Feature of the month
Sharing some of our joys, highlights and worries of beekeeping ...
July 2011 -
Nevertheless, a visual inspection of your hives from outside can settle your mind, by ensuring that everything looks and feels alright.
Check that the hives are tilted forward so moisture can drain out of the entrance.
Check that no grass or weeds are blocking the entrance.
Perform a weight check by lifting the back end of the hive, assessing whether or not the bees have sufficient food stores.
Resist opening the lid to have a look at your bees.
It is in the middle of winter and we were not having many pleasant days lately. A weight check of our hives revealed that our worry-
Early in May 2011 I removed two feral bee colonies out of the wall of a bungalow to be demolished; the alternative was to have them exterminated. Both colonies were infected with nosema and had weakened to a condition that did warrant their extinction over the next few weeks or months by starvation. Although the combs filled a compartment between the studs in the wall, more than 95% of the combs were just empty cells, brittle like thin glass, covered with grey, white and green mould. The bees had retracted to a comb area of half the size of an A4 sheet of paper with probably 100 grams of honey stores, a dozen cells filled with pollen and 20-
I have merged these two weak colonies, transferred them on two sheets of the original comb, added two sheets of clean & dry comb into a 4-
It is too cold for feeding them more sugar syrup, so I decided to bake some sugar candy (for the first time) and feed them with candy. When I poured the cooling solution into the moulds I was expecting to get a soft and formable sugar mass, like marshmallows or the icing on a cake. Instead I got two hard, but sticky, transparent blocks, looking like amber glass.
That will give our bees something to chew on for a while, but I'm sure they will be able to convert these blocks to the energy they need to keep warm. After all, they are amazing little creatures.
Not to mention the numerous Wattle trees, not for the nectar but certainly for pollen. And there are some Eucalypts flowering at the moment, like Ironbark, Lemon-
Earlier than usual, I've already seen almond trees with flowers and new leaves -