Monday, October 22, 2012

Quote of the day

"My moods are like shotgun blasts, they don't go too far, but they cause a lot of damage up close" I was talking to a friend the other day and the topic of mood swings came up. He told me I needed to put this one out there for the blog, lol

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Slowing down the robbers

   Hubby built an anti robbing screen for one of the hives last night. I think this is going to work. The bees come out of the entrance of the hive and into the screen at the bottom where the notch is cut out. They travel up and across to the notch at the top to leave the hive. The robber bees have not orientated to this situation because they have never had to use it to leave the hive. The bees that have left the hive, know to use the notch at the top to come and go. the robbers hang out at the bottom corner of the hive and try to get in.

   On the hive last night.

Robbers trying to get into the hive.

It worked so well, I made one for the nuc today.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Bees can be @$$h0le$

 We have one hive, our Utah hive that we bought as a nuc early this spring, that is robbing all of our hives blind. This is the hive that we brought back from the ranch because our first hive was robbing THEM. Once we brought them home, they build up nice and strong.
   We brought all the hives home for the winter about three weeks ago and everything seemed fine. Then Hubby decided to get them set up for winter and moved all our big hives in a row up against the fence so they would be protected from the wind. Both of our purchased Nevada hives were broodless and that was worrisome. One was totally broodless and had week old brood but nothing younger.
   I did some research and decided to feed them and see if the queen starts laying or if they might be queenless. We mixed up a five gallon bucket of syrup for them and started feeding them with a gallon ziploc bag on top of the frames.
   One bag for some reason made a big mess. Not sure if the holes were too big or the bees just didn't want the syrup. Either way, syrup leaked out the front of the hive and puddled on the ground. Enter robber bees. They went nuts. We put entrance reducers on all of the hives so they could defend better, but there are still a pile of dead bees in front of the other three hives. Not what we wanted going into winter with already weak hives.
   They even started going after the nuc in the front yard today. I rubbed menthol across the entrance and that seemed to help a lot. Going to do that to the other four hives tomorrow and hope it helps.
   Oh yeah, and we still have to deal with the varroa issue. *sigh*

That is all.