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.

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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.

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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.

2022 Aug 26 – Block Island Bumbles

We made a visit to Block Island, Rhode Island in July, and I’ve been meaning to post these pictures. My grandfather kept honey bees on Block Island while I was growing up. He won the RI State Fair a few times (at least he said he did), so his honey was one of the best. Block Island is about 12 miles off the coast of Rhode Island, so there is hardly any insect migration from the mainland, and about a third of island is conserved so there are great floral resources for bees.

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2022 Aug 20 – EAS Photos

Here finally are some photos from EAS 2022 in Ithaca, NY. This shows (in order): the painted hives auction, fireworks at Kutik’s Everything Bees, the start of Mike Palmer’s talk, honey show (three photos, including the amazing wax sculpture that won best in show), an English Garden Hive (or WBC hive) at auction, My Tom Seeley autograph, pictures from the Cornell Botanical Garden tour (two photos), and pictures from the Cornell Beekeeping collection (two photos).

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2022 Aug 10 – Mites!

I had a great time at the EAS conference last week – I will try to post some pictures. In the meantime, I did a mite check in two of my hives this morning. We have a cooler weekend coming up where it will be possible to treat with Formic Pro, so I wanted to get a reading on my larger hives. I use a powdered sugar roll that has repeated done as well or better than an alcohol wash, so I am pretty confident in my results.

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