Monday, April 18, 2011

Moving On

I was at a vintage trailer rally in Ojai, CA this past weekend and found this in a thrift store.  These are labels from Biggers Bees, an apiary run by George Biggers in the 60's and 70's.  He appeared many times on TV showing off his bee beard and was a favorite of Ripley's Believe It or Not.

Last week I thought I had sealed off the hive from ants.  I returned yesterday to discover they had crossed the moat on debris in the water and found the single tiny break in the band of Tanglefoot.  Since this will be a continuing problem with honey left in the combs, I decided to clean out the hive.  I removed all the comb and all the ants I could find after I had fixed barrier problem.  I put the hive back together and put out the Space Available sign.  Maybe someone will move in now with the ants gone and no wax moth damage to fix.

This is the first batch of comb, my wax melter is not that big.  It will be a long job.  The honey still in the comb is not capped so I do not plan on trying to salvage it.  I shall see if I can adapt the solar cooker I have to increase the amount of wax I can process.  This method works but will be painfully slow give the amount of comb it can hold.
There are some of the queen cells I removed.  The one on the left had two queens,  Most located on the bottom of the frames but a couple were mid frame
Once this was done I took a chance, wearing only the hood, I popped the lid off the twitchy bees and added another super to that hive.  It is now five high and I surely do not want these girls to swarm.  I had the top off for less than three minutes but I still had a couple guard bees come by and yell at me.  No stings and I retreated as soon as the top was back on.  

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