Took a couple hours off and came home early to get some pollen and pollen patties in the hives. For some reason I make the same mistake every year. I’m so anxious to get some food to the bees I forget beekeeping 101! Here’s what happened today.
It was 60 degrees out but the hive was already in the shade. I didn’t see any activity at the entrance of the hive. I removed the brick on top of the hive and removed the lid. Using my hive tool I pried the inner cover and the moment it popped free – instantly I had a ton of bees all over me. All I could think was man I’m glad I have my suit on!
I quickly added the empty super, set the pollen patty directly on top of the frames, sprinkled some fresh pollen on top of the pollen patty, replaced the inner cover and the lid. Wow, that hive is alive and strong!
So, have you figured out what I forgot? Yep, I didn’t use smoke to work the bees. I always think the bees will be calm and I can simply slip some pollen patties in the hive and they won’t even notice it. Wrong!
So, after the first hive was done I decided to look at the dead hive I wrote about yesterday. I lifted the lid, removed the inner cover and bam – I was hit by a ton of bees that were extremely mad that I opened their hive. I wasn’t expecting that at all! 100 percent of my hives survived the winter!
Anyway, I added an empty super, set the pollen patty directly on top of the frames, sprinkled some fresh pollen on top of the pollen patty, replaced the inner cover and the lid on four hives. Since I wasn’t using my smoker I decided to leave the largest hives for Friday when I could work them right. I sprinkled some fresh pollen on the landing of the hives and hung around for a while watching the bees carry the pollen into the hives. I didn’t get to inspect the hive because it is still really too cold to open it and take out frames. Friday it will be in the 70′s and I plan to do a complete inspection to ensure they still have enough honey. If not, I’ll feed them honey or sugar syrup as well.
I’m ready to really work the hives on Friday and get them on their way to producing another great crop of delicious honey this year!