Honey bees Day 2: adding sugar water and ant barriers

in The Pollen Flow4 months ago

After installing the packages, I gave them some time to adjust. But I was concerned about how much sugar water they needed. Especially in the top feeders that only hold about a quart of their food. So I returned to the bee site and checked on the hives, at this point in the video the bees have about 48 hours to adjust. One of the hives was doing good from the looks of it. The other had alot less activity, hoping they both get strong and soon I can check on the queen to make sure she was freed by the bees inside. The hive that was doing good had about half of its sugar water consumed, so I filled it back up. But the other hive did not have that much consumed so I left it alone. I also apply an ant barrier in this video. Using a substance called "tanglefoot" it will keep the ants from climbing up the cinderblocks and onto the 4x4 posts where the beehives reside.

Glad when I returned I could find bees in both hives, I was worried they would leave shortly after I left.. lol But glad they are still around and at least one of the hives seems quite active.

I suit up and tuck my pants in my boots, then use the hand slips for my suit and get my gloves on. I also wear a hat so my nose does not touch the suit so a bee does not sting my nose. I think that could be quite painful, and the face part of the suit does not provide much protection if your nose is touching and a bee finds it.

Upon walking up to the hives I notice one is much more busy than the other. I observe for a few minutes to see if any bees are flying in or out. The hive seen in the cover is the one with less activity out of the two. I can hear a slight buzzing going on in the hive, but when compared to the buzzing coming from the other its quite a bit less. This is the hive I messed up on and dropped the queen inside. And also did not shake them all that well into the box it seemed. So I wonder if the bees that bearded on the outside ended up leaving.

They are indeed in there, some of them at least. Opening the top feeder I can see them feeding on the sugar water I made for them.

I found alot of dead bees near the entrance to the homes, in both hives. It seems they tried to do some house keeping but had troubles getting them past the screen. I pulled it up and helped clean them out a little bit on the hive that seems to have less activity. The other one I left alone as I hear a healthy bee hive will dispose of their own dead bees.

Getting nervous about the hive with less activity I decide to take a peak inside. I see some bees near the middle of the frames so thats good. Hopefully when the queen gets out they will have some comb already going for her to lay and she can rebuild the population. Otherwise if the hive fails I will just do a split on healthy one eventually and start the second hive over again with a new queen and workers.. No no worries as long as one hive survives I can add it to the second one eventually.

As the sun comes up it starts hitting the hives. I notice the hive on the left starts to get more activity and the buzzing inside the hive picks up.

Getting their sugar water together I take some from one of the 5 gallon buckets for them. They have not seemed to use it just yet, so ill take some out and add it to their top feeders.

Opening the top feeder for the hive on left all looks good in there as well. I see many bees crawling around feeding on the sugar water I provide to them.

A gif above of them moving around, more can be seen in the video with the link at the end of this post.

Comparing activity between the two its pretty stark.

Glad at least one of them seems to be doing great.

As the sun started hitting the hive to the left the bees were coming out more, not aggressively just flying around and returning to the hive.

Seems my entrance reducer needs some work. I see bees crawling under it and even through the small holes. May need to redo it.

Looking at the other hive I saw no bees entering or exiting while I was working on both hives. Quite worrying....

Ants can be a big problem for hives. And we have alot of them in Georgia, I found some walking around the 4x4 posts and just below the hives. So I figured I should probably add the ant barriers.

Using a substance called "tanglefoot" the bees can fly to the hives, but ants cannot get to the hives. Since the ants have to walk I cover where they need to cross in this sticky substance and it helps protect the bees from them. I cover all four points with this sticky substance, trying to be careful not to make a mess with the stuff. Its extreme tacky and you need to be careful getting it on you as its a pain to get off.

Just before leaving the hive area I check on the good hive. Seems they are alright, hope its okay for the bees to crawl under the wire. I may need to find a way to bend it down more. Or replace it with the blocks, but worried they will get waxed into place and then hard to remove.

The morning sun really seems to bring them out, makes sense.. Just cool to see the hive wake up while I am there. When I first got there the sun was not quite on them yet and things were more calm.

With the tanglefoot in place I move onto the feeder area about 75 feet away from the hives. I saw ants there too so time to add an barrier to protect the sugar water feeders.

Takes just a few minutes to add it around the posts, hopefully the stuff will do a good job protecting from the ants.

YouTube Video Link


Wow this is amazing @solominer. I’ve been meaning to have a bee farm for quite sometime now.

 4 months ago  

Ah thank you, yeah it is quite amazing. The experience of having a colony is pretty cool.

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