Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I Really Hope Spring is Near

Take the above picture and multiply the bees by about 100 times and you have a good idea of what my open feeders look like in the Apiaries today. Now I am not using hummingbird feeders like you see in this picture from last Spring. I have placed dry sugar in the tops of each hive and then open pie pans of sugar sprayed down with water and weighted with rocks as open feeders. Open feeding is something I have not had to resort to ever before but it seems to be working well enough that I am now thinking a more permanent design of feeder is needed.

What happens is the bees can only hit the feeders when it is warm enough. By keeping the feeders there full time I know the minute it warms up enough for them to forage they are ready to go.  They prefer slightly damp sugar but that isn't possible to give them inside the hive and full blown syrup can't be cured in Winter so having these stations available for the occasional warm day is a must.

Since I do not have any honey supers on right now any sugar syrup honey will be either consumed or stored in the brood chambers by Spring so there shouldn't be any issues with it contaminating my honey.

We are approaching the third day in a row that the girls have been able to get out and forage so they are going through almost three cups of dry sugar in each feeder a day now. February is usually when the Ash and Cedar trees begin pollinating but so far the girls are not bringing in large amounts of pollen at all. I saw a few pollen sacks filled with the light gray pollen last week but none so far this week.

Another month and I believe we will be mostly out of the woods and the end of Winter danger period. The Henbit and Dead Nettle should be blooming soon I think.

Other than emergency bee feeding the last few days have allowed some more clean up and junk removal as I have now started hitting the last half of a fence row I began cleaning last Spring. Things are progressing and targets are set. If I can get this fence row area cleaned out and disc'd I plan on putting in some more fruit trees this Summer when the prices drop.

Oh and we had three surprise lambs born today, or I should say my mother did. A sure sign Spring time is close but she wasn't expecting new babies for a month or so. Mother and the triplets are now snugged away in a barn stall. I took 107 over to show em to her so she knows what her job is going to be next year.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!

1 comment:

  1. Henbit is starting to bloom now in West Tenn, tree buds are swelling, so Spring can't be too far away.


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