bee2

Probably the last Winter Feeding

It was 70° today and yesterday. The girls have been tumbling over each other getting in and out of the most restrictive entry. They even shoved the bar over so that they could get in and out one side of it, and they're all carrying pollen. There's silver maple here than blooms early, and I saw the aspens blooming as well, but they're not bee-friendly.

So I went in, today, opened up the hive, put more of the feeding patties on, as I have plenty of them and the girls were gobbling them up, using them as brood food. There's enough sugar and corn syrup in them for me to know that they're not going to starve. There are a lot of bees in the box, and I'm going to have to watch to make sure that they don't swarm. I didn't take apart all the frames today, simply because it was cloudy and there was a wind blowing, and my snow cover is a pain to take off from over the hive and it's supposed to snow tomorrow.

I know. Colorado weather.


Anyway... I also decided to take out the entrance restriction and let the girls clean out the bottom of the hive, as they have a huge pile of shaved wax built up behind it. And in the process of trying to get that out, I hefted the two brood boxes, and they're heavy. That means that they still have a ton of honey left for themselves! So I'm unlikely to feed them sugar syrup this spring. Just let them take care of themselves. I'll probably put the restriction back in at half length instead of the one-inch entrance before the snow tomorrow, but it was nice to give them a chance to clean things out.

They were very happy, and there are a lot of bees not just in there, but working hard to build up the colony to be ready for spring. I'm going to have to go in, some 60/70 degree day and really assess if there are drone cells and/or queen cells to really know if they're going to swarm, but I wasn't quite up to it today.

One really good thing, though, was that I had a bee venom shot last Monday, and it's two sting's worth of venom, and the area that got shot was only a little warm. No swelling, no massive itching, no long-term pain at all, especially compared to the ankle sting I'd had last summer. So the shots really are working well. I don't exactly want to test it with a live sting, but now I'm far more confident when I work the girls and there's so much less to be afraid of that it's amazing.

It looks like spring here too. The stinging nettles are up and looking healthy!

I'll admit that your version sounds like more fun. It's great to hear that the shots have worked so well. The ankle sting reaction was troubling.

Oh - there are also trilliums opening up in the woods here and the apple trees look like they're getting ready to bloom. I haven't seen any pollinators yet. I may need to resort to a paintbrush again this year.
Oooo... that sounds lovely! Nothing's blooming here, yet, which is why I was so set on determining how many stores they had. *laughs* Wow... a paintbrush! That would work!

I was talking with Corky, who keeps bees out there, and how unlike it is here... with all the damp there, the wood rots so quickly, and they have far more nosema/fungal problems than we ever could imagine, but they're pretty flabbergasted about us having to really worry about water supplies and how short our nectar season is compared to theirs.

*laughs* Stinging nettles. I do remember them with no fondness whatsoever. *laughs* They are a very sturdy plant!
It's lovely, and fascinating, to hear how well they're doing.

Also, that honey you sent is gorgeous. :)
*beams*

All the keepers here say that the second year is harder, since the mites get a good foothold, but these are Minnesota Hygienics, who are supposed to be better at cleaning themselves off.... so we'll see.

Very happy you're enjoying the honey!! Regular garden blooms are tasty, too...