Monday, June 27, 2011

Bees versus Dogs

This isn't some sad story of a dog that got stung by a bunch of bees.  And this isn't a horror story of a pack of dogs digging into and destroying a bunch of bee hives.  No, this is a story about a beekeeper that is lucky he is raising bees instead of dogs.

The reason I say that is because I went to inspect my bee hives Sunday afternoon, and the hive top feeders on all three of them were empty!  I don't know how long they were empty, it could have been most of the week, but they were empty on Sunday when I checked.  I had intended to check on Wednesday, and even had the sugar water made up and ready to go, but I never got to them as I got busy with everything else.  Then Thursday and Friday passed.  Saturday came and went, and then it was finally Sunday, and it needed to get done.

That boils down to losing precious time for the bees to be drawing out comb for their hives.  Time lost, comb lost, possibly the fate of the hive over the winter months.  This may seem dramatic, but I feel that I have let my bees down to some extent.

My two original hives are doing great and filling out the frames on their second deep hive body.  The third hive at Possum's garden is doing really good and will be ready for another hive body any day.  I want to make sure they are all ready and able to make it through the winter.

So Sunday afternoon I made a trip to Wal-Mart (I really hate that place, but it is the best place to find 25 pound bags of sugar.  Maybe I should check Costco.) and picked up three 25 pound bags of sugar so I won't have any excuses to not make the sugar water.  Then when I got home, I started up a batch, and made three batches, each about two gallons.  This way, each hive top feeder will get a full two gallon dose and will definitely be able to make it through a week before I can get back to them.

The hive at Possum's garden will get the second hive body before I fill up the hive top feeder, since it is difficult to take off the feeder when it is full of sugar water.  But then the hives should be good for a solid week before I can get back to them and do a proper inspection.

I'm just glad that I am raising bees that can forage and fend for themselves if need be, because if I was raising dogs, they would have either starved to death or run away to find an owner that will take care of them.  Here is my commitment to take better care of my bees from here on out.

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