Bees: Upstairs, Downstairs

Author: Meera, February 15, 2013

 

A super with nine of ten frames that the bees will fill with honey

A super with nine of ten frames that the bees will fill with honey

 

My neighbor’s honeybees, just like people, love the warm weather. They’ve been busily scouting out sources of pollen during this past week of springlike temperatures hovering in the upper 60s Farenheit on the Henny Penny Farmette.

 

I’ve put out a little pottery saucer, the size of a dinner plate, to hold a bit of water for the honeybees who are flocking to the feet of the little angel statue¬† I placed in the center. The bees need something to stand on or they’ll drown. My beekeeper neighbor says wine bottle corks are great for giving the bees a support while they hover near the water to quench their thirst.

 

Bees, left undisturbed,  will build a healthy and strong colony providing they have a food and water source and a a brood box or super in which to live. Of course, they could also take up residence in a hollow tree trunk or other wild place of their choosing. But supers are what beekeepers use.

 

Honeybees will swarm around their queen in branches of trees

Honeybees will swarm into branches of trees

 

As the colony grows, the bees will definitely need a super. During the summer months, adding a super on top of the brood box or other super gives the honeybees more room “upstairs.” There, they can store honey while “downstairs” the queen can lay more eggs in the cells of the brood box.

 

Seeing so much bee activity after a quiet winter, I’m ready to start planting annuals and perennial flowers with high pollen value that attract the bees. More food for the bees means more honey in the hive.

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