June 14, 2010

I had a dream last night that I went to check on my bees and all but a few had swarmed. Although I don't think that a swarm would leave me with just 5 bees, it was a disturbing dream. I felt defeated and woke up feeling the same.

I've only seen a few stragglers recently since it has been raining and cloudy for nearly a week. The last time I checked my hive was June 1 and then I waited for the 7 days to go by to check again but the weather just doesn't want to cooperate.

I'm worried about the girls. I stopped giving them sugar syrup about 5 days ago because I keep hearing so much about this natural nectar flow that is out there but my bees can't be utilizing it since they aren't able to leave the hive. I'm torn as to whether or not I should continue giving the sugar syrup or just wait and see how things are when the sun finally returns.

This sorta feels like when one of my kids has a cough and a fever and I'm afraid if I take them to the doctor it will turn out to be nothing but if I keep them home it may be something. =(

UPDATE: I went outside to take a picture of something I found to be very unusual. When I checked on the girls this morning there was a bee cluster packed into the 2nd hive body entrance (which is just a 1 inch hole). At first I thought they were all dead and maybe they'd been stuffed in the entrance (either too many to push out and they clogged it up or they were using the carcasses to prevent the rain and wind from getting in. That thought was very human of me and not very bee like)but upon closer inspection I noticed they weren't dead. They were moving slowly and some were looking out as others were faced in. They left a pea sized opening for foragers to come and go. I consulted with the knowledgeable beeks on the beesource and they put my mind at ease about what was going on. I went out now to take a picture because we had 2 minutes of sun and all of sudden that packed hole came flying out to forage. It made me think maybe this is more like 5 year olds lined up for a sip at the drinking fountain. You know, everyone is fighting for their place in line. Maybe the bees packed themselves in because they are so eager to get out in the sunshine and forage. Can't blame them really, I'm eager to get out of this dark hole I call a house and dig in the garden. So maybe there is a little bit of bee in me afterall :)
Jim said...

Michelle, I share your concerns. You can't believe how many times I trudged out through knee-deep snow to put my ear to the hive to listen for any sounds this winter. The weather hasn't been great, but I'm sure they're fine though not happy little campers. They've accumulated plenty to eat through rainy days, so I wouldn't feed them. I'll bet they're actually getting out more than you realize, too.

Michelle said...

Thanks Jim! I appreciate the advice and knowledge you've shared, it makes me feel better knowing they are probably doing just fine :)

TeresaR said...

It's wonderful you have fellow apiarists to consult with! :) I hope the girls will be happier soon.

Michelle said...

I'm very lucky T! Without the guidance of those with experience I'd have lost my mind by now. I'm too much of a spaz to go it alone on this hobby. I'd have my bees dead and burried every second. Now when I approach the hive I can hear them whisper "here comes the crazy lady."

Sam Smith said...

lol "crazy lady" the word crazy sort of applies to anyone keeping bees with a passion :P