Thursday, May 9, 2013

Keep Filling Your Frame Feeders & Insulation

Today I checked three colonies.  My top bar was ready for a new queen so I slow-released a new queen there (by pulling the cork out and replacing it with a marshmallow).  My two-queen hive became a one-queen last Sunday.  I wasn't sure there was still a queen in that hive but to my pleasant surprise this afternoon, I found an unmarked Carniolan queen.  She is so plump and beautiful!  Every frame was full of eggs so I added a second brood box below the existing brood box. My third hive just got a topping off of sugar water.  All three were almost empty so filling feeders will be very important over the next several weeks.

Feeding Your Bees: Now that the weather has warmed up, the bees are using a lot more sugar water so do not let the sugar syrup run out.  Those of you who have bare foundation should keep feeding sugar water to your bees until half or more of your frames are drawn-out (covered with wax honeycomb).  You can imagine how much harder it would be to draw-out the comb without the "easy" sugar water!  If the bees had to draw out the comb with only what they could forage it would be a summer of foraging just to build comb, leaving little supplies for feeding babies. 

Insulation: I hear a rumor that our weather is going to dip down again to around 20*.  It is supposed to rain on Sat. afternoon. I will keep my insulation the same as it's been the past three weeks until temperatures stay around 40* all night.


  1. We've been debating about taking out our insulation, but will now hold off for just a bit longer.

    Yesterday, when we were watching the ladies flying around the hive entrance, we noticed some had golden legs. They were also flying as if they were way over the legal limit... Pollen is out!!! Excited to do a hive check tomorrow!

  2. How exciting is that? Unless it drops off cold for more than a couple days, I won't be feeding any additional pollen patties until I leave town for ten days in July to go fishing in Homer and Kenai.