Problems and mistakes

Cold Weather Starvation Anxiety

Submitted by will on Wed, 02/28/2018 - 17:14

The weather has become cold. There's heavy snow forecast and my hives are light on stores. It's an anxious time.

I don't like feeding but I will once the weather warms sufficiently. I've made up some fondant (the recipe didn't really work but it's good enough). I didn't think that I'd over-harvested but the forage was patch and the wasps were relentless. I misjudged.

For now, I wait. Maybe the weekend will be warmer.

Hive E appears to be alive after knock down

Submitted by will on Sat, 01/20/2018 - 19:17

I checked on Hive E today. There was evidence of uncapping which suggests that the bees are still alive. There was also some small pieces of broken comb which is unsurprising following a knock down. One unexpected find was a wax moth larva.

All the other hives in my out-apiary are showing evidence of recent uncapping. I assume that they're ok

Fear 2017

Submitted by will on Fri, 06/16/2017 - 22:21

In July last year I wrote about angry bees and fear. I have the fear again.

Hive E is very cross. I think that it may be low on stores. I tried to take the lid off to feed it. They went for me in full attack mode. Buzzng my head and my hands. My legs had at least a dozen bees attached, all trying to sting me.

A swarm settles in and I fail to recover it

Submitted by will on Fri, 05/19/2017 - 06:17

There is a swarm near my out-apiary which may have come from my hives. I tried to retrieve it this early morning.
I think that these bees have ceased to behave like a swarm and will settle on the tree. They didn't move yesterday when the weather was good. It's due to be showery again today.

I went back to the swarm this morning at 0430hrs. It's about 8m from the ground, on a tree immediately outside the building where my apiary is sited. The thought struck me that I might get it down with some fishing line and a spoon.

Cleaners and robbers

Submitted by will on Thu, 04/20/2017 - 11:45

Taking honey out of a hive will inevitably lead to equipment, empty comb and wax which is covered in a residue of honey. I don't like to waste this so I have put this in the hive or nearby for the bees to lick clean. I'm beginning to think that this is a bad idea.

The first problem is hygiene. Honey can transmit serious bee diseases such as American Foul Brood. This won't be a problem if you're able to return honey from the same hive, or at least the same apiary but it can be catastrophic.

Fear

Submitted by will on Mon, 07/18/2016 - 07:16

There are times when I'm scared of the bees.

Two of my hives contain very large colonies and, this season, they've been unhappy when I've looked inside. They've also been unhappy when I've watched from over 2 metres away - a bee will investigate and then attack. This is new behaviour from my home hive and fear is a new feeling for me.

The defensive behaviour of Hive A might be due to the time of year but I suspect that they've replaced their Queen. Her temperament should be the same as before but she may have mated with a drone with a more defensive temperament.