Day by day blog: aka exterior inspections - Page 8
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  1. #141
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
    Posts
    785

    Default Weird bee, golden rod, "critical hive size"

    There was a weird bee hanging outside the right entrance. She seemed a bit feeble and her abdomen, instead of black bands, was brown the top half and black the bottom half.

    We have goldenrod blooming everywhere now, so I think these ladies should have plenty of forage. Anyways, the last time I did full inspection was early September and I saw brood then. I'm not going to check again until February!

    I am wondering about "critical hive size", will inquire in a different thread.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

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  3. #142
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
    Posts
    785

    Default The death of a thread

    Hey y'all,

    this will be my last post in this thread. My hive is dead! See my other thread about this.

    Needless to say I am not defeated. going to get some packages from the Fat Bee Man and build a couple of new hives.

    Later!
    Thomas
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  4. #143
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
    Posts
    785

    Default Post-mortem

    Okay, so maybe one more post. Because it might be useful to others.

    I took the hive apart. This involved separating combs that were webbed together. Note to self - the honeycombs were largely intact, it was the brood combs that were all tore up. From what I read, the wax moths are interested in pollen and brood leftovers, not the wax itself, so it makes sense they would ignore the honeycombs, but please correct me if others have seen different.

    There were caterpillar sized larvae / pupae cocooned on most all of the bars, on the south end of the bars, right where the "wedge" cleat ended. That's right I don't remember seeing any on the north end of the bars.

    I used my hive tool to detach them from the bars and flicked them on the ground. I suppose I could have offered them to the chickens....

    The webbing was mostly in the middle of the combs so I grabbed these with my gloved fingers and ripped them out. Usually a bit of comb came out, too.

    A few of the combs broke off while I was doing this, or when I was separating them.

    I set all of intact combs at the bottom of a chest freezer. I also included the comb fragments, might try to re-attach some of the bigger ones at least.

    Not clear on how long I'm going to keep them in the freezer. If through the winter, might need to make a storage shelf so I can store other things in there because it is a deep freezer.

    I left the hive itself open, top off, exposed to the elements. No rain expected the next few days and it is cold here thought not freezing. Hoping the sun and cold will provide some decontamination, though I will certainly do a more thorough cleaning in the spring.

    I'm already thinking ahead as to how I might utilize the old combs with a new package. I plan on building at least one more top bar hive to the same dimensions. I was thinking I might alternate the combs with an empty bar between the combs, so they will build new comb in between.

    Looking forward to a fresh start.
    The queen is dead! Long live the queen!
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  5. #144
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    4,233

    Default Re: Day 115 - Full inspection / queen bee!

    I would probly not alternate the comb if I put a new package on it. Atleast not untill they were layed up or filled and capped with honey. If they are putting honey in them and have the empty space beside them, they might make the comb fat enough to take up two bars.

    It might be fine with brood comb but honey comb that is not capped can get pretty big if nothing stops it.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

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