LIKE BEES TO HONEY

Distilled water, herbs, vinegar, honey concoction

Beekeeper D exclaims “drink up, bees!”

Justin attaches the feeder to the hive and the bees immediately go for the honey, herbal, vinegar concoction.

Calm Before the Storm

“Without husbandry, “soil science” too easily ignores the community of creatures that live in and from, that make and are made by, the soil. Similarly, “animal science” without husbandry forgets, almost as a requirement, the sympathy by which we recognize ourselves as fellow creatures of the animals.””
Wendell Berry

We had a brief respite between storms yesterday.  The sun came out for people and animals to enjoy.  But not for long.  Another substantial storm is supposed to dump another couple inches on us Wednesday and Thursday.

Since the bees aren’t able to fly in such inclement weather and with colder temperatures we are concerned over the health of the hive since we “robbed” it this year of 25 lbs of honey.  Beekeeper D, having nearly 30 years experience of raising bees, was careful to leave some honey behind for the broods.  But one never knows how bad or long a winter it will be.

So just to be on the safe side Beekeeper D and J whipped up and herbal, vinegar and honey concoction that Jordanne had read about in one of her holistic animal books.

This mixture not only supplements their diet but also keeps the bees healthy.  Or so it says.

Normally, Beekeeper D would, if the weather was bad, supplement the bees diet with honey or sugar water but nowadays we are moving towards a more healthy and holistic approach.    We want to keep this hive strong and free of disease as best we can with natural methods.  Would hate to find it filled with Varroa Mites or empty due to CCD.

In winter time it’s not advisable to open the hive because bees are conserving their heat and resources and disturbing them would do more harm than good.  So we just have to wait and hope the bees are doing well.   Beekeeper D check in on them in late Fall and everything seem to be OK.  We’ll do another hive assessment in Spring.

I bet you are wondering why to we now have the bees in typical Langstroth Hive rather that the Top Bar.   When we captured the feral swarm last spring we tried the top bar method for awhile but the bees kept making comb opposite the tbh frames.  That got messy and very destructive to the bee colony.   This summer we made the switch from TB to LH.   Why? After a couple tries of trying to train the bees to build their combs parallel instead of perpendicular we figured these bees weren’t trainable with the old queen.

We could keep trying but felt this would risk the strength and health of the hive. Beekeeper D figured was best to focusing on building a strong colony and then we can (with the Langstroth frames) in the spring go in and easily divide a new colony into the Top Bar Hives that we do have.

:: Field Hand Appreciation :: TF $50.  Your donations will help us purchase screening release documentaries for next year.  Thank you.

:: Resources ::

Feeding Syrup to Bees

Feeding Bees in Winter

Bee Feeding Recipes

Bee Wrangling

Bee Source

Comments(6)

  1. jengod says:

    Neat! Does the metal top help attract heat to keep the bees warm, or is that strictly for aesthetic reasons?

  2. jengod says:

    Neat! Does the metal top help attract heat to keep the bees warm, or is that strictly for aesthetic reasons?

  3. Stacy says:

    What, you don’t like having to break apart cross comb and clean out propolis every couple weeks? ;P One of the sites I’ve been reading highly recommends 1/4″ spaces between TBs until they start getting a good comb formed (because they apparently won’t build cross the gaps), and then adding 1/4″ spacers back in to fill the gaps once it’s established. Obviously, a bit more work on the hive construction, and having not done it myself, don’t know how much it would help. Ultimately, it may all come down to Her Majesty’s sense of aesthetic. 😉

    I’ve heard recommendations against entry feeders due to fears of robbing scenarios. Are you simply relying on the cold weather to prevent that or is it a risk outweighed by not wanting to open the hive to put in a top feeder?

  4. Stacy says:

    What, you don’t like having to break apart cross comb and clean out propolis every couple weeks? ;P One of the sites I’ve been reading highly recommends 1/4″ spaces between TBs until they start getting a good comb formed (because they apparently won’t build cross the gaps), and then adding 1/4″ spacers back in to fill the gaps once it’s established. Obviously, a bit more work on the hive construction, and having not done it myself, don’t know how much it would help. Ultimately, it may all come down to Her Majesty’s sense of aesthetic. 😉

    I’ve heard recommendations against entry feeders due to fears of robbing scenarios. Are you simply relying on the cold weather to prevent that or is it a risk outweighed by not wanting to open the hive to put in a top feeder?

  5. Melissa says:

    Thanks for the great post. I’m going to start keeping bees in the spring and I really want to raise the healthiest bees I can. I appreciate the lengths you go to when sharing information. I hope it all works out well with the bees. 🙂

    I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and blessed New Year.

  6. Melissa says:

    Thanks for the great post. I’m going to start keeping bees in the spring and I really want to raise the healthiest bees I can. I appreciate the lengths you go to when sharing information. I hope it all works out well with the bees. 🙂

    I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and blessed New Year.

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