Sunday, September 20, 2015

Feeling Wishy Washy

Sorry for the lack of photos. I wanted to take a peek at The Beests, so I was wearing gloves today and couldn't take photos.

Anyway, after seeing all of Austeja's empty combs last week, I had decided to let her just ride it out and not feed. If she made it through winter, fine. If not, that was ok, too. It was going to be a case of tough love.

However, this morning, I relented because on the way to church, I could see that the Japanese knotweed was just about done, and the goldenrod was fading, too. Maybe I was being too hard. They had been good bees. Maybe some help would be a good thing. So I took some syrup out to the hive this afternoon, and I was surprised to find that they were starting to fill the combs up with nectar again. They weren't anywhere close to being full, but all of the combs had some nectar again.

So I've reconsidered again. After all, bees have been doing their thing from time immemorial and getting on just fine without my help. Plus, if they can actually fill the combs with honey, I don't want to taint the honey with syrup. A glance at the entrance showed lots of pollen and nectar coming in. The forecast shows decent weather for awhile, too, so maybe they have some time. I flip flopped again.

The syrup went into Buttercup who got a late start and had a run of bad luck (queen lost on mating flight, bear...). She was busy building new comb when I opened her, and the syrup should help her put on some weight.

While outside, I couldn't help taking a look at the back of the other hives. None of them have any fully capped bars yet. Some of them were about 50% capped, so I'll just have to keep waiting impatiently for the bees to finish their work.


  1. Every trip to the hive is an adventure. ;-) I think you made a good decision and you still have a bit of time for some emergency feeding if you find you need to. I hope Buttercup pulls through - I really like that hive motif! It will be interesting to see whether the Beests survive the winter - were they still mean this time?

    1. You are soooo right, Don! Every trip to the hives is an adventure for sure! I hope Buttercup makes it, too. I think she's got a great queen and awesome bees. They're still building comb and trying to build out even though the flow is slowing down a bit.

      The Beests were HORRIBLE yesterday. You know that banana laffy taffy smell they make when they're ticked off? Ugh, I was choking on that odor. Expecting the worst, I was wearing a jacket and gloves, and they were all over the hood and stinging the gloves. They're the pits to work with, and if Persephone makes it, she will definitely get a new queen. I'm on the fence about Hippolyte, though, because she makes soooo muuuuuch honey! She's out to 25 or 26 full bars of honey and is still building more honey combs!

  2. I have a weak hive that I've started feeding. By the way, I found the Queen in Bertha. Thanks for the encouragement you gave me in earlier post. :-)

    1. Hooray! So happy for you! It's always exciting to get a glimpse of HRH! BTW, it does get easier to find her. My first year, I only found her once. My second year, I think I saw her a handful of times (and I had 5 hives!) If I'm looking, I almost always find her now.


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