Monday, October 8, 2007

Great Weather if you are a Duck

But not so hot if you happen to be a bee. Florida has had a different sub tropical depression spinning off the Atlantic coast, one per week for the last 3 weeks. Sub tropical depression is just a lot of rain and wind coming from the ocean. I’m just glad it’s not more hurricanes. The weekend was overcast with winds at 20mph, gusting to 30mph. Needless to say the bees were not out and about much. Below is the hive at 3PM on Sunday. I have never seen it like this early in the afternoon. The entrance was crowded and any sudden movement was sending them off into a momentary frenzy. I guess this is probably bee cabin/hive fever. NO WAY was I opening the hive this weekend.
It’s been a few weeks since I replaced the top cover and created a top entrance. I still have never seen any bees come in or out of it. Guards are on duty by it, but no one uses it. This picture was taken moments before the previous picture of the bottom entrance.

Here is my usual four day Small Hive Beetle collection - all drowned in vegetable oil. The lure is made of ½ cup apple cider vinegar, ¼ cup sugar, one cup water and ripe banana peel cut up fine or ground. Combine and let ferment before placing in the trap. I think every beekeeper down south knows this recipe by heart now. Up till now I was just turning around and dumping the contents of the trap by the hive. Big mistake, the ants were having a good old time feeding on all the dead beetles, and what ever else falls out of the hive into the tray.

I figured that no matter where I would dump the dead beetles, the ants and what ever else would find them. Didn’t really want to dump all the vegetable oil in my trash can, suddenly it occurred to me. Feed them to the egg laying garbage disposals. Chickens will eat anything. I made the mistake once of feeding them left over rice on a paper plate. I returned 30 minutes later to pick up the plate, and they had completely eaten it too. Boy was I right; the chickens love the beetles, the vegetable oil, and what ever else happens to be in there. Finally making some use of those darn annoying SHB.

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