Monday, August 23, 2010

Sweet Insulation

IMG_2676  Originally uploaded by dmb90260

I have not been into the hives since the July 3 check and honey collection with John and Arjuna. Last week I had lifted the top cover on the Playa Hive and found a wax worm on top edge of the super. I flicked it off and then noticed some moths on the outside of the hive. These were very dark but I do not know what wax moths look like.  I was curious to see if there was moth damage inside that hive.

Later I was filling the water in the turkey tray moats on the bottom of the hives. Apparently I had set the nozzle at an odd angle and it was making too much noise and annoying the Twitchy Bees. There were a lot of bees flitting around the hive entrance and these were not orientation flights.  They did not seem happy,  I shut the water off and left.
An hour or two later I went to move some clothes in the laundry room, next to the hives. I looked around the corner and the bees still seemed to be agitated after all that time.  I turned to leave and a guard bee took issue and kept buzzing me as I walked to the house. It made the mistake of getting tangled in my hair. Top of the head stings do not bother me but he never got that close to my scalp before he was smushed. I wanted to check that hive to see if there were other problems.

Summer has finally arrived locally and it has been a little too hot most days to bother the bees.  It was in the low 70's when I went out this AM at 11.   Well it said that on all my electronics but It seemed very hot while I was out there.  When I was finished all the fancy gauges said it was 85!!!

I had added a super on each of the hives in July and I have two more ready to add when I set out for the inspection.  With the milder summer I had no idea how fast the bees were filling the last super.

The top super had no new wax yet.   When we added it I had pulled two of the of the lower frames up.   The bees were working on these and both looked like this with dark wax but fill ig with honey..   The good news was an absence of wax moths or worm evidence.

   There was more activity on the second super.
On the outside frames the bees were adding pollen to the empty frames I had swapped in July.

The other frames looked like this with capped honey n the top and some brood in the middle.  I did not see the queen but that is impossible for a solo person to do and also take pictures.  I had evidence she was active and the hive seems to be thriving after it swarmed in June.  Still no evidence of wax worm or moths anywhere.   I closed the hive.

With the Twitchy Bees living up to their name when I filled the water moats, they were well smoked before I checked things today.  The top lid was sealed very tight. it took a bit of work to get it loose without it making some noise.
The added top frames were empty but for this pyramid of wax moving upward
The empty frames I had added in place of the honey we had extracted were still empty but there was still a lot of good looking honey there.   The bees get to keep it for now.
I guess I did not handle the full honey frame in July.   When I lifted this one I was very impressed with how much it weighed.  I checked a few more frame smiled at the largess and left it for the bees.  There was no evidence of wax moth in any of these frames
The Twitchy Bees went back to work.
And so did the Playa bees.  If wax moth had shown up, the bees had dealt with them.  The Playa hive seems to be recovering from the swarming.   The Twitchy Bees proved they could be nice if I asked them with a little smoke.. I did not add either of the new supers but there is honey coming.   It was a good day in The Dale.

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