Sunday, October 4, 2009

Tiny Swarm Capture; Hive Updates; and a Good Reason to Wear Gloves

Busy bee weekend. Got a call from a friend who had a swarm settle inside one of his compost bins. I took a nuc (a small hive body) over, put it in the compost bin, and used a garden trowel to shovel a couple of small globs of bees into the box. Here's a pic:

I set 'em up back home with a feeder. It's a super small cluster; if the weather gets cold I'll have to combine them, probably with the feral hive I got from a garage wall (see earlier post). We'll see.

Meantime, I did a pretty detailed inspection today of all my hives. I removed feeders from all the hives I was feeding; they've all got great stores and strong populations. they only have brood on a few frames in the lower deep; but this is the time of year when the breeding slows down, so I'm not too concerned. They've got plenty of chow, that's for sure, so I don't need to feed them anymore. Plus, the eucalyptus is starting to bloom, so I may get some end of the year honey!

My latest mite count showed the Apiguard did a pretty impressive job. The one hive that had way too many mites to count, thousands, was down to 50 on the sticky board after a 3-day drop. The rest were all quite a bit lower than that, and all showed a reduction from the initial count.

Finally, I've got another good reason to wear gloves. Lots of beekeepers don't like gloves, but I swell up pretty bad when I'm stung (see earlier post of my Elephant Man face) so I wear 'em. Good thing--- today I took off one of the top covers, and was greeted by some mummified bees in very sticky web, and hunkered in a corner, the biggest Black Widow spider I've ever seen. I wish I'd thought to take a picture, but honestly my first reaction was to squish her with my hive tool.

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