We did another inspection today to see how the bees are doing and to feed them again. Hive 1, of course, was thriving. They’ve been building comb and capping honey like crazy. Every time we open their hive, they’ve consumed ALL of the sugar water. There are also hundreds of bees coming and going, foraging from the flowers that are still in the fields.
Hive 2 is the one we were really interested in, that’s Kona’s hive. We opened the top and heard very little…all the sugar water was still there. Very few bees were using the feeder. We both sighed and felt very sad. It’s amazing how you get attached to bees so quickly. We took the feeder off and we couldn’t see that the bees have done anything. Still only 4 frames built out, and they were seemingly still just full of honey. But, on further inspection, we started seeing larvae! That means Kona is laying eggs! When she lays, they’re eggs for 3 days, then larva for days 4-13 (which is when they get capped by the worker bees, then they spin a cocoon around themselves and become a pupa until they hatch at day 21. Kona has been in there for 7 days, so there are eggs and larvae present. Hoping the weather stays warm for a few more weeks (50° and above) so she can continue laying and we can get more bees in the hive. We didn’t see Kona while we were inspecting, but I took a lot of pictures and we got a couple of her. YAY! She’s alive! (You can see her in the above photo…she’s towards the top with a blue dot on her head.)
Hive 3 is doing very well too. They didn’t consume nearly as much sugar water as hive 1, but there are a lot more bees with pollen on their little legs, so they’re doing a lot of foraging. Tons of honey, capped honey, and bees. I think 1 and 3 are going to do really well thru the winter.
This is the last time we’ll feed them sugar water. You’re not supposed to feed them liquid thru the winter bc it stays cold and makes the hive harder to keep warm. So, we’ll make protein patties and/or sugar candy for them. They’re solid instead of liquid.
We’ll keep you posted!