Thursday, October 27, 2011

2011: A STRANGELY UNPRODUCTIVE YEAR

Many of us in the bee club suffered through the summer with our new nucs of fledgling colonies doing very little to prepare for winter.  Every spring the hives are supposed to awaken at around 60 degrees, to start the 6-month rush to make enough honey to live on over the next winter.  That's the annual cycle.  Supposedly. 

My first colony two years ago went gangbusters from the start, with lots of excess honey in the fall to share with humans.  This year, my four colonies will be lucky to make it through the looming winter with enough honey.  They need that energy to beat wings all day, all night, every day, clustered around the queen to keep her at 92 degrees even when it's 20-below outside.  Good luck, Ms. Queen and all the attendants. 

Here is how they looked on September 18, 2011, over three months after receiving the shipment from a new supplier in Nebraska:

After 3 months, almost nothing to show.


Seem to be in no big hurry toward the white plastic frames.

But, they are avoiding these wood frames, too.
They seem to avoid the plastic frames, building upward to the feeder instead.
Bottom of feeder

Detail of feeder bottom


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