Hot Dry Summer: Stealing From The Birds

You've heard me mention my mentor's hive scale before. It's no secret I'm jealous of it, as it seems to be an incredibly handy tool!

This week his hive scale reports a peak in weight around 6/4/2012 and steadily loosing approx 1 pound a day over the last 24 days.

(You can click the image below for a full size version)

This indicates that the nectar flow has pretty much stopped in our area, and our hives (at least the one with the scale) have been consuming more nectar than they're bringing in.

In fact, it's been so hot and dry for the last several weeks, the bees at my house have (finally) found the humming bird feeder on our porch.

It's been hanging the last couple of years without any interest from the bees, but this summer they've found it. Right now they're all over anything with signs of moisture, especially if they find it sweet or sugary.

They found the side of the feeder missing it's yellow flower plug, which gave them a nice big open hole which to climb through and access the sugar water.

Unfortunately quite a few were floating in the top of the sugar water by the time I noticed them. 

The humming birds were flying around in circles, but I guess they were not daring enough to come in for a landing.

I emptied the feeder, taped over the hole and refilled it for the humming birds.

Comments For This Post: (2) | Post Your Comments! Hide The Comment Form
Robin says...
Date:   July 3, 2012, 2:36 pm

Our bees found our feeder, too.   [And they have their own feeders on their hives!]    The hummingbirds feast in peace first thing in the morning until it gets hot and at about noon the bees are so thick on and around the feeder that it looks like a swarm.   The hummingbirds are irritated, but not enough to chase the bees away.   After a couple of hours, the bees start going elsewhere and by late afternoon, the hummingbirds are back again.    The bees seem to like one hole especially, and cluster there in the evening until dark.    Weird.  

Anonymous says...
Date:   July 3, 2012, 10:16 pm

To date I have not seen a bee on my hummingbird feeders. I have had to stop feeding my new hives though because even internal or top feeders are causing some severe robbing problems. My guess is the local spring fed creeks by most of my hives is keeping them busy and the sunflowers many plant around here for food plots are drought resistant so they are blooming nicely.

Going on almost 2 months of no rain and I am getting alot of weird little mini-swarms now.

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