It’s been a long time since I’ve written; we’ve been very busy.
What have we learned most recently? Well, we attended the ECOBA annual conference in Zanesville, Ohio last week, and listened to Dr. Seeley describe the beehive as a honey factory, and take us through his experiments to answer the questions he had; fascinating guy, with fascinating stories.
If I hadn’t seen the video and heard the sounds, I would think he was pulling our leg.
Anyway, we know of 5 signal behaviors that Honeybees use, and each one seems to have a specific function in the “factory”:
- Waggle dance
- Beep and Hit
Post a comment on the “About” page if you want to know more; fascinating stuff.
And… did you know that biologists have found only 2 species that can communicate the location of food without taking members physically to the food? (Humans and Honeybees)… wow….
There were many other great speakers there also.
But to catch up on our bees:
- Around 20 August we started seeing a lack of laying in both of our medium 10 frame hives, while the Nuc was laying like crazy; we saw some larvae, and the queens, but very little laying. We worried, but then didn’t think much of it because we saw the same behavior in our bee-school bee yard; that’s what happens sometimes during dearths. We were inspecting because this was the day we started our one-half style of treatments with Miteaway Quick Strips.
- After all the 2nd half of treatments (total of 21 day spread, with a 1 week break in the middle, we noticed that the Nuc is super strong, Blue is about the same, but Yellow has ZERO larvae, ZERO capped brood, ZERO eggs, and we could not find the queen. (Dang it, that’s Blue AND Yellow needing new queens).
- We took our Nuc and put all the frames (and queen, etc.) into Yellow, using the newspaper method, and sandwiching the 10 frames from the Nuc between Yellow medium boxes; the newspaper method is when you separate the new bees (from the Nuc) from the current bees (Yellow) for some time to gradually let them combine; spray newspaper with sugar water so that the old and new bees mingle gradually; within 24 hours they will eat through the paper and start taking it out of the hive.
- So, we are back to 2 hives.
- The Goldenrod and asters are numerous, so we are getting a honey flow in Yellow, but Blue is hanging steady, and hasn’t quite filled out all of its frames in the top box. But boy does that Goldenrod make stinky honey!
- At this point, I expect that both hives will make it through winter (each one weighs over 180 lbs (3 and 4 stack, 10 frame mediums). There are tons of bees. We’ll check on Saturday to see how the queens are laying, etc.
- We put our mouse-guards on, and apparently September is Yellow-Jacket month; we are trapping those critters all over; they are everywhere.