I have not been paying much attention to the bees. I noticed the other day that the populations seem to be down with fewer bees hanging out. Two of the hives looked like there was robbing going on so I put the entrance reducers on them. I am guessing that July with its heat and August with a dearth of flowers has hurt the bees.
I decided to put the feeders on and give them some pollen substitute. I have forced days off at work and today was a nice day so I put the feeders on today.
I stapled some plastic screen door screening over the tops of the feeders. I don’t like the bees buzzing me when I refill the top feeders. I did not anticipate that there were hundreds of bees hanging out on the inner cover and clinging to the underside of the telescoping cover. The screen prevented these bees from going back down into the hive. I had to prop the edge of the cover up with a stick to let the bees escape. I am hoping that in a day or two they will wander back to the front entrance and back into the hive.
One of the hives, Connie, was quite bitchy. I did not smoke the hives. I was just taking off the cover and putting on the top feeder. The hives all seemed to take offense. I wore a veil, but did not suit up. When I went back without a veil to check them I was attacked and pursued. No stings, though.
I’ll go back at dusk and peek under the lids to see what is going on. The fall flowers like goldenrod, queen anne’s lace and ragweed may not be enough for the bees. I will have to feed each hive a gallon every week or so. Fall sugar is supposed to be thick. I used a half gallon container and filled it 3/4 with sugar and then topped it off with water. I hope that is thick enough. Every hive got a quart and I’ll give them each a 1/2 gallon on Sunday or Monday if they have taken all the sugar.
When I checked the supers at the start of August, the comb was well drawn, but little honey. I hope that they can store enough now to make it through the winter.