Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Busy as a Bee

Dear Mom,
Autumn is a very busy time for me.  There are certain chores that I am driven to do, such as annual chicken coop sanitation, clearing the flower and vegetable gardens, and washing windows and screens.  And then there are all the leaves.  Since I started the new part-time job, I haven't had as much time for certain beekeeping. 

Good beekeepers check their hives every 7-10 days and keep log books.  I haven't been a good beekeeper.  I'll admit I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed with the bees.  By mid-August, when other beekeepers were harvesting their honey, my bees had nothing for me.  Nothing.  This is when I started to think that perhaps they would not survive the winter.

The other day, I caught a glimpse of one of the ladies on some Sedum.  By late summer when most flowers have faded, the Sedum is a favorite to the bees and butterflies.  I suited up and braced myself for another dismal hive inspection.

To my surprise, every frame in the second hive box was full of honey! The bees have been busy building up their winter honey stores...hopefully enough to ensure their survival. 

Right now, I am supplementing with sugar syrup and I will be attending a workshop this weekend to make "candy frames" for winter feeding.  Hopefully the colony will emerge healthy and strong in the spring and I will have one year of beekeeping experience under my belt!
Love, Bonnie Jo