To feed or not?
It was beautifully sunny today with clear, azure skies. The temperature nearly reached 50 degrees, but there was a blustery wind, so it felt colder. Kite-flying weather, I thought.
Or the ideal day to begin drying linens on the clothesline again. But I resisted the temptation: we could see our bees were taking cleansing flights. Honey bees, fastidious creatures that they are, won't defecate in the hive. So, at the first sign of dry weather above 45 degrees, they're out, using our gardens to relieve themselves. There's no harm in it, really, other than the few small mustard-colored stains that will never again wash out of the fabrics drying on the line.
Best to wait.
Tomorrow is predicted to be another fine day for the time of year. We've been debating whether or not to lay a pollen patty across the frames at the top of the hive. Also, to feed or not? There is debate about this, like everything else in beekeeping. Every beekeeper will offer different advice, or none. And now many of us feel concerned about the contents of the various commercially produced patties, after the tainted pet food disasters of 2006.
We want to do our best to ensure the hive begins to grow and thrive again. It's still awhile yet before plants will be available for pollination, and before nectar will be available.
To put that pollen patty in? To feed or not? I'll read some more this evening and decide by the morning.
Labels: honey bees