We have been feeding our bees sugar syrup until nectar becomes available to them. The type of feeder that came with our kit is a long narrow tray that is as deep as this brood chamber. One frame is removed and the feeder is inserted in its place. A better feeding device we have discovered uses an inverted plastic pail or glass jar, which we will use the next time around.
The queen bee is working overtime laying eggs to increase the colony, so today we added a second brood chamber on top of the first that is filled with trays just like the one you see here filled with bees. At the end of June, this second brood chamber should be full of bees and then we can add a box filled with trays called a "honey super" that is not as deep as the two brood chambers. As the name implies, this is where the honey is manufactured and stored. When that box is filled with honey, we will add another honey super. Since this beekeeping is brand new to Dick and I, we are learning as we go. So far we think we are doing things as we should because the colony continues to increase in size and they appear to be content. I started attending monthly North Central Beekeepers Association meetings held at the arboretum in Brainerd. It's a wonderful down-to-earth bunch of friendly people more than willing to help us newbies out.
It is a well-known fact that bee populations are decreasing. This problen is called "colony collapse". Opinions vary regarding what is causing it, but my friend Pat passed along a quote from Albert Einstein cautioning us about its seriousness. "If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have four years of life left." According to Einstein, no more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, and no more man. I intend to do my part to populate my corner of the world with bees. Kudos to others who are doing the same.