September 21, 2020
Nice mild day, although nights are average -2. Mornings are cold and slow to be warmed by any sun. At noon, I lifted the cover of the hive to see how much syrup was left, and found it with only a slight film of liquid. They had drank everything - 15 liters - in 5 days. The screened box was full of bees. Time to add more food!!
After dinner, we mixed 14 cups of sugar with it's 7 cups of water. Every time, I'm amazed by the quantity. It dissolves faster if the water is heated a little. I've learned to never boil sugar water for bees; it creates a chemical that can kill them. According to Bee Scientifics web site : When sugar syrup is boiled, HMF (5-hydroxymethylfurfural) is formed and can be toxic to bees in high concentrations.
It was later than usual when I got to the hive because we cut some firewood, and had to use a flashlight. To my dismay, there were bees inside the feeder. My heart sank. There wasn't a ton, but still, they're not supposed to be there. Some were slowly moving in the rest of the syrup. Oh, no !
If it needs to be done; just do it. Did the screened box lift with the pressure of the bees when I opened the top at noon ? Did I not put the cover on properly and some went in ? I don't know what I did wrong... I do know they are out of food. At least it's warm and sunny and they're not in any immediate danger. Their tummies should be full of sugar. I have to work in town tomorrow, so I won't be able to fill it until 5:30 or so.