Yes, first hive. My son got interested and has been working a bit with a P.C. beekeeper this summer. We bought boxes and a nuc from Kelly's about a month ago. Read the Dadant book and "Fruitless Fall". Our bees seem to be doing alright so far. We're supplementing with 1:1 sugar water only and I'm thinking I probably need to do a bit of supplemental protein/supplement feeding, too. They're currently taking about 24 oz a day.
We've seen a small number of SHB and installed a vinegar trap that hasn't yet caught any. The infestation seems very small yet. Probably not even arising to the level of "infestation".
As to the pollen, Bob, it looks as if about 15-20 percent of arriving foragers are loaded with pollen. I understand you to say that this may indicate that protein and/or other supplementation may not be necessary.
Welcome, come join us at the Tampa Bay Beekeepers Association or University of South Florida bee workshops. They really have plenty to gather now. We are extracting in a couple weeks at USF. Like they said supplemental protein will do more harm than good right now. The small hive beetles are thriving in the rain and humidity. Why give them any advantage?
Got it, thanks. I had not made the connection between SHB and the protein/supplement cakes, and I really appreciate having it pointed out. I'm a serial hobbyist (my most recent before bees being homebrewing) and I always enjoy being at the beginning of a hobby: the steepest part of the learning curve.
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