Thursday, February 7, 2008

Feed & Feed & Feed

I figure the wax and honey I saved from my last crush and strain wouldn’t last long. So yesterday I mixed up some 1:1 sugar/water to feed it to the bees today after work.

To make it, you bring 4 cups of water to a slight boil and then stir in 4 cups of sugar, keep boiling until all the sugar is dissolved. You then let it cool overnight before feeding it to the bees. A sample taste test will reveal a syrup tasting mixture. Very different taste as compared to the one produced by just adding sugar to a glass of water.

Today after work I removed the top, lifted the Plexiglas and smoked the feeder with a couple of puffs from my smoker. Within 30 seconds every bee in the top feeder compartment had moved back down into the hive. I quickly removed the Tupperware holding the wax, replaced the top feeder guard, and poured the approximate ¾ of a gallon of feed. Took the bees about two minutes to return and start feeding

This is the left over wax now free of honey.

Now I need to melt and filter it, and maybe use it to attach strips of foundation to the bars of my TBH. The wife wants me to try and make some candles, but my guess is that we would be lucky if there is enough for one.

The Azaleas began blooming 2 to 3 weeks ago, but they had been ignored by every single pollinator (feral bees, bumble bees, native bees) until today. I had noticed tons of activity in past years around them; I just never paid attention to when it began or what the bees collected. There are a few bumble bees and some of my bees buzzing the plants. They seem to be collecting nectar, but the activity has not peaked, not even close.

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