Monday, July 11, 2011

Hive Updates and Safety

So I returned from vacation on Friday and instantly went to work. I must say I really enjoyed not having anything to do for 7 days! But I have 9 queens coming from VP Queens and Purvis Brothers and I needed 130 frames assembled, hives inspected, hives fed, etc. So I went to work upon my return.

I wanted to mention a few things I noticed this weekend. First the Goldenrod is starting to bloom across the state, and with this rain we have been having it should produce useful nectar and pollen so I am glad to see it. The hives are using it too, they are loading the pollen in. This will help brood rearing this time of year. I have been feeding ½ patties of Bee Pro for three weeks now and it seems the bees are eating it up, all but one hive out of 41 eat everything and remove the paper in 7 days… I wont feed too much right now with good pollen coming in, but I have 22 more splits to make and need the brood.

I notice a few large hives having trouble fighting varroa, a lot of deformed wing virus (DWV), but these hives recently swarmed and maybe and hopefully this is caused by the break in the brood cycle and the varroa crowding all in the last remaining larva to be capped prior to the new queen laying, so maybe its just a short term issue, one hive in particular has been keeping the mites in check since last summer. But who knows. This is the time of year to think about treatments in the fall. I am looking at Oxalic Acid Vaporization along with testing the Api-Guard Thymol gel and Formic Acid Mite Away Quick Strips I have. I have never tried any of it, but don’t want to lose bees either. I won’t treat across the board as I do want to select breeders, but there is no reason to lose hives if I don’t have to. I can always requeen the “losers” after treatment.

One thing I learned yesterday was BEE CAREFUL when working bee hives. I am 29 years old and although not competing in the World’s Strongest Man competition, I can hold my own when working outside. However, I must be getting old. While feeding bees (yes feeding) I hurt my back. Folks at work are saying my Cyanic Nerve or maybe a compressed disc. I was lifting multiple 5 gallon pails of syrup at about 50lbs each one at a time and using an oil pump for a 5 gallon bucket I bought at Agri Supply to pump syrup into my in-hive frame feeders. Well I noticed my back beginning to hurt while leaning over and pumping etc. Well yesterday afternoon I could barely do anything (but of course had 150 frames in front of me to be assembled). This morning nothing was better and could barly put on my socks. At times it takes my breath away.

So BEE Careful, lift with your knees, and build a syrup truck with a gasoline pump so you don’t have to lean over and pump…LOL I sure hopes this gets better, I have 3 splits to make tonight and 6 tomorrow night, im sure that wont be any fun with this back… But a farm must go on.

After all that’s done, this weekend and next week I have to make 10 bottoms, 15 deep boxes, 150 more frames, not too mention the feeding… oh well I do it to myself.

Maybe I need another vacation? The other bad thing is I have these two $125 queens in hives I was going to use for grafting and have barely had a chance to graft, and when I do I don’t use the queens… I guess it’s a waste of money. I need to get back on the band wagon and go to grafting again.

Here is a picture of my dining room (now my bee room), thanks to my wonderful wife understanding my addiction to bees...LOL this is 150 frames in a pile with another 50 stacked to the left behind the pile...along with queen rearing items, and other bee stuff... i even have a air compressor and staple gun in there to assemble them...LOL My poor wife... if i wasnt such a good husband id feel sorry for her...LOL

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