Lots Of Pollen

For no other reason than I love to look at the bees, I opened the hive today. Despite being fed three pints (or six cups) of sugar water in the last three days they didn’t seem to have too much in the way of honey stores. I said I was going to stop feeding them (because I thought they would have enough) but I’ve decided that clearly 6 sups isn’t that much, and am going to upgrade them to four cups a day instead of two. Hopefully that will do something to their minimal supply. They have more than enough pollen though. Look.

 

There was this much pollen on both sides of the frame, and about half as much on another. There were other pollen stores scattered all over the hive, on the edges of the frames.

I decided to use the smoker today, simply because the closer it gets to winter, the more agitated the bees become due to the instinct to protect their winter stores. It was surprising how well it worked.

 

Before smoke.

While smoking.

Once they smelled the smoke they all went deeper into the hive. The change was astounding. Despite the smoke though, the bees kept attacking my hand. I got at least 8 stingers in my right glove alone. Thankfully I was wearing a suit, because otherwise that would’ve been really painful.

I’m worried that they won’t expand into their full size in time. There was a full frame of new brood (both sides were full), but it seems like the queen only lays once every few days. All of the newer frames still haven’t been completely drawn out. You can clearly see in this picture how they’re drawing things out.

All of the newer frames are similar to this. They haven’t even touched the other hive body, despite having to walk through it to get to the top part of the hive. I was hoping that having to use it constantly would encourage them to build on it. They keep building burr comb on the top edges of the frames, in an attempt to glue them together.

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