Bees on the rebound

I knew I had to check up on my bees, but I dawdled and dawdled all day. It seems like it’s never good news when I go out there, so I was dreading it.

I’ve never been so delighted to be wrong!

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so many bees you can’t see the comb

 

I didn’t have my camera with me when I was inspecting individual frames, but these bees are thriving. Nearly 7/10 frames in both boxes is just full of brood and larvae and eggs. This is fantastic, as it means the colony is booming and strong! These ladies might just survive! I don’t think I’ve ever had a colony this strong, and I’m feeling very optimistic.

All this brood, though, is not good in that they have no room left for honey. There were a couple – maybe four – empty frames in there that still had room to be filled in, but I only saw a few frames with capped honey, and not even fully filled at that. A big colony needs big food stores if they are going to make it through the winter; about 60-80 pounds of honey.

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when my camera decides to focus, it can actually take pretty good photos.

 

I put on a honey super so that they would at least have room to put the honey if they make it. I still have one or two supers with fully drawn comb from a colony that got robbed out a couple years ago, so that will save them a lot of energy (seven pounds sugar go to make 1 pound wax) and they can get right to work making honey instead of building out comb.

Since the nectar flow is over now,  there is not nearly enough forage for them and I’m going to have to feed the heck out of them all summer long. I sure hope Costco has stocked up on their 50# sacks of sugar.

I had really hoped that they’d have enough honey stores by now that I could maybe take a taste, a single frame or even just a scoopful… but they really, really don’t. And even if after I feed them they do build up enough stores before winter – well, you wouldn’t want to eat that honey because it would be made from sugar, and taste like it.

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I have very high hopes though; there’s plenty of time left in the summer and  as I understand it there will be a second, much shorter, nectar/pollen flow in Fall.

Oh, I’m so relieved.

 

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