Wednesday, April 10

Sugar Syrup Feeding

If you investigate the beekeeper hobby, some folks will tell you, "get out while you still can" because you don't keep bees, "they keep you." We are learning this first hand. As mentioned, we didn't sleep so well the night after we installed the bees and last night was the same. In the early morning my handsome husband fixed three screws in the quart jar we were going to use as a feeder for sugar syrup. And tapped two tiny holes. We tested it and decided a third whole would be enough to keep the drip going.
We went out at 6:00 am. There was no activity. At 7:00 am we opened the hive. When I took the cover off I found many ants on the outside of the bars. I brushed them off and went about my business. The can feeder was still half full. The back of the hive was not occupied, so I stuck the jar feeder there. I think the feeders are supposed to go in the front, but there were too many bees on the first bar and the queen just a few behind with a cluster on her (see pic). And I know I am not supposed to disturb the bees much during the first week, so that is why I chose the back of the hive to place the syrup.
While I was arranging the feeders, my husband tried to photograph the back cluster. He wasn't suited up and moved a frame for a closer look and a few bees quickly buzzed out; startling him, he dropped the bar and ran. Not stings yet. 
I went out again at 8:00 am and saw more bees exiting than returning. By 9:00 am it was starting to sprinkle. I saw little activity and watched one bee do her orientation flight.

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