Sunday, September 20, 2015

Bees need water, too.

I checked on the bees today. They're doing great. The honeycomb is getting heavier with nectar and honey, brood, too.

The entrance, just before inspection. Lots of bees, going and coming, heavy with pollen.

Looking down into the hive, you can see nectar glistening. A beekeeper at the fair told me the bees will let the nectar evaporate until it reaches 17% water content. Then they will cap it. That's when the nectar becomes honey.

This is the first time I have seen drone brood in my hive. It's kind of hard to see with bees everywhere and the camera focusing. The cells that are sticking out like tiny yellow hard-hats are drone cells. Drones are males. I think it is good that the bees are making drones, although I have seen people on YouTube killing drone cells to prevent swarming.

Here is the Queen. She is easy to spot with the white dot painted on her.

One of the frames was attached to the side of the hive. When I removed it, a tiny section of honeycomb broke off dripping honey. These two didn't waste any time cleaning up the mess.

You might notice the zip-lock bags in the bottom of the hive. They contain sugar water. I place them down there and then cut a small slit with my pocket knife. The sugar water comes out as the bees land on it. Eventually, they push out all of it. For me, it's like turning sugar into honey.

At this point, I wonder if it is really necessary to feed them. But, I do it anyway. Just a few weeks ago, the hive was light and dry where I hadn't been feeding them as often. Coincidentally, about that time, we sowed some grass seed back there and started watering every day. Ever since then, they have been putting on the weight. I think it has more to do with daily watering of the grass than it does the sugar water.

The videos above aren't working, so I put them all together on YouTube.

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