Sunday, March 1, 2009

Learn and Experience Something New

The TBH (back out in the bee garden) and the Nuc sitting on top of it are waiting for my two bee packages to arrive in early May.

I had my annual state inspection this weekend. The state of Florida inspects every registered beekeeper for serious diseases that could be spread through out the area or state, and the inspectors are an incredible source of information.

This weekend, after seeing the state bee inspector in action, I finally learned what the hook on the smoker can be used for. Who knew!!!! It honestly never occurred to me and I had never seen anyone do it until now. I will never need to bend down to pick it up off the ground ever again.

During the inspection my last remaining hive without a name earned its name…the “Angry” hive. I had never experienced bees behaving like they did during the inspection. As the inspector put it, “these bees are angry”. It wasn’t that they came out to sting us, but they definitely were more aggressively coming up to get in our face and following us around for a longer time and distance. They seemed to be low on resources so my guess and optimist hope is that they were just very defensive of what little they have. Also, they seemed to have a worse Small hive beetle problem. The inspector gave me a small trap and bait to try and help with the beetle problem. I’m feeding the hives again (1:1 suagr water), and hopefully the bait and trap for beetles will help. I have worked with this hive lots of time, and this is not their normal behavior. Hopefully instead of angry they are just simply moody.

The Small hive Beetle problem seems better in the other hives. To stay on top of the problem I cleaned the inspection drawers in my stands, and re-baited them with lard. Below are my three inspection drawers dripping over a window screen. The round caps are baited with Crisco oil lard.

After scrapping and rinsing clean the drawers, I re-baited them and poured oil in them.
And the circle of life is not complete until the chickens get their feast of oily small hive beetles

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