One of my nuc feeders sits on top of the hive with a floating platform for the bees, kind of like this one but smaller. The bees are a little annoyed when I open it up, probably because I am disturbing their home. They are pretty gentle, still, especially for late in the year.
I always take the floater out before so I can clean out any debris or dead bees before adding more syrup, and invariably find a few top bar beetles crawling around the inside.
For regular Langstroth hives, as well as other conventional box configurations, bee supply companies are happy to sell you a feeder that fits on top of the hive. I prefer ones that let you add syrup without disturbing the bees, like this one from Mann Lake Bee Supply.
For Top Bar Hives, most supply stores do not see a commercial feeder. So how do you feed the bees in a top bar? One way is to use a plastic waste bucket, cut to fit inside the hive. Fill it with floating material, such as pine needles, and you are set.
My darling wife and I spent last weekend in Washington, DC. We live in the area and we’ve never played tourist for a weekend. Among the fun activities was finding the Smithsonian Pollinator Garden near the Museum of Natural History. I was also surprised to find a number of blooming flowers, unusual for September in our area. Here are a few pictures from the garden.
With the fall in Virginia comes dry days with little or no rain. Honey bees are not native to Virginia (or the United States) and struggle to find food, especially nectar. Left on their own honey bees tend to eat what food stores they have, putting them at a severe disadvantage going into winter.
Last weekend I removed the Formic Pro I had placed on the hives on August 13. Formic acid is a naturally occurring chemical, most notably found in ants and some stingless bees. It is also present in honey bee colonies so bees have a natural resistance. It is not absorbed by wax and dissipates from the hive, so it can be used while the bees are also collecting honey.
What you see here is the strips after two weeks. Most of the acid is gone and what’s left is a bit like cardboard. I scraped them out with a hive tool and put them in the trash. The bees were surprisingly gentle, which made it a pleasant morning.