Tag Archives: bee syrup

Newbees

Three weeks ago I got a second hive of bees.  Yes, late in the year, but they were from my bee guru, and he was confident I could take them through the winter by putting the syrup to them hard. 

I brought them home in the night, seatbelted in on the front seat.  They were very quiet.  I set them in place on the pre-established base of the hive, with the lid right on top of the nuc box.

First thing in the morning, there was a bee walking about, investigating.  Later in the day, there were many bees flying around, mostly backwards, getting their bearings (they leave the hive backwards and hover around a bit, getting a visual impression of the hive’s location, before they leave to work), and some already hard at it, carting in pollen.

I transferred them to the super, but because these nuc boxes have slots in the bottom to prevent frames from clanking around, I couldn’t knock the loose bees out into the hive.  I had to leave it leaned up against.

The bees inside were all confused, and slowly moved up the box as a group.  Where’d everybody go?  Gravity just changed direction too.

Since these bees were unexpected and I didn’t have time to make a batch of bee syrup the first day, I opened a jar of wax and honey from last year and set it in the lounge.  Just to get them through that night.

The few jars of wax I have are quite solid, with a bit of honey precipitated out on the bottom.  I pushed my finger down the side of the wax chunk so they could get at some of the honey, but it wasn’t soft enough to ooze out.

Next day when I went in to give them syrup- WHOA!  They cleaned out that jar of wax.  In 24 hrs.

In fact, they made quite a mess.  Wax flakes everywhere.  I took the dry jar out and gave them syrup.

Inside the bee lounge (eke)

Inside the first beehive, the art studio is still going strong.

They continue to sculpt the chunks of burr comb and wax that I drop in there to their liking, but don’t do anything with it. Just art.

Bumblebee Rescue

I found this bedraggled bee sitting on the plastic of my greenhouse.  I don’t know what happened, but she was finished.  She obviously was at the end of a run (pollen baskets full) without the strength to carry on.

Luckily, I had just made bee syrup for my bees, and (carrying this nearly-dead bee; I’d already picked her up), I went home, dipped my finger in the pot of syrup, and started walking back.

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The neatest part was that a second after getting the syrup on my hand, I felt all her feet suddenly grip my skin, grabbing on.  Like a hibernating robot- ACTIVATE feet!  Before, she would have dropped off if I tipped my hand.

She turned, her tongue came out, and she started sucking greedily. 20160621_203335I held her for some minutes, but after deciding I had to care for some other animals, I had to wipe her and a drop of syrup off my finger onto a perch for her to finish on her own.

I used to save bumblebees that got trapped in the house like this, with a drop of honey on a butter knife.  Set them outside together and the bee will come back to life.

My observation is that bees are not truly dead unless their tongues are stuck out, however dead they otherwise appear.  I examine bees apparently drowned or froze, curled up like death, and if their tongue is not protruding,  I set them in the sun, or in the sun in a flower for a snack.  They are almost always gone a little later, or I even see them reviving, revving up their wings.  If their tongues are out, it’s too late.  All over.