Beekeeping, Gardening and Quilting in Eastern Wake County, North Carolina

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Last month at the bee meeting, I asked several beekeepers this question, "Should or could I go ahead and put a full super of honey on the nucs and quit feeding them?" I got several different answers. So I left well enough alone and continued to feed. But I have been very slack about the feeding and I've been concerned that wax moths would get in the hive and they could starve while I'm sitting around with my hands in my pants.

So yesterday (and thank goodnes it wasn't quite so hot), I opened both nucs. Nuc #2 was calm and easy - no bees flying straight at me and when I put the jar of sugar syrup in the brood box, they were okay - again, no buzzing around. So I'll continue to feed them.

Now Nuc #1 - well, that's a different story completely. As soon as I opened the top, they were ticked off. The sugar syrup was gone so I just took the empty brood box off and opened the hive. I wanted to see what was happening, check for wax moths, etc. They are full of bees - I pulled out one frame and lots and lots of bees in there. I stopped with one frame simply because they were all at home since it was late in the day and they were a little irritated.

I put a super of honey on this nuc - it was old honey that I had put in the freezer (due to wax moths in a hive or something) and on Sunday I had taken them out to thaw. But this will give them some room and some food - not every frame was completely full of honey. I wanted to be sure they still have room to work.

They were busy, busy when I closed the hive. I hope this makes them calmer - maybe they just didn't have any room and that's why they were irritable. I sure hope so - I'm just trying to help those girls.

Beekeeping is sometimes a guessing game - I might do it right today and do it wrong tomorrow.