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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a!
Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Feeding the Bees


Early this morning the bees were up - they looked like they were doing orientation flying. This is a warmer morning than we've been having and that temperature rise may explain this more-summer-than-fall behavior.

I had a break in the day this afternoon and went home to feed the bees since I was in the mountains this weekend and missed my inspection.

Last Sunday when I did a talk at the Atlanta History Center, I was unloading my supplies when the rolling cart onto which I was putting my hive, honey jars, etc. tipped over onto the cobblestone drive. Everything crashed onto the ground. The honey jars remained intact (amazing!) and the hive I borrowed from a friend sustained a dent, but all looked OK for my talk.

When I began my talk I picked up the frame of honey I had brought to discover that it had detached from the bottom of the frame in the fall onto the cobblestones. It also was leaking honey. I had a piece of waxed paper where it could sit during my talk and demonstration, but at the end of the day, with kids touching it, etc., it was not good for much.

I was saving this frame of honey to feed the bees in the winter. However, we are having the worst drought in at least 25 years in Georgia and my bees are eating their winter supplies. I wrote on Beemaster, and the repliers suggested that I could feed the honey to the bees just like sugar syrup.

Today at my break, I filled two Ziploc bags with the honey and put each bag on top of the frames in each of my two hives. I wanted to put a bag in each hive to discourage robbing if one had extra food and the other didn't. I cut a slit in each bag about 3 - 4 inches long and left it for the bees. I hope they love the fruits of their labors as much as I do!

Also in the drought, their water source had completely dried up over the weekend. I refilled it and left to go back to work, satisfied that at least for today, I had been a good beekeeper.
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3 comments:

  1. Linda,
    Another very informative read for me. No wonder your a teacher!
    I have been getting all together here in NY for the spring and I'm learning much. Keep on Blogging!

    Jamie

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  2. Anonymous9:58 PM

    I also live in an area affected by the drought. I think my bees have also been more active because of the warmer weather; thus consuming more of their winter supplies. Did the Beemaster say how much to feed or when to stop feeding the bees? I don't want to feed so much that I cause a build up in the hive.

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  3. There are so many schools of thought on feeding the bees. Bob Binnie in north Georgia says to feed about 2 gallons of syrup per hive as we approach winter (I think that's the number). I know they need a full super above the deep and that is what I am aiming for with my hives. I had a hive starve last winter and don't want that to happen again, so if they get low on stores as the winter goes on, I plan to put my quart jar with syrup or honey in it over the hole in the inner cover.

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