|"Can I have more please?"|
We have been having another crazy spring here in the Willamette Valley, a week of glorious 60 degree sunshine and then last night I noticed a white sheen outside the window. Two inches of snow out of the blue.
Early last January Buck and I checked the hives during a break in the cold weather and found that hive #1 (the Women's Honey Collective) was damp inside. Since everything I have read tells me that damp is worse than anything, I decided it would be better to pull out the syrup jars for the rest of the winter. I hoped there was plenty of stored food and that the bees could keep warm without their backup source of food.
Luckily they have manged their affairs wisely and seem to be doing fine.
Last week, during the warm weather, there were lots of bees buzzing in and out of both hives gathering pollen from discreet places like wild Hazelnut trees and the tiny blue flowers of Heal All.
I had left the jar of syrup under hive #2 thinking they might be able to get out now and then to drink from it.
On Saturday I was working near the hive and could actually watch the syrup jar empty in less than 6 hours. It was kind of amazing to watch the bubbles floating up every couple minutes.
I am considering keeping the jars out of the hives for now, since they won't add moisture to the hives this way and I can change the jars without opening a hive- something I can no longer do without my Deputy Beekeepers help.
Some sources say that outside syrup will attract raiders to the hive, but I know that commercial bee keepers set out huge 5 gallon drums of the stuff in the middle of their apiaries. I'll take my chances and keep an eye on the situation. This is working the best for us right now.