This month in the Hive
Continuing from June, the weather has become significantly colder. This means the bees will have considerably less opportunity to emerge from the hive to forage. As a consequence they will have consumed an ever increasing amount of those frames of honey you left with them as winter stores!!!
i) Check your hives from the outside.
Gently lift your hive from the rear to assess any change in weight every couple of weeks. If you think from the remaining weight that it is necessary to use supplementary feeding, using a sugar water syrup mixture is one of the most convenient methods. This can be done as follows:
– Obtain 2 cups of white table sugar and 1cup of water.
– Bring water gently to the boil, and remove from stove.
– Pour in the sugar and stir until dissolved. Do not boil the two together as the sugar may caramelise and become indigestible / toxic for the bees.
– Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature.
You can then feed this to a hive by:
– Placing the syrup in a freezer bag. Tie it at the neck with a rubber band.
– Using a very small nail, punch 6 or 8 holes into the top of the bag above the syrup level.
– The bees will suck the syrup from the holes. Never put the holes underneath the bag as the syrup may leak out faster than the bees can use it.
– Briefly remove the lid of the hive and place the bag on the top bars of the frames.
– Replace the lid.
Alternatively the sugar – syrup mix can be placed on a shallow tray and put under the hive lid. However doing this requires some floating objects in the syrup (corks, polystyrene.) the bees can land on to access it. Otherwise they will drown!
Continue to assess the hive usage of any sugar-syrup mixture you may provide.
ii) Prepare boxes and frames for the season ahead.
iii) Order any Queen Bees you may want for the 2015 / 2016 season.
iv) Continue your beekeeping research
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