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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a Master Beekeeper! Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.


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Wednesday, November 06, 2013

And Back in Atlanta....we are Feeding the Bees

Back in Atlanta, Jeff and I are determined that the bees I won at the MABA auction from Bill Owens will thrive.  We are not bee-feeders.  Our general goal is to leave enough honey on the hives to let them survive the winter.

This was a terrible year.  None of my bees had any honey to harvest, but they all had some honey.  I misjudged the staying power of the hives and did not feed my bees as fall approached.  We had a pretty decent nectar flow this fall and lots of goldenrod, but many of my hives absconded in August and early September, leaving me pretty bereft and feeling like a terrible beekeeper.

So I will do anything - compromise my values, etc - to keep the Owens bees alive.  We are just short a gallon of putting five gallons of syrup on each of those two hives.  We have fed them bee tea since mid October just after I picked them up.  

We are using Rapid Feeders - bees rarely die in the RF.  The only ones I have seen die are almost always the result of beekeeper error.  As you pour syrup into the feeder, it also rises in the cone.  As it rises in the cone, the bees move up to dry land.  If you dump the syrup in, bees can drown in the inability to move quickly enough above the rising tide.  So to avoid killing bees, we pour very, very slowly and watch to make sure the bees are in fact getting out of harm's way.



The bees have started buidling comb in the top of the inner cone in the RF.  Jeff and I began to wonder if they had used up all their storage space in the deep box below.  We decided that the next time we came to feed the bees, we would open the hive to see how much storage space they still had.






2 comments:

  1. A few of our hives wondered off this fall as well. Here in the Northwest winter comes a bit earlier, and all of a sudden.. so we are tidying up for the winter. Mostly new homemade lids for our hives, and yes, feeders installed just in case. Thanks for the article and for sharing your insights.

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  2. I had a good honey production down here in florida this year but I too did not maintain my bees this summer like I should have, kids out of school and everything .Now I am playing catch up trying to get ready for the new year .it will be here before we know it and blueberries are our first big bloom before orange blossom.

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