Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Feeding schedule

This weekend, I inspected all the hives except L1:
W1 doing OK, feeder was almost empty. They got a refill.
W2 doing great, this is now my best 2010 colony. Feeder empty, got a full refill.
W3 dying. Empty feeder, got a feeder for the survivors.
L2 doing OK, feeder 80% full, no refill. Hive undisturbed so far.
L3 doing good, feeder empty, got a refill. L3 was transitioned to Warre. This is now L3/W4.
K1 is weak, empty feeder, got a refill. This very small feral swarm had build 2-3 combs only. They will receive W3 survivors.

L1 is a second year colony, their top supper has 8 combs full of honey (very heavy), and should not need feeding. They will be checked next weekend for queen cells and food stores.

I will improve my feeders once they are no longer needed, to prepare for next season. They will have 5 holes, to accommodate 5 jars, and they will have a window to simplify feeder inspection.

W3 Status

I added a can of sugar water yesterday to W3, after spraying the dying bees with sugar water. Tonight I found a few thousands bees very active on the feeder, which was already half empty. I opened the hive and inspected each comb. Many bees died in the combs, while there was a good quantity of brood going to hatch very soon. No sign of the queen, the erratic behavior of the survivors tells me she is dead.
I will probably try to merge the survivors with K1, which is very weak.
I had trouble finding sleep tonight after the loss of this colony. It is a sad sight. I better get used to it, with CCD, this is not going to be a rare occurrence. Nevertheless, this loss was entirely my fault.