Beekeepers Friend

Peaches’ Beekeeping Blog

April 19, 2011

Enjoying Myself

Since my last post, I have had the privilege of talking 16 times to: 4 H groups at seven different schools, three different festivals, and 2 different garden clubs that spanned six weeks. I am getting ready to do some more promotion on bees at several more festivals in the near future.

I just went through three hives with two new beekeepers explaining what I was looking for (basically anything that was not normal in the hive),  splitting, and pulling honey at the same time. On the first hive, I found about 6-10 queen cells still capped. No need of splitting them. I will have to monitor this hive to be sure that I keep the brood level replaced until the new queen can start laying.

The second hive was pretty hostile and the brood frames were not filled out as much as I had hoped. I may have to replace the queen and see if I can get the meanness knocked out of them and get their numbers up.

The third hive, that all I have done to it in the last five years was to pull honey and replace the supers, was gone through with some regrets. I really didn’t want to destroy the relationship I had with this colony. However, it is a survivor and I really want some more colonies just like it. In order to to that, I must split and develop some queens from the parent hive.

I put deep supers on all three hives and I will wait until the split is strong and put one on it if we still have a honey flow. I did this just so I could have some extra comb for future splits and/or swarms. I also replaced the solid bottom board with screened bottom boards (1/8″ hardware cloth). Only one was not replaced. It was screwed to the hive body and I didn’t take a Phillips screwdriver with me.

I did see Small Hive Beetles in all my colonies. I will have to go back and treat for them soon unless I can get the bees strong enough to corral them. I really did not see any Varroa Mites but, I will be treating with powdered sugar in the near future. When I get time, I will take a Phillips screwdriver and a screened bottom board and exchange the one I didn’t get to the last time.

I did pull 3 medium supers of honey and then put them on the split so the hive beetles would not work on them before I was ready to extract. That is scheduled to take place this next Saturday.

Gotta go and get ready for bed. Dr’s. appointment in the morning.

4 Comment(s)

  1. Chelsea | Apr 19, 2011 | Reply

    You’ve been busy! I love that you keep a “Zone 5” hive (Zone 5 in permaculture is the area of your property that you leave alone – just for observation and enjoyment, not for messing around with). We may have to do that at some point too.

    And I’m sorry to hear about the Small Hive Beetles. I was so paranoid about them last week – I kept calling my boss over to look at every bug in the hive, just to make sure.

  2. ekpeach | Apr 19, 2011 | Reply

    The bees, if they are healthy, will control the hive beetles. Just because I see them is no reason to have a heart attack. Beetles are always with us in the Lower US. Only when the bees become weak, will the beetles become strong and get above the threshold. I am not worried at this time. I like you website. I looked at it a little. Will go back and really get into it. – Peaches

  3. Boyd | Apr 20, 2011 | Reply

    Peaches,

    How do you personally attack SHB’s when they get out of hand? I’ve read about lots of different treatment methods, some homemade and some store-bought.

    -Boyd

  4. ekpeach | Apr 20, 2011 | Reply

    There are several Beetle traps that you can either make yourself or buy from different supply stores. I have used the West Beetle Trap that is a tray you put on top of the bottom board. You have to build up the sides with three 3/4″ wooden slats so the trap will let the bees in and give the beetles a place to hide. In the tray of the trap, it is recommended to use vegetable oil. However, I use Lime, the same kind that the football fields used for yard lines.

    There are many different kinds of traps and I will probably write a post about them in the near future. I have to do some research first so I can describe them correctly.

    Thanks for your question.

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