Through an observation window we had noticed that Beatrix’s syrup baggie was pretty flat and surmised that Annabelle’s might be as well. So we went forth to exchange spent baggies for fresh ones full of autumnal syrup. No smokers. No bee jackets. No veils. Why bother when we were not going to actually open up the occupied part of the hive? Just a quick out with old and in with the new as we have done before without equipment.

Beatrix went as planned even with a few bees crawling on the old baggie. A short sharp shake dropped them back into the hive. They did not seem to be bothered. The new baggie went in and was slitted uneventfully except for some resulting syrup leakage. It so happens that five cups of fluid is just a bit too much for a quart baggie feeder. In our haste we forgot to only fill it about two thirds full. We hope the girls don’t mind cleaning up the mess.

And then to Annabelle where we found that the baggie was not much touched. We checked whether we had failed to slit the old baggie but, no, it was open for business. The girls just were not interested. So we left the old baggie there in case they change their minds and withdrew.

But not before one bee landed on a cheekbone. This is why one so often hears the admonition to wear a veil even if not a full bee suit. A calm if swift attempt to gently brush her away resulted in a sting.

In happier news we only saw one hive beetle and it was dead.