Thursday, March 28, 2013


The hives are all empty now.  I thought I was doing ok a couple of weeks ago.  The best I can tell, the hives were weak and got robbed.  I think I'll refrain from open feeders anymore.  Some of the comb is ripped looking.  Also, we had warm then cold spells, which couldn't have helped.  I put robber screens on the hives, but all I think that accomplished was keeping out robbers, and trapping a few robbers inside.  There is honey and pollen inside the hives.

I have two packages coming from Walter T. Kelley, and two nucs coming from Holcomb's Garden Supply in Chattanooga, so I'll have bees next month.  At least they'll all have nice furnished homes to live in, so hopefully they'll build up quickly.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Hive Condition Uncertain

Dad and I went into the hives yesterday for the first inspection of the year.  Up until now, there has been activity in and out of each hive.  The 10-frame had made it through it's second winter and was started from a split.  The 8-frame was the swarm I captured last fall.

There were some bees in each hive, but I didn't see any brood, eggs, or queens.  Some of the wax was torn, so I suspect some robbing had been going on.  There was still capped and uncapped honey and pollen in each hive.  The weather has been cold then warm then cold then warm, so maybe this has thrown the bees off.  I reversed the boxes because the top box had the most bees in it, and put them back together.  I put a robbing screen on the front of each hive.  I plan to go back into the hives next Friday to see if they're better or worse.  They may both be deadouts full of robbers.  They may be ok.  Hopefully next week I can make a determination.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Community Feeder

I got the community feeder assembled that I ordered from Walter T. Kelley.  Dad painted it for me.  The bees were thick under the two little entrance feeders that I had set out, so they should really love this.  They had emptied two quart jars in a couple of days, so this should last a week (maybe).


Also, the 10-frame hive didn't have much activity at the entrance, so I popped the top and peeped in.  There are plenty of bees and they're in the top frames, so this upcoming weekend hopefully I can get into the hives, check for brood, and swap the boxes to put the bees on the bottom.

I didn't look into the 8-frame hive.  There were bees coming and going there and lots of activity, so I'm sure they'll be ok until this upcoming weekend.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Time to mix up some syrup!

But don't do it this way!  I have a dedicated pot that I mix my syrup in. I poured in two gallons of water and started heating it up. Then I started pouring in sugar and started mixing. Well, I had three bags of sugar in and the water level was kind of high. I got half the fourth bag in and the water was up to the rim. Ut oh.   Luckily my wife was in the den watching TV. I got a measuring cup and a gallon jug and a funnel and started carefully dipping out of the pot into the jug. I got enough out to get the remaining sugar in the pot and mix it up. I topped off the jug with the mixture in the pot. I guess the ratio is kind of close, and I'll bet the bees won't care all that much. I will fill up the other two jugs tomorrow when it's all cooled. I hope I got all the sticky stuff wiped up off the stove!
From now on - ONE GALLON AT A TIME IN THE POT!!!!!