The testing process

The “survivor” bees have their own yard about 1/4 mile from my other bees.  They will initially be installed into new 10 frame deep equipment; a second deep will be added as the colonies require it.  The frames will be wooden with Permadent plastic foundation installed.  Extra wax from my own cappings will be painted onto the frames before they are given to the bees.

The yard the bees are in is within flying distance of commercially managed and pollinated wild blueberry fields.  I counted three sets of hives placed for pollination within three miles of my driveway yesterday.

Local forage for the bees includes Shad, Apple, Brambles, Wild Blueberries, clover, vetch, rosa rugosa, and other plants native to this area.

The bees will be fed light sugar syrup (roughly 1:1 but my measurements are, ahem, course) as they build up.  Once they have finished drawing out the bottom deep and have accumulated what I judge to be a two week reserve of food, the sugar syrup will be discontinued.  In the fall hives that are short of a target winter weight of roughly 120 pounds will be feed heavy syrup.

Winter prep will include an entrance reducer, mouse guard, insulation on top of the inner cover, and wrapping with tar paper.  The bees will be checked in late January/early February for stores and colonies needing supplemental feed will be given fondant.

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