Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Bee Update

When I installed the first hive a couple of weeks ago, did not install the Queen properly in the box. I hoped the errors I made did not effect the hive. A few days later everything appeared to be okay with bees going in and out of the hive but by the following Monday there was no activity. A couple of things could have happened. My install of the Queen was not proper and she was injured or died or the Queen flew the coop and took the bees with her. Also, I was using old frames and the waxy foundation that hangs from the frames had fallen and were not properly hanging which probably forced the Queen to move out. The second box was installed with new frames which were much more secure and installed properly. It does not appear the bees moved to the second hive. I checked it late last week and things are going well. The bees are building comb but I could not see the Queen. I'm sure she is in there because the hive was orderly and a great deal of work was taking place. Bees were moving in and out of the hive frequently and for the most part they were ignoring my movements of the frames in and out of the box.

I did notice a problem with black ants trying to form at the top of the box. Remedy for this was to place a couple of bottles of bee syrup in soda bottles with the some borax. The ants would crawl into the bottle, go for the syrup and get a snoot full of Borax which killed them. Natural and safe for the bees.

Maybe next season I can recapture the hive that left if they do a swarm on property next spring. Hated the mishandling but have just had too much going on to work a mentor into the program. As things begin to slow later in the season will develop a relationship with an experienced keeper. Been communicating with both brothers who do bee work but not like being around in person.
Bottle on the left with floating ants. Two bottles behind the protecting from ants marching!

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