This was a terrible year. None of my bees had any honey to harvest, but they all had some honey. I misjudged the staying power of the hives and did not feed my bees as fall approached. We had a pretty decent nectar flow this fall and lots of goldenrod, but many of my hives absconded in August and early September, leaving me pretty bereft and feeling like a terrible beekeeper.
So I will do anything - compromise my values, etc - to keep the Owens bees alive. We are just short a gallon of putting five gallons of syrup on each of those two hives. We have fed them bee tea since mid October just after I picked them up.
We are using Rapid Feeders - bees rarely die in the RF. The only ones I have seen die are almost always the result of beekeeper error. As you pour syrup into the feeder, it also rises in the cone. As it rises in the cone, the bees move up to dry land. If you dump the syrup in, bees can drown in the inability to move quickly enough above the rising tide. So to avoid killing bees, we pour very, very slowly and watch to make sure the bees are in fact getting out of harm's way.
The bees have started buidling comb in the top of the inner cone in the RF. Jeff and I began to wonder if they had used up all their storage space in the deep box below. We decided that the next time we came to feed the bees, we would open the hive to see how much storage space they still had.