Drove up to Shine Springs Farm Thursday afternoon for a quick to check on the bees and refill their sugar feeders.
Last visit was Thursday, September 19, so this was day 8. I knew the feeders would be empty, or close to empty.
When I arrived, I found steady of stream of foragers coming in loaded with orange pollen. Other foragers were coming in as well, so presumably they had nectar from something. We have lots of fall weeds and flowers blooming.
I love these ladies (and drones). All three hives looked fine from the outside.
I did notice the East hive didn’t have the clustering on the outside, as it had last Thursday, even though the temps were about the same. That could be due to the likely 30-day setback caused by the swarm and bees dying before a new queen could get to work. I’ll know more on that when I do the first post-swarm inspection in a few days. It’s day 24 since the swarm.
The syrup containers in the East hive were all empty. The Italian hive had about 8 ounces left in one container. The swarm nuc still had a bit left, as well.
Lots of bees on the frames just below the opening on the inner cover. I didn’t take the inner cover off. Just gave them new containers of syrup, which I position upside down on top of the inner cover. I have a screened top separating the feeder box and the outer cover. On the nuc hive, the outer cover sits directly on top of the feeder nuc box.
My plan is to move the swarm hive into what I hope will be its permanent home this Sunday afternoon. One beekeeper has recommended that I let the swarm overwinter in the 2-story medium nuc. But it’s just not stable enough. It could easily topple over if a deer came bounding through, a neighbor’s cow came through the fence nearby or we had a winter windstorm. And it’s not at all uncommon to have heavy winds and even tornadoes from October – December.
I didn’t see a single small hive beetle in the upper boxes. Didn’t take time to check the traps underneath the screened bottom boards.
The beneficial nematodes I applied in the beeyard 2 weeks ago may be working. I need to research how long it can take for the nematodes to have an effect.