Thursday, February 11, 2010

Moats and Prospects

I have been happy with using Tanglefoot to keep ants out of the hives but moats might be more effective. When I spotted a stack of roaster pans at the market I grabbed enough for two hives.
I have been hoping to expand to a second hive this year if I can capture a swarm. I had recently restocked on frames and with better weather these days this was a chance to take care of both projects at one time.

I had a few frames with old comb ends and two packets of swarm lure from LA Honey. One lure was a little old so I stapled both of them in after setting up the hive with the concrete blocks inside the roaster pans. On a hot day this swarm lure will make your car smell like an orange grove.

This one was all set so I moved on to the Twitchy Bees.

I put tape over the hive opening. This was after 5PM and there were one or two stragglers that showed up but they did not cause any problems. I had a table near the front of the hive and moved it there. Then I was able to put roaster pans under those concrete blocks and in the process found out the Tanglefoot was still sticky after a number of months. ( I did not have gloves or any protection on, I had forgotten about the Tanglefoot on those blocks.)

Once I removed the tape a few bees came out to check things but that is all they did. None of them took to flight. They were very calm during the whole operation.

Back in place with the fencing up. I believe that is an optical illusion, the hive should not be tilted but I was doing this in the waning light. I will double check it today and adjust it as needed.

The whole apiary. Is that impressive or what? Now if only a swarm will visit the area looking for housing. I do not have high hopes for that but it could happen. In the mean time my friend will be working on the bee vacuum. I did several days of cooking for one of his outings and that is my pay. He has all the tools and the skills to make a fine one. I have the vacuum.

I was asked in an earlier comment about the little blue fence. It was put there to keep the dogs away but they do not need it any more. They are Cairn Terriers with a rather thick coat and it took only one bee or two being stuck in the coat to get their attention. They were not stung but they no longer go to the fence. The girl dog does not come close at all. I left it there because there are possums in the area and I have heard they like to scratch at the hive to get bees to come out and enjoy a sweet snack. The fence keeps the away, at least I have never found evidence of them being there and have seen them on the block wall.


Dee Carlson said...

Good idea for the ants. We didn't have much problem with ants last year, but will see what this year brings. Right now it seems like a long time before I have to worry about ants!

Dennis In The Dale said...

It is too cold fir ants right now but they will come, they always do. I will put some water in the pans.