November Bees and Feeding 2017
It's a misty November day. Yesterday was warm and sunny, so we went to several locations to continue winter preparations. I've been happy to see that where bees received feed this fall, there have not been a significant number of division board feeders with dead bees in them. Weak bees can't take the cool syrup and therefore drown at higher rates despite the ridges on the side of the feeder to provide footing for them. Strong bees coming from the warmth of strong clusters, on the other hand, store fall syrup safe-and-sound without falling victim to the wet stickiness. The syrup that goes into these boxes is strictly for winter/early spring consumption in the hive, so there's no risk of it mixing into the surplus boxes that collect our honey during the production season. Here's one of the locations that did quite well with a honey crop and hasn't needed too much fall supplement. Still, it's good to be sure that they have plenty to make it through until March or April, so we provided a little more sustenance for their brood boxes yesterday. Here is my lady feeding away! It does seem that a box in the foreground is held together with duct tape? Hmm, a few more months of use, I suppose, before replacement during the splitting season. The most important conclusion from my perspective is the great satisfaction of strong populations at this point in the year, especially since the fall has proven substantially cooler than the last two autumn seasons. Hopefully I will open this 4-pack next spring and find them in similarly good condition and not devoid of groceries! Cartons will go on the hives during the next two weeks, and then it will be time to celebrate the holidays and concentrate on our own warmth!