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Hive update: our bees reject bee-o-pacs this time around

3rd September 2007

Hive update: our bees reject bee-o-pacs this time around

posted in Our Hives |

The girls do not like nor approve of the Bee-o-pac stuff in their honey supers. They have adamantly refused to do anything with them at all, except cementing the bits down with propolis. Sigh. So- no bee-o-pac goodness this year that we can distribute far and wide. Alas.

We’ll try it again next year, but before we do, I’m going to smear beeswax in every damn compartment. Bees are very motivated by scent, and this might make them realize that the bee-o-pacs are places where they could build comb and store honey. Maybe. We can hope!

Beekeeping is largely about outwitting bees.

On the plus side- we have 2 very full honey supers, and one that’s partial. We’re thinking, though, that we’re going to remove all the supers in the next day or so, try to do a serious hive check in each hive, and then encourage the girls to store up honey- and/or syrup, depending on the results of the inspection- for the winter. To that end, Justin got dressed up in full beekeeper regalia, and installed bee escapes under the supers in all 3 hives. These are cleverly designed (outwitting bees!) boards that allow bees to leave the supers, but (theoretically) not re-enter them. Tomorrow or the day after we’ll pull off the supers, and try to examine the main hive bodies in a way we haven’t for a couple of months.

Justin’s been working the hives without smoking them, and that has really pissed off the girls. Today we used smoke, and they were much less stroppy. So smoke it is!

Mary and Elizabeth have very full honey supers, and the few frames we examined in the main hive body look good. However, we’re concerned that they may not have the stores they need for overwintering. Susan hasn’t done much in her super, so that’s even more reason to take it away and maybe start feeding her again to set her up for the winter.

I really wish we’d been able to attend our bee class’ session on prepping for the winter, but family crises prevented it. And unfortunately, though Dan had said initially that he’d do make-ups if anyone had to miss- this does not appear to be true… although he did say we could come during store hours and he’d try to cover at least some of the info. I’m rather disappointed in this, to be honest. The class wasn’t cheap…

Anyway, I think we can do OK by the girls even without that. At this point encouraging them to start saving for the winter seems important.

-Amanda

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This entry was posted on Monday, September 3rd, 2007 at 8:37 pm and is filed under Our Hives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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