Sunday, March 30, 2008

Drone Cell Inspections

Two weeks ago when I split the hive, with the help of Mike, I also cleaned some of the drone cells below the frames. (Drone cells removed during split)The picture below should help explain where the drone cells came from. The base I use helps me control the ant problem. It also slopes towards the inspection drawer. I keep the drawer full of vegetable oil. The oil traps Small hive beetles and what ever other foreign critter happens to fall in or attempts to use it as a hiding place. As you can see from the picture, the slope of the base violates the bee space, which the bees use to build burr comb. Since they build it naturally they tend to make it drone cells. Today I took the time to inspect the cells for Varroa Mites. They were in my freezer for the last two weeks. I found larva in all stages of development. At first inspecting cells was simple but as the developing larva’s began to thaw out …….. Well, my kids explained it the best, they became “Juicy”. The drones that were in the later stages of development I still could inspect but early stages of drone larva were too juicy

I did find a small amount of Varroa, nothing to be concerned about, but something to be aware off. I might dust with confectioner’s sugar next week. (Below -Varroa on Top center on brood, and bottom right on cell I had removed brood out of)
Close of of bottom right from picture above
Below- Developing drone pulled out fo cell
The rest of the wax and all of the bees went to my two legged garbage disposals… my chickens, four Rhode Island Reds and two Leg Horns. Nothing went to waste.

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