There must be some people out there who remember Romper Room, with its ‘Do Bees’ and ‘Don’t Bees’. Our bees were definitely Don’t Bees this year. They did not make honey. Not only did we not get any, but I am seriously concerned about their ability to get through the winter.
I went in today for the final pre-winter check. I left a honey super on one hive in September, hoping they would fill it. It had less honey today than it did then. None of the hive bodies I checked have any. All do, however, have plenty of bees. Two of the three have too many for November, no matter how much honey they might have.
The two hives without supers just wanted me to put their lids back on. The one with the super came out to defend it, even though it was basically empty. I put it on the ground and figured the bees would be smart enough to fly home.
I put feeders on all three hives, but didn’t add syrup. I’ll do that tomorrow after they calm down again. I intercepted a gallon or so of crystallized honey on its way to the pigs, and the bees will get it, watered down for easy feeding. After that I have 25 pounds of dark raw sugar, also diverted from the pigs. They would rather have nice white refined stuff, or even HFCS, but it’s winter girls. Eat your broccoli.
The sheep are in winter quarters with the bees. Birch is being proprietary to the point of being dangerous. He’s attacked both Lisa and I, and is up for replacement next year. He was definitely giving me the evil eye, until he saw me open the bee hive. He promptly decided I am even crazier than he is, and took his girls far far away.