We did a quick half-hour visit to our beehives today, to swap out the mite treatment strips and add “bee juice”, a syrup of sugar water to help the bees build up their winter stores, since there aren’t many flowers blooming at this time of year.
We were a little concerned that the bees may have evacuated from all the wildfire smoke, but they’re all still there. They may have eaten a bunch of their honey stores, though — fun fact, that’s why beekeeping smokers work; the smoke makes the bees go down into the hive and eat honey, in preparation for flying away from approaching wildfires. I guess they decided the wildfire smoke wasn’t intense enough to justify leaving, for which we are glad. Or maybe their scouts told them it was just as bad everywhere.
Here are a couple of pots with 1:1 sugar water and health additive (we should switch to 2:1 next time; that’s a lot of sugar):
The old treatment strip, about to be removed:
The new treatment strip (it’s pretty smelly stuff):
The top feeder, with the fresh bee juice (and some floaters; sorry about that):
That’s it for this time; we just swapped out the strips and added juice for all six of the hives.
We shouldn’t need to open up the hives again till next spring, other than adding more sugar syrup as needed.