I reduced the entrance to one bee wide, covered the hive with brush, put a little vics around the entrance, put a blue saucer of sugar water about 6 feet in front of the hive, and danced a voodoo jig. There was a LOT of activity the first day and the sugar water was used up. This is the fifth day and everything seems to be back to normal. Whew. I think the sugar water was the key, it seems to have distracted them from looking for the hive. I'm going to wait a while longer and then open up and see what kind of stores they have left.
Thanks for everybody's help!
Very fine, Mike. ;0)
I have one hive that the bees tried to get to at and I did the same thing and it worked just fine. I was able to speed up the process by using my newly acquired turkey feather to fan around the charging bees at the entrance of one hive (that recently superceded and is of small number) to scat them away. This worked well too. I reduce the entrance on the weak hive at night so that in the early morning, when the first foragers are looking for something to tell the rest back home, they can't go back home and tell them that the weak hive is open for business. Once they're on their way to other sources, I open the weak hive back up and keep an eye on it.
Some other uses for the vapo rub that I've tried.......
I used the vapo rub as well to stop the big red ants from going into the entrance of my lesser hive. I put it around the base of my quart jar that sits on it's boardman feeder that helps conceal the odor of the sugar water from the snooping bees.
We are in a dearth of nectar time and keeping sugar water out on the table gives the bees something to do other then rob, or get mad and run after me to sting me.
The content of sugar in these jars are the same as is recommended for humingbirds i.e. one third sugar to water.... this saves on my sugar bill. The bees crowd the jars but I limit the jars to three or four quarts for six hives, two being weaker hives. Sometimes you'll see a couple of bees get stuck together at the legs, but they're not fighting.
That's about it as far as how I manage a day in the beeyard.
>The content of sugar in these jars are the same as is recommended for humingbirds i.e. one third sugar to water.... this saves on my sugar bill.
You might want to lower the water content as fall approaches so you don't keep stimulating them to raise brood too much in the fall and have too many bees and not enough food. 2 parts sugar to 1 part water is better for winter feed. 1 part sugar to three parts water is more like nectar and will stimulate them to raise brood.
Thanks for that information Micheal. I'll make that change right away. I was hoping it would stimulate comb building as this is what my hives need. Now I learn it stimulates brood building..... wow, this is too much.
Well, right now it might not have hurt much because you may have a nice population of young bees going into the fall nectar flow. But after that you want them to start cutting back on brood and that time is getting near.
Not only does thin syrup stimulate brood rearing it takes more work to put it away. The bees have to evaporate all that water. So for winter stores it's better to have less water to evaporate. For spring stimulation it's better to have thin syrup to stimulate brood rearing.
Daisey, I know you are somewhere in Kansas, don't know exactly, you still haven't filled out your profile. However I know that it is over 100 deg. here in Wichita today and it must be warm there too. We can expect it to stay warm for at least three more weeks so the higher water content is not going to hurt until, say, the middle of September.
I plan to start changing my mix for feeding about then. Until then I want max number of bees and a good population going into winter.
So, forgive me for my ignorance, but as the nectar flow decreases, you start to supplement with sugar water? I only thought of using it in the winter/spring, but it makes sense to help decrease robbing and help build winter stores. What kind of jars/feeders are you using?
Louise- I am only feeding young colonies that need help, not thriving colonies producing honey.
I feed a package, caught swarm, or rehived feral colonies until the broodnest is completely filled out. You do not want to have the bees putting sugar syrup into your honey supers for harvest.
I use the miller type hive top feeders that holds about 2-1/2 gallons of feed.
Thanks for the correction. I think mine are all fine then.
Thanks Bill, I do need comb and populations for five of my hives. I have two that are ok right now.
One is clustering at the entrance in the evening. It's my oldest standing colony. I put on a third deep today to give the girls something to do and places to roam inside. They need to build the comb now. The rest are newly established colonies, this year. They need more comb and brood.
The populations have been coming up, and this is a good thing but I don't want the queens to slow down just yet. Most of them are just getting started good. Young, newly superceded...
Maybe I'll stick with the thinner sugar water for another few weeks and hope for six healthy colonies going into spring.