I suppose I should backtrack a bit and explain the unusual title of this post. This morning, I was thinking of that scene from the movie Elf in which Buddy grabs a bottle of hooch from a coworker, thinking it's full of maple syrup and dumps it in his coffee, exclaiming, "I love syrup! Oh, I love it!" Some unprofessional behavior ensues. Well, I have Buddy bees. They love syrup, but it makes them lose all dignity.
When I have open fed in the past, it's led to widespread fighting at the feeders and casualties on all sides. (Plus, it seems more costly since I end up feeding every bee & wasp in a 3-mile radius.) Feeding inside the hive, though, generally seems to encourage robbing.
|LOL! Labeling bottles of syrup in the fridge so that nobody pours it in their coffee.|
When I made up the first batch of syrup last week, I noticed that Peach must have already been the victim of a theft since there were a bunch of ragged cells in the hive. It could also have been that she had simply uncapped the honey I'd given her previously, but my money is on robbing since waxy flakes were also present at the entrance and on top of some bars.
|Ragged comb is a tell-tale sign of robbing|
Fortunately, we've had a number of cloudy/rainy days since then, and I've been trying to time feedings to coincide with those days since the bees are less inclined to go outdoors.
I should note that I haven't been feeding all of the hives:
- Elsa had plenty of nectar the last time I checked, so I haven't fed her, though I should check again soon. Waiting for a warm day.
- I also haven't fed Persephone, who is kind of nasty. So if she doesn't make it, I won't be too chuffed.
- Hippolyte isn't interested in the syrup I've been giving her, so I've stopped feeding her.
"100. I used 50 lbs in two days last week."
"Ok. That's a lot of cookies..."
During this exchange, a woman was passing by. Her head whipped around, eyes large with surprise, mouth agape in shock and delight. I didn't bother correcting her. The mystery was much more fun.