Friday, September 2, 2016

Preparing the bees for winter

Started to feed the sugarwater. Where before they wouldn't go near it, now they were all over it!
I guess they know how to differentiate between good food and junk food.
Bees are behaving in the most peculiar way anyway. They are all over the place. Eve when I was hanging the laundry out to dry they were all around me. Same as elsewhere in the garden. I guess they are around whenever there is a faint, sweet odour like detergent or something. Maybe the mints I am sucking on, because of a bad nose cold, attracts them?
I also noticed them behaving odd around the hive entrance, being busy and shaky and all. So I checked them out and noticed they were behaving strange around some bees. They acted as it they were preventing those bees from getting into the hive.... and then I noticed the big eyes o those bees. The drones are being expelled from the hive!! They did their job and now their services are no longer required, so they get kicked out and are left to die. Less mouths to feed during winter!

I got a tip on the swedish tbh-group to use empty icecream boxes, upside down with little holes drilled around the edges. I also used the suggestion to drill holes in a spare divider, so the bees could even get to the sugar, when weather was bad. I showed my results in that group and got the advise to immediately close any and all openings to the outside! Hives are prone to robbery this time of year!
Good thing I got a handful of corks from my father in law a while back....
The sugar is ecological and mixed in a 1:1 ratio. It takes less than 48hrs for them to empty this container, but both hives have not really developed during summer, so they are quite small. A major concern all over Sweden apparently and the drought seems to be the major cause of that. No rain means no nectar, plain and simple. So I will continue feeding all through september or for as long as they will take it.

The white dots are the holes.
There's a similar line on the opposite and some on the round sides.

The hole on the top is plugged with a cork now, so only local residents have access!


  1. You're getting me interested in bees. Do you have an English book to recommend? I always thought sugar water was bad. What would happen if you didn't feed them sugar water?

    1. Better still; 2 sites you can check out and then decide if you want the books.
      First an UK based site and the one I use as reference; He even has online, downloadable building plans of which the result you can see on my blog.
      Second an US based site, which pretty much follows the same principle;