Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Honeybees at the Bird Feeder!

 Why are honeybees at the bird feeders?

If you were lucky enough to have any of your hives live through the winter, you probably are seeing the bees at your bird feeders. Pollen is scarce right now so they are scavenging the dust of the cracked corn for the traces of pollen in it. 

They will turn that pollen into bee bread to feed the larvae. While sugar gives them the carbohydrates they need, pollen gives them protein. The queen is starting to lay more now, so they need all the pollen they can get! 

Here is a link to an interesting read on it.


Happy Spring!!


Friday, March 18, 2022


Warmer weather means active bees.

The weather is in a warming trend. Everyone with survivors should be checking the food levels in the hives every 10 days or so until the end of April. Food being sugar and pollen patties, because it's too cool for syrup until we're consistently in the 50's. The colonies will be building up exponentially as more and more bees emerge, and the demand for food will also grow exponentially.  

Cold snaps will continue to occur and the nurse bees won't leave the expanding broodnest. Food should be directly above them so they can form a column up to it. If it gets real cold, the colony may contract and lose touch with the food. If it's of short duration, they should survive it. Two week ultra-cold snaps are what can freeze them out even when food is present, because the cluster contracts and they lose their connection to the food causing them to starve.

The Winter Survivors are not out of the woods yet, and won't be until May. A significant number of die-outs occur in March, often from starvation.  I checked my lone survivor colony today and they haven't touched the sugar disc that's been in there all winter, or the pollen patty that's been in there for a month.  I heard them in the upper deep and the super above it, with a louder buzzing in the super. Unfortunately I didn't have my infrared camera along, but I know they're nearing the top and building up their population.  When it hits 60 degrees and isn't windy, I plan to take a deeper look and am hoping to see a nice patch of capped worker brood. But the inspection will need to be quick, no lingering until we're in the 70's.

The survivor colony is in the Eureka apiary so I'm bumming that I won't be seeing bees in the bird feeders and chicken coop this year gathering protein powder from the grains. It had been a yearly event that I looked forward to. (That was also the time of year that Kathy turned chicken tending and egg collecting over to me, otherwise it's her turf.)

Check the food stores regularly.

Thursday, February 3, 2022


Western Apicultural Society 
FEBRUARY 2022 Mini-Conference Webinar

February 16th, 7 PM Mountain Daylight Time (8 PM Central Time)

Topic: Bee Nutrition
​Part 1: Honeybee Nutrition Basics (60mins)
Part 2: Nutrition and feeding management (35mins)
Followed by a Q&A

Dr. Dale Hill  is an expert in the field of animal nutrition with 38 years of nutrition formulation experience and is the primary developer of Dadant’s AP23 pollen substitute. Dr. Hill is the author of the updated nutrition chapter in the latest edition of the “The Hive and the Honey Bee”. He also teaches the Nutrition section of the Montana Master Beekeepers course, and has made numerous presentations on honey bee nutrition.

Event Sponsor: https://www.saskatraz.com

$20 Registration 

Wednesday, December 29, 2021


How do you like your RAW honey?

Most will agree that RAW honey comes straight from the hive without being pasteurized or filtered. This kind of honey usually crystallizes over time, causing the honey to be grainy or sugary. While that is a good sign, all the nutrients are still in the honey, it can turn some people off. 

Now that we have had honey for a few months now, most of you are probably experiencing crystallized honey in your jars. Once the crystallization starts, it will continue to consume the whole container. The honey will get thicker and may even turn solid.

The best way to decrystallize your honey is with slow heat that is not above 110 degrees. Some will argue that you can go higher but most will agree that anything above 140 will destroy the nutrients and benefits. I think of it as, how hot would have the honey have gotten when it was in the hive? 

There are lots of ways to slowly warm your honey back up in order to melt the crystals. Place your honey container in a pot of hot water, put it in the sun or hot room/car, wrap a heating pad around it, etc. Never put it in the microwave! Microwaves have uneven heating and will most likely go over 140 degrees. You can warm your honey to remove crystals as often as necessary.

However you like your honey, ENJOY!
Patti Ingram