September 13, 2020
Drove to Sherbrooke - AGAIN - to stock up on sugar. LOTS of sugar! With the 2:1 ratio, we’ll need tons of suger for the fall feeding. I had no idea how so much sugar could dissolve in half of it’s volume of water. Warm water be it, but still..!
The top feeder was dry. We did a test with water and it is now well sealed, thankfully. The feeder can contain 15 liters of syrup, so we made line marks at approximately 5 liter increments at each extremity so I can estimate how much syrup they drank, how much is left. By placing the slotted box on top of the chimney, the bees can access the syrup without getting too sticky and drowning. They go up the inside of the cimney, can crawl on the outside walls, drink, and come back up and go back inside the hive. The screened top prevents them from overflowing in masses into the liquid.
I removed the honey super. Only 3 frames had circles of about 4 inches of built comb, only a few were filled, but not capped. The quantity of bees on the frames is very high, I think they were unhappy when I shook them off the frames on to the top of the brood frames.
After I added the top feeder (called a chimney feeder) and liquid, the screened box began to float a little of course, which created a little gap at the bottom. Ugh ! I don’t want bees stuck and drowning in heavy syrup! By putting the roof back on, it should keep the screened box from moving upwards with the pressure of all the bees.
I brushed off as many bees as I could from the honey frames that I had set on the ground, and left two near the hive for them to take and clean. Strangely, not many bees were attracted to them. Probably too busy communicating the new abundance of food above!
I sat near the hive for 20 minutes or so, taking pictures and a few videos, just watching them come and go, mesmerized by their behaviour.