Sunday, 1 July 2018

Happy Canada Day

Happy Canada Day (previously known as Dominion Day), fellow Canuks! I hope you are all managing to keep cool in this heat wave.

Since I enjoy visiting other blogs so much, I thought it was time to contribute a few words from my patch.

In the last week of May, I picked up two honey bee nucs from our local supplier. I gave one a top feeder containing 50/50 sugar water and the other reclaimed honey. Both seemed equally acceptable to the bees.

My newly housed honey bee nucs on May 28th.

The right hand hive's top feeder contained 50/50 sugar water.

The left hand hive's top feeder contained reclaimed honey.

My lawns are now awash with the white blooms of Dutch clover. At first glance, it looks like patches of snow. One would expect to see honey bees all over these blooms, but raspberry flowers are currently receiving most of their attention.

Raspberry blossoms are high on their favourites list.

This morning I noticed that the bees weren't foraging at all, but were instead concentrating on cooling their hives. They were fanning like mad and clearly in need of better ventilation. So I removed the trays on the screened bottom boards, reversed the vent boxes under the roofs to expose screened openings, opened box ports and widened the bottom board entrances. Whew! The fanning bee beards shrunk immediately. When I checked on their progress I was surprised to see that these industrious little ladies had filled all of their frames with honey, pollen and brood. Emergency! In the relative cool of tomorrow morning, I'll reopen their hives and give them each of box of empty frames. So many blossoms, so little time!

Our heat wave is causing the bees to stay at home and fan their wings.

Much better ventilation after I opened some hive vents!

Yikes! I should have given them another box of frames before now.

Even the inner cover was crowded. Help is on the way, girls!