Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hive Update

I went to a monthly beekeepers meeting on Saturday and have been in a stew ever since. The number of people reporting dead hives from this spring was quite high. It had been a while since I had checked the girls, so I've been worried.

I have spent a ton of time fretting about the girls starving and trying to make good bee candy. Bee candy is not made out of bees, but is a sugar/corn syrup mixture that you boil and stir like crazy to make in to a hard candy.

Well that is what is supposed to be anyway. Mine last two batches I just didn't agitate quite enough so it became an oozy mess at room temperature. Sigh.

Yesterday I decide to stop spending time fretting and spend that energy actually feeding the bees. It was a bit chilly to be mucking about in the hives too much, but I was so done worrying.

So finally here is the report:
The hives are FINE.

I did take a picture of some of the bees, but I realized that this time of year the hives look terrible. They so need to be painted and the winter crud scraped off. So I am not showing you my winter crud right now.

Ruby's hive is the only one that had eaten the sugar I put on in February, so they were the only ones who got sugar. Joy and Sun's girls have only eaten about 20% of the sugar. I gave all three hives a pollen patty. Pollen patties are just squished up pollen and contain a lot protein the bees use to feed babies. I don't normally give pollen, but after a look around the area this weekend, I found two, yes TWO skunk cabbage flowers and that was it. Normally at this time of year, I can't count the flowers. Pussy willows and maples are sporting swollen buds, so spring is coming.

Really. I promise.


  1. Michele, I'm so happy to hear that the girls are all doing well and that you can rest easy now. I also love the fact that you named your bees! Yesterday at the Y, a little boy brought over a book for me to read about a bear taking his son out to get honey. It was the perfect opportunity to educated them on honey bees and how they are different from hornets, yj, & wasps. I think you would've been proud!

  2. Good job, Michele! The bees say thanks too! People save what they love and they love what they know.

  3. I am so envious. I want bees. I had planned to get some (nervously) but then we lost the house to fire so we are now in an apartment. I love following you and what your bees are doing. When we get a house I hope that I will be educated enough to get a hive or three.

  4. I just went to look at Heifer International (what a great site) and saw that the beekeeping project is fully funded. They are not accepting more donations towards that at this time but there are still a number of agriculture projects in need of help.

  5. So glad the hives are fine! There was a special on PBS last night about CCD. The most amazing part was about an area in China where they've lost their bees and they have to hand pollinate all their pear blossoms.

  6. I'm so glad the hives are doing well!

    I just found your blog ... and I just signed up for a beekeeping class! I'll be back to check out all your posts. Thanks :-)


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