A BRIEF POSTSCRIPT WAS ADDED ON FEB. 08/13.
The fount of beekeeping wisdom that is Mud Songs will dry up someday. I give it another two years, tops. I’m already running out of original material. Exhibit A: Here’s a long video of my visit last weekend to the six hives we have on a farm about 30 minutes from our house in the city. It’s more or less a repeat of my Mountain Camp video.
Here’s a break-down of what the video has to offer:
0:51 — I discover the top cover missing from one of the snow-covered hives. 3:07 — Hearing a roar of bees in one of the hives. 3:24 — A peek under the hood to see some bees just starting to cluster above the top bars. 3:35 — A hive with some sugar added over the top bars, following what some call The Mountain Camp Method of dry sugar feeding. 4:20 — A complete demonstration of a raw sugar feeding. On a relatively warm and windless day (so the bees are less likely to get chilled from the brief exposure to the cold air), I remove the top cover and the insulated inner cover. (Most of my hives have a piece of insulation over the regular inner cover which works just as well.) I add a wooden rim (or eke) to make space for the raw sugar. I place a piece of newspaper over the top bars, right over the clustering bees. Then I pour dry granulated sugar all over the newspaper, as much as I can fit on the newspaper and I don’t care if some falls down inside the hive. I don’t spray down the newspaper or sugar like I did last year. The sugar seems to hardened by absorbing much of the moisture inside the hive, which is a good thing (no extra moisture required). The bees need some water to help them digest the sugar, but this is Newfoundland. There’s no shortage of water around here. 6:53 — Listening again to the buzz of many bees inside a hive. 7:01 — A review of what I found in each of the six hives. 7:34 — Getting chased away by some mean bees.
Not included in the video is my discovery of a dead colony. I posted that portion of the video two days ago. I plan to post a follow-up video and photos as soon as I can bring the dead colony home to do a post mortem.
P.S. (Feb. 08/13): I should also confess that I want to spend more time outdoors living life than indoors on a computer writing up blog posts that suck up a foolish amount of my time. That’s half the reason I predict Mud Songs will have an expiration date.