Friday, May 16, 2008

Sugar Water For The Bees

I've had my bees for just a few days. I went to Trees N' Bees in Auburn to get some supplies, and they recommended medicating this first gallon of sugar water.

I'm sure that there are enough flowers for the girls to survive, but giving them some sugar water just makes it easier to establish the hive.

I got a little jar of Fumadil-B. This treats a bee condition called nosema. It was pretty easy to mix up. I followed the directions in my Beekeeping For Dummies Book. It's been quite helpful.

I put 2/3 of a gallon of water into a pot. When it came to a boil, I turned off the heat, and added a 5 lb. bag of regular sugar. Wait for it to cool to room temp, then add the Fumadil-B slurry to the sugar water, and "Bob's Your Uncle" - to borrow a phrase from the Brits.

I'm using an entrance feeder I got from Trees N' Bees. I initially thought I'd get a top feeder. It sits on top of the hive box and you can put 2 gallons of sugar syrup in there, but they told me that is better for the fall, and in the spring to go with the entrance feeder. I cleaned out a mayo jar, and put it on the hive a three days ago.

They told me that an active hive could go through a jar in a few days. I've been checking it every day before I go to work. The water level barely seemed to move at all for the first two days, then I checked this morning, and it was empty. The whole jar in 24 hours.

This weekend will be the first time I open up the hive and inspect the queen and the frames. I'm also going to add a second brood box and frames, and I got a new inner cover and telescoping lid. That should be interesting.

See you next time