Sunday, 20 November 2011

Feeding the bees

The mild autumn is having an interesting effect on our bees. They have been much more active and have ventured out of the hives to forage much more than is normal for this time of year. Over the past few weeks we have been feeding them sugar syrup but over the last few days, the bees have been quieter, despite the sunny weather we have had today. So we took the opportunity this afternoon to switch them to their winter feed. It was time to give them fondant.

We had bought a 12.5kg block from the supplier we use in Northumberland so we cut it into 3 blocks and placed one in each hive, on top of the frames. We wait to see how long it is before the fondant is eaten but we will make our first check in 2 weeks. We are volunteer beekeepers at Bill Quay Community Farm in Gateshead and recently we fed the bees there. One of the hives got through their fondant in under a month. That's an indication of how hungry these insects can be. But if people take away their honey, they have to eat something.

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