“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” –Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States
Spring is here, finally! The snow is mostly gone, and the lakes are thawing. This means it’s time to get down to business as my bees will be here in less than a week. (YAY!) I’ve got a lot of prep work to do to make sure my bees will be brought home to a comfy and healthy environment with plenty of food.
The ‘To Do List’
First on my ‘To Do List’ was to switch out one of the brood boxes that had natural color waxed Rite-Cell foundation for black waxed Rite-Cell foundation. I chose to do this for only one brood box in one of my two hives, mostly to compare between the two and to better observe egg and larvae development. The cream colored eggs and larvae will stand out a lot more on a black background for an easier view.
I made quick work of popping out the natural colored Rite-Cell and replacing it with the black Rite-Cell. One task down…
Food for the Masses
Making sure my bees have all they need to stay nourished while I wait for nature to provide ‘the goods’ is now my next priority. For a healthy diet, bees need both carbohydrates and protein. These ordinarily would be provided by nectar and pollen, however these items must be substituted when there are few natural sources present. (I never thought I’d be trying to patiently wait on dandelions.)
I will be using Pro-Sweet Liquid Feed in a top feeder as a supply of carbohydrates. These carbs will be used by the bees as a source of energy and will aid them in the production of wax. I will also be adding some Pro Health to aid in the bees’ overall well-being and support faster comb production.
As for my bees’ source of protein, they’ll be munching on Ultra Bee Patties. This is a pollen substitute that will provide the much needed protein for brood production in the colony. More bees = more work being done = getting a brand new colony nicely established and maybe, just maybe, producing some extra honey to extract. For now though, I’ll settle for the nicely established colony.
To top off my ‘To Do List,’ I have the whopping task of creating a place to put my hives. Well before I even ordered my bees, we came to the agreement that my parents’ farm property would be the ideal location for the hives. I’m super thankful that my parents are allowing me (and my bees) the use of the old farmstead, but it’s certainly not without some work to get an area ready (and safe) for my new friends. I won’t get into too many details on my bee yard yet as I’m saving that for my next post, however do be prepared for my paranoia of skunks, raccoons, and of course… bears!
Curious about my prep work supplies? Here’s the list below:
Krista’s Prep Work Supplies List:
- 8 1/2″ (21.59 cm) Waxed Rite-Cell Foundation – Black
- Pro Health
- Ultra Bee Pollen Substitute Patties