September 20 – Update
Hope this note finds you all well and enjoying your bees. I received news from Sean Moore, one of our second year Beekeepers, that his house caught on fire and he had substantial loss in the second floor. They are out of their house for at least three months and Sean received some burns from the fire, The good news is he is on the mend and no one else was injured in the fire. Unfortunately he has lost some things of value and must now deal the reconstruction of his home. For now, I am asking that we all help Sean take care of his bees. I will take over any Inspections, feedings, mite controls. Etc, but if any of you see any unusual activity at his hive, please contact me immediately.
Tommy Helms, a Master beekeeper in Mecklenburg County, has been teaching me a new way to vaporize and apply oxilic acid. I will be using an insect propane vaporizer to apply the treatment…making it even quicker and better than before. I will no longer have to drag a 12 volt marine battery around with me. It is much quicker and much more effective. By next week I will have my new device and have already made up the mixture of 150 proof alcohol and oxilic acid. I have treated everyone’s hive one time except for Andy, as I have not heard from him. I will be completing several more treatments for you over the next few weeks.
Thanks to Erin’s quick action, she and I have been able to save a swarm of bees that fell from a tree in her backyard during the effects of the hurricane. We believe this is the swarm that left Chris’s hive a month ago and settled in a tree very high up and out of our reach. I also captured a small swarm in Catawba Heights. I have now opened up a “bee rescue” portion of my apiary and will place both of these hives next to each other so I can take care of them and feed them. They will have to be fed during the winter as well. I will be moving Erin’s swarm as soon as we move into some cooler weather. Right now it is so warm the bees are bearding and hanging around outside even late at night. Meanwhile, Erin is feeding the bees at her house.
Erin has one very strong and aggressive hive, while her husband’s hive swarmed (as stated earlier) and is much weaker. The good news is they made a new queen and the hive is growing stronger. May have to feed it some during the winter. I will also be treating her hives first thing next week.
Bobby and Melanie’s hive is going like gangbusters. We actually add to add a super to the hive as they were honeybound and out of room. This is not a bad problem to have, but one you want to be on top of as it can cause swarming.
Kelly’s hive is doing well and inspection showed it had adequate stored for the winter. I peaked into Irene’s hive and believe theirs may be ready as well…waiting for them to complete an inspection.
Everyone should have their hive reducers on to help lower the risk of robbing. We should not be placing bottom boards on as this will greatly restrict ventilation. In fact, in my last GCBA meeting I learned that a number of the Beekeepers do not use bottom boards at all unless there is some really sustained cold weather…which we have had very little of lately. For now, I want everyone to hold off on bottom boards.
My latest and newest piece of equipment is a solar wax melter. I can now place 6 frames inside and melt away the old wax into a collection pan. Way cool! (or should I say hot!)
Hope to schedule some fireside chats this fall and winter where we can come together and share what we have learned and ask questions. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any issues or questions. If you need me to be present during an inspection we can so schedule this.
Don’t worry…BEE happy!