2022 Sep 24 – Hive Beetles

One of my nuc feeders sits on top of the hive with a floating platform for the bees, kind of like this one but smaller. The bees are a little annoyed when I open it up, probably because I am disturbing their home. They are pretty gentle, still, especially for late in the year.

I always take the floater out before so I can clean out any debris or dead bees before adding more syrup, and invariably find a few top bar beetles crawling around the inside.

Continue reading

2022 Sep 21 – Top Bar Hive Feeding

For regular Langstroth hives, as well as other conventional box configurations, bee supply companies are happy to sell you a feeder that fits on top of the hive. I prefer ones that let you add syrup without disturbing the bees, like this one from Mann Lake Bee Supply.

For Top Bar Hives, most supply stores do not see a commercial feeder. So how do you feed the bees in a top bar? One way is to use a plastic waste bucket, cut to fit inside the hive. Fill it with floating material, such as pine needles, and you are set.

Continue reading

2022 Sep 1 – Removing Formic

Last weekend I removed the Formic Pro I had placed on the hives on August 13. Formic acid is a naturally occurring chemical, most notably found in ants and some stingless bees. It is also present in honey bee colonies so bees have a natural resistance. It is not absorbed by wax and dissipates from the hive, so it can be used while the bees are also collecting honey.

What you see here is the strips after two weeks. Most of the acid is gone and what’s left is a bit like cardboard. I scraped them out with a hive tool and put them in the trash. The bees were surprisingly gentle, which made it a pleasant morning.

May you prosper and find honey.