Our bees thrived all summer long. We had a couple times when the heat softened the comb enough to cause it to break under the weight of the honey, but this was solved by opening up a couple more entries to help them cool the interior.
We fed during our summer dearth, when the heat is such that few flowers bloom here. The colony grew, expanded to fill half the top bar hive box. This was perfect, so I left them alone when the fall bloom began for two weeks. When I returned to checking–we had a huge problem!
By opening the entries I aided the bees in cooling the hive, but I did not close them back up before the cooler days brought end of summer blooming flowers AND ROBBER BEES.
I headed out with the little beekeeper to hopefully harvest one comb, and found the bees fighting with other bees, driving them away, and comb that had been full was now empty!
I was in a panic but cooler heads in the form of advisors said to close up the openings and put the feeder back in the hive.
We’re in our cold season now.
Most weeks still have a day or two warm enough for the bees to take cleansing flights (for pooping). I keep the feeder full so they can access it whenever they are warm enough to move around. We are hopeful that they will survive my errors and be ready to thrive come spring.
Meanwhile I need to figure out how to help them stay cooler in the heat WITHOUT leaving them vulnerable to robberies.
Dear Lord, please help us to tend our bees well. +Amen.