Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sweet stuff


Who would have thought it would only take 2 days for 3 pounds of bees to go through a two-gallon bucket of sugar syrup.

The bees are busy filling their frames with comb and I suppose it must take a lot of energy to work so hard but it will all seem more natural to me when they get their calories from flowers rather than the baking aisle at Walmart.

To feed them, I boil a gallon of water and then take it off the heat and add a ten pound bag of sugar stirring to help it dissolve. When the syrup cools, I pour it into a two gallon plastic bucket and then struggle to fit the top on to the bucket.

The top of the bucket has two holes and then a screen over the holes. The bucket sits upside down in the top of the hive with the water held in because of a vacuum. The water drips out of the holes and into the screen area and the bees climb up and sip the water from the screen.

When I found the first bucket empty after only two days, I thought that perhaps the vacuum didn't work and it had all poured into the hive, but there was no evidence of a spill--the only explanation is that 10,000 bees can drink a lot of sugar water.

11 comments:

rach :) said...

What a cool science experiment you are living!

beth said...

you are a busy busy bee momma !!!

NCmountainwoman said...

It won't be long before the bees will be able to find nectar. Looks like quite an undertaking, much more involved than hummingbird nectar. Way to go!

Terry R said...

Beth,
Thanks for visiting my blog! Your life is so interesting...the mountains of Maine are the virtual opposite to my surroundings in the Valley of the Sun (Phoenix, AZ.) I didn't even know you could feed bees sugar water. Like "NCmountainwoman" said, it's so much more involved than my little hummingbird feeders!

The Texican said...

Nothing tastes as good as the honey made from cheap Wal-Mart sugar nectar. Perhaps dad has been sneaking out to lick the screen. You'd better check next time your out checking the hives. Pappy

Ruth said...

Ten pounds of sugar! That is a lot of sweetness, even for 10,000 tiny insects.

Jayne said...

Wow, now THAT'S some sugar water! And I think I make a lot of hummingbird nectar..lolol! Will for sure be nice when they can collect their own. Glad your GA bees are so happy Beth. :c)

Kathiesbirds said...

wow! And I thought my hummingbirds and Gila woodpeckers go through a lot of nectar! These guys take (or make) the cake!

beckie said...

Beth, what a hoot! Sounds as if your bees are doing very well. At least we know they are well fed and loved. Such a good Mom you are too cook for them.

Kathiesbirds said...

Beth, did you know you are in the the list of the top 100 eBirders in Androscoggin County, ME? I wrote about this and you in my recent post, Counting Birds! Come see!

P.S. I bet those bees are keeping you busy!

bookbabie said...

Very cool post, you are the quintessential woman from Maine, love it!