Checked the hives on Saturday, we had a nice sunny day, a litte bit of wind and a two days before the weather was due to change. Well they were right it has changed, Today the 3d of Oct. it is raining and colder, suppose to be like this and colder for the rest of the week.
Bees, I have two hives, C and E, C used to be the grumpy hive, well actually if I am looking at it longer than say 5 -10 min they still make a loud buzz, so I just finish doing what I am doing and close them up, C has about 4 frames of bees, 5 frames of stores, I have got a feeder on them still but they are very slow taking it, I decided to leave it on there during this cold spell, if they have not taken it by next week, should be fairer weather, I will take it off. I have seen little sections of cells, just layed eggs and capped cells, with bee coming out. I saw two drones, did not see the Queen or any Queen cells. Hive E had two supers, once I opened it, started to look at it they seem to be filling up the top super with stores, I did not go through all of it, but they seem to be occupying the South side of the hive more, the bottom super had a few bees in, no stores or cells so I took it off, they don’t need the extra space. They are taking in the food really quickly, but that they have done from the very beginning.
I have been reading about keeping bees without chemicals, and or many interventions by me, human. I read these amazing “stories” and I would love to achieve, do what people have managed to achieve, withouth chemicals, healthy bees, happy bees withouth having to feed or treat them. Well I keep bees without chemicals I only treat with bee vital which chemicaly free, this is the first year I am feeding with inverted sugar but even that is suppose to be better than sugar itself, not better than honey mind you but that is something I don’t have.
I keep asking myself what am I doing wrong, I keep wondering what I am going to do next year, how to get more bees, I have spend half a day looking at other bee keepers who keep bees without treating them, there seem to be a few but they either have no contact or they are not interested in selling bee nucs, colonies. It seems that beekeepers over here treat bees, it is a fact. I think that becasue I don’t treat, but I so far always got bees from people who do I loose them the second year on. This is not passing the buck either I am sure I make mistakes, but as yet I am not sure what they are.
I was going to make splits from these two hives next year in the spring, I am relactunt, it all depends how they overwinter, if they do well, I will try to make one split, I am reading about baiting a hive for a swarm, and I am considering getting a colony from the people who sold me the inverted sugar, although I know he treats his bees. As I think I made them survive two years one winter, they are getting better without too much treatment it would be a shame to loose that line. On the other side I don’t want to split them and make them weaker so that will depend how strong they are next spring.
I worked hard not disturbing them too much this year, I do go and watch them, lean on the hive and observe – I do get told of sometimes, sometimes they just fly by me, I love watching them, I am working on bringing more plants that are good for them, I have got new bulbs that I will plant this month, I have created 3 new beds that I am going to be planting up. I open them up when I believe I should with a goal in mind, if I think and feel my intrusion is not welcomed I close them up again. I have one guy, Rudo, who gave me this last lot of bees, who is absolutely briliant as and when I need anything I just ring him and he gives me all the knowledge about the matter, which is great, but it is not hands on, he keeps his bees about and hour and half away, otherwise I would be there every day, or nearly. He also treats his bees, old school. His bees have been very nice, placid, and he does not over feed, although he does take quiet o lot of their stores aways at the end of the year. Mind you, even he did not take any this year and had to feed, it seems the bees got tricked by the weather, nobody from this region, South-East of Slovakia got honey and had to feed from what I heard. I was not just me. Fingers crossed it is all going to go well now without hickups and next year awaits great karma.