around the sugar and the inner cover and telescoping top on top of the box.  This is called the mountain camp type of feeding.  Some call it emergency feeding.  But it seems to me that if they need it, it's there, and if they don't need it, I'll make it into syrup next spring.  I put sugar in both hives, so hopefully they'll all make it into next spring.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Year In Review

Some of the people in our beekeeping association are so talented!  At our 2012 Harvest Dinner, there was a compilation of the year in pictures made into a video presentation and showed to the members.  They have added it to the Cherokee Beekeeper's site.  Click Here if you want to see it.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Catching Up

Things are slowing down for the winter.  The feeders are off now and there's not much to do.  Hopefully there's enough food in the hives for the bees to survive until Spring.

Kelley and Brushy Mountain had free shipping after Thanksgiving so I ordered enough woodenware to make two more hives (two deeps and two mediums for each hive, all 8-frame).  When I get some time off, Dad and I will put that stuff together and paint it so that it'll be ready.

Since I started with a spit, and captured a swarm, I thought I'd try package bees.  I ordered two packages from Kelley to be delivered in April.  So, depending if one or two of the hives make it through the Winter, I'll have two, three or four hives going next year.  Hopefully, the honey production will match!

So for the next few months, it will just be a monitoring routine to ensure the bees make it.  I do have 30 frames of uncapped honey in the freezer I can thaw and add if they use up their stores.

But, if I have to start over with the two packages, I've learned a lot this year and hopefully I can add to that knowledge base with more experience in the years to come!