Bee-check

Our Boy is home for two weeks before school starts up again. It’s wonderful to have him here for all kinds of reasons, but the most important is how good he is at documenting the crazy stuff we get up to. Here we are opening the hives on a sunny Sunday afternoon; I’m opening the hive and R. is on smoker duty so we both have our hands full, and yet we still have photos!

Opening the hives

These hives started as nucs from Abnaki Aviary in Skowhegan this spring. We brought them home at the beginning a full month of heavy rain so they got off to a slow start. Both hives have now filled out the bottom super but the top box is still untouched. You can see the start of comb beginning to expand upward.

Open hive box

I’ve been loading them up with food in the form of dry sugar cake and commercial pollen patties. Both hives ate everything and one of them actually pushed out all the leftover waxed paper. Here I’m picking out some thoroughly cleaned refuse from the other hive.

leftovers

More food! August is traditionally a thin month for bees in Maine. Summer 2013 has been very wet and the goldenrod is coming along beautifully, but my new philosophy is to feed the colony no matter what the plants are doing. Pollen patty  on the left, sugar cake on the right, bees in the middle.

pollen patties and sugar cake

Next check up will be in late September when goldenrod and aster season closes out and the days are short. I hope to find the upper boxes filled out, the comb packed with honey and beebread for winter.

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