A Bee Question

3 Jul

I have a bee question this evening. We have had two days of cloudy, rainy, stormy weather and my bees are in a bad mood.

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I have stopped feeding my bees with sugar water, but I noticed them working my hummingbird feeder today. I thought I might help them out a bit.

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I had a planter bottom I bought with the intention of giving my bees plain water. So today I put it out filled with sugar water and they went right to it. I have read not to do this because it encourages robbing behavior but this is 100 yards from my hives so I don’t understand the problem.

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I saw a few bees drowned in the first container, so I put out this one with more rocks to keep them out of the water.

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I noticed after they filled up with the sugar water, they flew up to the tree leaves right above the feeders for a few minutes before flying away. I wonder what they are doing? Drying their wings, cleaning their feet or just generally getting their act together? Who knows?

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While I was standing there watching the bees, the hummingbird was able to get back to the feeder without the bees being in the way. I was standing about 4 feet away from the feeder when I took this picture, that’s really close to a hummingbird! Keep prepping everyone!

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4 Responses to “A Bee Question”

  1. Wendy July 3, 2015 at 9:23 pm #

    My understanding is that a heavy rain will prohibit foraging for up to 3 days. A little supplemental feeding was probably your best bet, especially if there is lots of brood to feed.

    We are checking on a supercedent queen cell this weekend to see if she’s hatched. I can’t wait to catch up to our bees.
    Best wishes on your hives.
    Wendy

    • doublebhomestead July 3, 2015 at 9:34 pm #

      Hi Wendy, thanks for commenting. How long have you been keeping bees, this stuff is all new to me. This is my first summer, so much to learn!

      • Wendy July 4, 2015 at 8:27 am #

        We are just starting too. We joined a local group, and have taken a couple of classes. We have 2 hives that are growing like crazy.
        We want to focus on learning this year, then add more next year as we get better at handling what we have.
        I’m glad I found your blog. It looks like you are doing a good job with the bees!

  2. Pioneer Preppy July 4, 2015 at 12:50 am #

    If you keep it far enough away from a hive like you did it won’t encourage robbing anymore than anything else. Open honey or feed near a hive can get robbing going but mostly because the various foragers will fight over the source and it spills over to the hive entrance. This time of year robbing is hard to get started as the girls have plenty of easier sources to work anyway. Late July and August are bad times to open feed though.

    We have had a lot of rain but only a few days did it rain steady enough to keep all the foragers locked up inside. I haven’t fed any hives directly this year at all although I have done some open feeding. Recently I read a study that showed feeding the hives directly appears to actually be detrimental to the hive longevity during the Summer months. Over the five year study it showed that hives that were fed sugar syrup actually suffered more die outs than those left to fend for themselves. If it hadn’t been for the fact that it has been such a great nectar source year though I more than likely would have went ahead and fed to be honest but with so much clover out I took the risk and didn’t put any feed on the hives at all.

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