Thursday, January 03, 2013
I checked the bees yesterday and fed them. I check the bees about once a week in the Winter. I stick my ear up to the side of the hive and knock. You can hear them buzz when you do that.
Last year, I used fondant as a supplemental feed. I bought a few pounds from the bakery down the street and that worked really well.
This time, to feed them, I used a new sugar recipe that I got off the Rhode Island Beekeepers Facebook page. It involved 5 pounds of sugar and a cup of water.
For reasons speculated but not confirmed because..I don't know, I just never investigated, You can't find a 5 pound bag of sugar, only 4.
I added a little less water and made a big soft cube of sugar.
Problem was, since the measurements weren't exact, I worried and fretted that there was too much moisture in the sugar and it would kill the bees.
In this area, excess moisture and starvation are what kill bees during the Winter.
I know the sugar is fine, I know that the bees are fine. They were all in a healthy happy cluster when I opened it. I threw the sugar in and got out. They're hive is in a sunny, protected spot, so it was actually kind of warm when I was there.
Of course now I'm paranoid that I chilled them and wet them with a big ball of sugar and now they're going to die.
But then I was worried before that they were going to starve. Although I fed them in the Fall and they had a modest supply.
It's only my third season and although I'm getting it, it's all coming together, I'm still very unsure of myself. I think it's because I am so damn fond of my bees and I would be seriously crushed it I lost the hive.
It's Ok, they're Ok.
I did read this morning that a fellow beekeeper lost one of his hives recently. Of course now I'm tempted to set up camp in the snowdrift next to the bees and knock on the side of the hive every five minutes and yell, "You Ok in there?".
Don't get me started on my extreme anxiety about attending monthly beekeepers meetings. I rarely go, but every time I do, everyone is very nice, it works out fine and I learn a lot. But the entire time, I am a tense ball of anxiety and I feel like throwing up. Obviously some social issues.
I'm thinking of going to the meeting in January-second Sunday of the month, anyone want to go with me and hold my hand?