Monday, August 29, 2011

Time for Fall Chores on Sasserfrass Hill

September is only a few days away and it is time to do your fall chores in the bee yard.

A friend of mine, Jane Waldrop is interested in getting bees. She asked if she could help me check some of the hives. She wants hands on experience so when she does get bees she will feel a little more comfortable. You can read all the books you can find on bees but the real test comes when you open the hive and have thousand of stinging insects in your face. Even with a veil it is a bit intimidating. We went through several hives and all was well.

We got to the peach hive and I knew things were not right. I had been watching it for days. I had hurt my back the week before so I could not check it as I should have. I kept thinking it would be O.K. until I my back was feeling better....but no. Those nasty wax moths moved in and had started to tunnel through he frames. They are such nasty pests. They can only make themselves at home if the hive is weak. I was sad to see all the damage. I put the frames into the freezer (I have a frig in the garage just for freezing frames). I felt better
knowing I was killing those awful pests, larva and the eggs.

The peach hive had no queen, no brood, (babies) and only a handful of bees. so I decided to combine them with another small hive. I put a sheet of newspaper on top of the green hive and put the peach hive on top. I poked several slits in the newspaper, so the bees could smell each other and get familiar with the queens pheromones. The next day I went out to check and the bees had eaten the paper away and was throwing it out the front of the hive. Everyone seemed to be happy. I successfully combined two weak hives. I was happy the technique had worked.

It will be fall before you know it. I also treated my bees with a new mite treatment called HopGuard. It is made from hops and is an all natural product. I am hopeful the Hopguard will work and the bees will go into the winter free from the awful parasite mites and have a pest free winter.

God Bless my bees...and all the tiny pollinators of the world.