Bee Update

It’s been quite a while since my last post, and only because I didn’t want to post about how worried I am about my bees, but today was a great day so I wanted to catch you all up on what’s been going on.

The last few weeks of monitoring the second box that I added back in June and not seeing much progress has been a little worrisome. Autumn is right around the corner and the temperature has already dropped a bit so that it’s pretty cool in the evenings. The last time I took a look in the hive was two weeks ago and there had been no progress on the pulling of the frames. They really had their work cut out for them in order to build all the comb on nearly all the frames in the second box, and then to start storing honey and capping their honey in all of those frames…I was getting pretty doubtful that they would be able to do it in time for winter, which would mean not enough food for them to survive.

Today we had Andrew’s parents over and showed them the hive. When we opened it up there was capped honey in the first two frames and looking down upon the other frames it looked like the little ladies had done a good job of pulling wax for their new comb on the rest. I’m very pleased with the progress, and it seems like my feeding them has helped significantly. I plan on continuing the simple syrup mix that I’ve been giving to them nearly everyday/every other day until my next inspection on Labor Day weekend. I really want to avoid feeding them for such long periods of time, but as I’m still learning about the impact of the drought we had here and what autumn blooms will bring for the nectar flow, I think I will keeping going for the next 10 days to see what they do.

I’ll be taking a bee class in mid-September to learn more about bee-friendly plants – can’t wait!!!

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6 thoughts on “Bee Update

  1. Its a shame you live so far away/in such a different climate. I have a book specifically about native, honey producing plants in the northwest, and several other books which cover the topic but are not specific to it.
    Somethings that are helpful and not area specific are lavender, sunflowers, raspberries (great in early summer and constantly covered with all kinds of bees), and oregano. I’ve gone through three types of oregano in my yard and the bees covered each of them. Oregano is blooming now too. Mints are also great, and those should be opening up any day here. Really, most kinds of common food-garden things are worked by bees. I don’t think they like pumpkins or squash or zucchini or things of that nature though. They do like our chives however.

    • yes! It is a shame we’re so far away, it’d be great to do tradesies with books. This year for my garden we planted lilac, sunflowers, lavender, 3 different thymes, strawberries, pumpkin, arugala and kale. Out of all of those things, my bees surprised me by going ape over the arugala flowers and the orange blossoms the pumpkins produced – but that’s it. Everything else attracted every other species of bee, it seemed, but not my honey bees, not even once did I see their interest. I think I will definitely try mint next year, one of my friends who lives a few neighborhoods over said they had huge success with their mint this year.

      • Oh, arugala is interesting. I might have to plant some just to have it in the garden. Most of the food items we grow we don’t really eat. We’ve just kind of let them do whatever they want and have lots to chose from if we want any. We do harvest the peas and beans, but the raspberries are only eaten straight off the vine.
        I’ve never seen my bees on my (albeit, dying) pumpkin. I’ll have to ask my neighbor if she’s noticed any on hers.
        Russian Sage is also a favorite of the bees in my yard. And rosemary too. Pretty much all of the herbs in my garden are covered in bees when they bloom really, lol.

      • We really only use the mint and rosemary at my house. We just take off a large branch or two and wrap it around whatever meat we’re roasting in the oven. The mint is great for a bit of refreshing cold tea (I know, I’m committing a deadly sin by drinking COLD tea). Just pick some leaves and throw them in your cup with your favorite tea and put some water in and you’re good to go! It’s too hot to drink proper tea when it’s 90 some degrees out.

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