Mike's sugar roll adventure
OK, Iíve just had an adventure. Because Iím seeing symptoms of DWV, I figured I ought to treat for mites. However, before I treat, I need to know if I even have a mite problem (DMV might not be the vector, or since itís fall, the mites may have died off), so I decided to get a count using a sugar roll. Followed Internet instructions , I see 33 mites/400 bees or 8 per 100. The Univ. of Minn. Says that if I have brood (I do have covered brood), I should double the amount (which brings me to 16 per 100). U of M goes on to say that if I have over 10-12, I should consider treatment. So now I know where I stand.
So Iím feeling very proud of myself and Iím drinking a scotch while Iím typing this. I give myself a break and walk back to the hive to see if the bees I dumped on the hive roof are making their way back to the entrance and HOLY COW THATís THE QUEEN!!! I run back to the house and grab a 5x7 card and the Mason jar, and cover the queen and all the bees near her. I scramble back into my veil, pop the top and start pulling and moving bars (this is a TBH) until I get reasonably close to the center. I dump the jar contents in the hive and close it up. Geeze, I hope she finds her way back to where she was and wonít hold a grudge for all that un-magisterial treatment. Finish the scotch.
1. Dumping the bees from the frame into a rectangular box is a good intermediate step, because you can bang the corner of the box and they will slide to the corner.
2. Use a canning funnel to get them into the jar.
3. Youíll need more than one frame.
4. You will have to make at least two trips to the Mason jar to pour bees. Have a cover handy. Bounce the jar against a surface to get them away from the lid.
5. Here is how I measured how many bees I had. Tape some masking tape vertically on the jar. Sugar their butts. That tends to keep them from crawling up the sides. Bounce them and mark how far they extend up the jar. After youíve returned the bees, clean out the jar and pour coffee beans in until you reach the mark. Measure the volume of beans you used.
6. Dump them back into the hive; do not dump them on the top figuring they will find their way back in. You may have picked up the queen along the way.
Mike (calming down)