As the summer has finally arrived – well, all the summer that we expect to get – the bees are active and busy making honey. During our visit to the hive on Connaught House on the 30th of July we saw that they had completely emptied the sugar water, so it needed a top up.
Bees are often fed sugar water (at a ratio of 1kg of sugar to 2L of water) when there isn’t much available for them to eat naturally. In the case of the UK, those periods are in the early spring before the spring flowers have bloomed, and (normally) in the June period, in the gap between the spring and summer flower yields. You can read more about feeding bees here. However, because our summer hasn’t been the best, it seems likely that the bees are drawing on the sugar water more than they would during an abundant summer.
Opening the hive today we could see that the sugar water container was filthy, so after giving it a quick clean we refilled it with the new solution. We also added a ‘trail’ of sugar water so the bees knew that it had been refilled.
One of the bees got caught up in one of the suits – luckily it was found before it was folded up and put away! It was safely rescued and put back onto the new lavender bush up on the roof. No-one has been stung yet – and we’re trying to keep it that way!