08 September 2015: Even though it’s a cloudy day there’s a good amount of traffic in and out of the hive–I’m glad I did give them a larger entrance to the hive when I had it open for the inspection.
I’ve looked at the flight path in and out of the hive and I think that they are heading for a local greenway/trail. Looking at Google Earth map, that is easily within a one-mile radius of the hive. I need to go hike the trail and see what is blooming now. That’s one of the things you need to look at the blooming flowers from a bee’s point of view, and the quality of nectar produced by the flower. So much to learn….
Today I put the “stickyboard” in the screened bottom board to assess Varroa destructor (mites) in the colony to find out if I need to treat for them before winter. That has to stay under the hive for three days so I can get an idea of what’s going on with mites.
10 September 2015: The girls have been slurping down the sugar syrup (with Honey-B-Healthy), as well as bringing in pollen and nectar. I gave them new syrup today as they had almost completely cleaned out the jars.
When I went out to the hive I got to see some different honey bee behavior: I had bees washboarding on the front of the hive. No one seems to know what this behavior is, but it’s common, and it’s done by “adolescent” worker bees.
There was lots of traffic in and out–different colors of pollen being carried in–the bright yellow shows up most clearly, but I saw some orange, white, deeper yellow, and some very dark red while I was watching them come and go.
Tomorrow I’ll be able to pull the stickyboard and see what the Varroa population looks like. Fingers crossed on that one since this is a new colony. I’ve been reading about the various treatments, including some “natural” ones that use herbs, and other “harder” chemicals.
It will be another week before I can sneak another peek inside to see how much pollen, nectar, brood, and honey is there. It’s like wanting to peek into the oven to see if the soufflé is rising properly–not at all a good idea no matter how curious you are.