These were all taken today. Despite the cold wind that’s been blowing all day the bees came out in small numbers to gather nectar and water from the occasional tenis ball. At the old house, the honey bees from the woods would come drink water from the nerf ball that was occasionally left in the bird bath.
I noticed last year that the Grape Hyacnth were something the neigborhood bees liked. Which is a good thing because they make up about 60% of the bulbs in the yard.
It was warmer today so I fed the bees another 4 cups of sugar water. This time it was closer to a 3:1 ratio (sugar: water) than last times 2:1. The bees have definitely started building up their population. They were not happy to have me back in the hive so soon. Since it was a little warmer I decided to do a bit of looking around. I didn’t look through everything, but as far as I can tell, it looks like there were down to less than half a frame of honey stores. They have about half a frame (by half a frame I mean one full side of a frame) of freshly laid eggs though! I didn’t see the queen, but the eggs are a clear indication that she’s alive. Yay! I’m so close to being an official beekeeper. You’re technically not a beekeeper until the bees make it through an entire winter. I’m so close! And with about 4 frames of new food in their hive, the bee population should be exploding shortly. I have a few pictures but I can’t get to them right now. I’ll post them tomorrow.
Here are those pictures I promised.
They were clearly not happy about having their home tipped open. Look at how many there are though! My mom was trying to talk to me and I was like, I don’t know what you’re saying. You couldn’t hear anything they were so loud. It was awesome. They were all over me too. And it kind of freaked me out a little bit because randomly it’d feel like someone was poking me with their finger because the bees were head butting me. The good news is that in about two weeks (according to last year’s pictures) the cherry blossoms should be in bloom. Which means food for the bees and that I can add the second box on. I’m so excited for that!
It was slightly windy when I got home today, but it was in the LOW 50’s and not raining, so I figured it’d be good to open up the hive today. thinking it would just be a quick thing I wouldn’t need to worry too badly about, I didn’t put on my boots when I put my suit on. I made some sugar water, opened the hive up, and took an empty frame farthest from where I thought the brood nest was. The good news is that there’s a lot more bees than the last time I opened them up. They had very little food left though. I filled one frame with a pint, and then decided to go in and get another. I tried to work as fast as possible so not that much heat was lost from the hive. While I was working though I felt something crawling up my leg. Two somethings actually. One made it all the way to my knee before I was able to kill it. No sting either today. Even though I didn’t even think about the number of bees I would have on me and just walked right inside after having been covered in them. I made it to my room and put on a boot before I heard one of them fly off of me. I ran back outside and found about half a dozen on my back. Rookie mistake…
I got all of them off of me, went back in and put on my other boot, and made a second pint of 2:1 sugar water. Unfortunately I felt like I had bugs crawling all over me, so I was a little paranoid. Bees freak me out. Have I mentioned that before? I’m slightly terrified of them. But I love them so it’s ok. I went back out and filled a second frame. They’d started nibbling the wax off of some of the comb on that one. Glad I could offer some food to stimulate wax production.
Despite the cold weather the bees were active after that and some tried to fly off in search of more food. You can tell all the bees are new though because there was a lot of clinging to one another and not that much flying around. It started raining shortly after, so I’m glad I didn’t wait to think about feeding them and just did it. I think it’ll be a big help for them. Maybe soon if the weather gets better I can add the second box on! My mom already has honey orders coming in from work.
It’s raining pretty good right now. blech. I want some sun.