August 29, 2008

Red Wine Honey

Turns out there was too much cork in the jar and the girls couldn't get to the syrup. After removing most of the cork, we put the jar back in the hive. A couple of hours later, we peeked in the window and saw a dozen or so bees enjoying their newfound nectar, but they were stuck on the cork rafts, unable to climb up the glass shoulders. Maybe they were drunk on the red wine infusion. The syrup at the top of the jar is stained with red wine given up by the cork. At any rate, in their struggles they'd gotten drenched in syrup and couldn't fly out of the jar, so we inserted 4 chopsticks for them to climb up. They figured it out almost immediately, but a couple did give up the ghost.

It's important to treat them for the Varroa now, before tucking them into bed for the Winter, so we're going to rethink the feeder design. We need them fattened up by Halloween, when the beekeeping season comes to an end. Time is running out on us!

BTW, the only organic honey I could find was imported from Canada, so I was faced with a dilemma. Organic and better for the bees but with a huge carbon footprint, or something produced locally but potentially containing fertlizer and who knows what? I opted for Clark's raw & unfiltered clover honey from Fort Lupton, CO, which is about 35 miles north of home.

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