I started feeding on the 22 of August with 1 1/2l of the inverted syrup I purchased a year ago. I rung the chap from the shop where I got it from to make sure it is safe to use and he said, as long as you stored in a dark and cool place it should be all right, taste it if it tastes bitter don’t use it, if it tastes sweet its ok. I did all of those and it tasted sweet so I gave it to them. Firstly I fed them a feed per night they cleared it by morning or 10 ish the next day, if they did not I gave them an extra day.
I also did a Varroa check with the Hive Clean from BeeVital and on a Varroa count the next morning I counted 5 so I continued feeding from now on by 2l per feed so a litre of syrup in each compartment of the feeder.
28.August they started to slow down in taking the syrup and I wondered whether they will have enough space as there was quite a few bees there so I found the super I took off earlier and put the fuild foundation into the middle leaving the new frames on the sides. I added this box under the first super. I looked into it, in my opinion and the reason why I put it at the bottom under the existing super was mainly due to the fact that they nearly filled the super they had with stores, to give them more space they can build and lay eggs, etc into the bottom super and when it gets cold and they start clustering they will go up and the top super will be full of stores. Whether I imagined it or not, shortly after I added the super they sounded much happier. These bees are very vocal. During feeding they were making low hum, upon opening it was a bit louder, when I lifted the glass they would fan really quickly, change of temperature.
10. September I put on my hat and set out to take the feeder off and do a Varroa treatment again. In total they took 23l of inverted syrup. I actually think they would keep going, except, I used up my last year syrup and for a colony which I put in one super I think 23 l should be sufficient. There is a load of pollen they keep bringing, bright orange in colour.
When I took the feeder off, they stuck it from every angle, they sounded pretty angry, I thought about leaving it there for them to clean but they started building on the sides and through the feeding mesh so I decided it would be easier in a long run to just take it away from them. They flew about buzzing loudly but none stung me, I did not wear gloves, They are still the loveliest bees I have had. I had to shake them from the feeder as they did not want to leave it, they flew toward the hive and stayed by the entrance fanning ferociously when I came back in a couple of minutes they were all gone, with just a few bees flying around the hive.
When I gave them the first lot of sirup I had a bit of robbing occurring, as it was towards the end of the day I stuffed grass into the entrance and left it, when it got dark and colder it was nice and quiet I changed the entrance to a smaller one and Mike researched a robber screen and by the next day came up with a design which he set out to make, by lunch time I had a robber screen. It looks really good, fortunately I have not had to try it out yet as from then on the bees have coped really well with robbers. Will add pictures next time.