Chronicles of a Novice Beekeeper – Ep.35

Last month I was worried about one of my hives being robbed, however it’s still alive and appears to be a decent size colony. I may have been mistaken there. By hefting my 6 hives, I found that two are really heavy, two seem decent and two of them are light. This week I added fondant to all colonies. I figured with this warm weather they’ll be consuming more of their stores and it would be terrible for them to run in to trouble early in the winter season.

The poly nuc is still in the back garden. It’s fitted with a miller feeder and I’ve put some fondant in that. They probably don’t need the supplement as I found them on my neighbours’ mahonia. I’m hoping my neighbours haven’t noticed me intensely staring at their shrubs or I may get a reputation for being odd (if I haven’t already!). It’s late November and I’m noticing some of the bees are still bringing in some hefty pollen bags.

This was to be the first year of my boiling super frames but I managed to get out of it by accidentally reversing over the box of frames after being distracted and forgetting that I didn’t actually put the box in the boot of the car! The wood made nice kindling in a fireplace and I salvaged as much wax as I could. I still need to boil up and filter the wax.

This past season I’ve focused on being able to identify local trees and shrubs of benefit to the bees. As I’m not from the UK, this is a learning curve for me. I find it interesting that something I’ve walked past and never noticed for years (i.e.: Mahonia) is such a helpful shrub for providing winter forage for bumblebees and honeybees.

I’m hoping everyone is keeping healthy and well.

Denali Enns