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More Bee Adventures…

Last week I bought a hive top feeder.  I had been feeding my bees sugar syrup in a plastic feeder that fit down into the hive.  This meant every time I needed to refill it, I had to open the whole hive.  The new feeder rests on top, between the hive body full of frames, (and bees) and the cover of the hive.  Now I don’t need to disturb the hive body to add more syrup.

This time of year, we are between significant blooming periods.  To help the bees build up their stores for the winter, I am feeding a sugar syrup.  Replacing the in-hive feeder with the new feeder, required opening the whole hive.

First order of business was to get my smoker going.  I used a wad of newspaper, small sticks and pine needles.  The smoke should be cool and white.

Armed with my smoker and the top feeder I headed to the hive.  The feeder is designed so the bees can crawl up the screen from below and gather the syrup without getting wet.  Bees don’t swim and without the screen they would drown in the liquid.
Once the top is remove, in inner cover is all that stands between me and the colony.

The old feeder is visible on the left of the hive body.
I removed the old feeder, which was empty.  I had just filled it on the fourteenth of June.  The smoker was wafting a lovely pine scent and the bees seemed docile so I took the opportunity to see what was going on inside.

Each frame contains about 7,000 cells (3,500 per side).  

When held up to the light you can distinguish the brood pattern, (porous tan cappings), from the pollen, nectar, water and cured honey.

I found my queen, though I didn’t catch a shot of her.  Paparazzi to the stars I am not.
The new top feeder went on and I filled it with delicious syrup.  Everyone seemed very happy and busy as I closed the cover.  Just another day in the life of the bees.

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