Update and Lessons Learned
It is official, we lost our first hive and it was declared DOA yesterday afternoon. Looking back both Erin and I learned some valuable lessons. Some of these lessons we will discuss when we meet this fall and winter. However some lessons for sure we must consider now:
- Anytime we do a hive inspection, even if you are looking for how the honey storage is coming along…always go deep enough to check and make sure your queen is present or that you have active signs including eggs, capped and uncapped brood.
- You need to stop by the Apiary several times a week just to do a visual inspection of your hive….and while you are at it…look at everyone else’s hive as well. If you see any bees fighting on the outside…this means robbing could be taking place and you need to place your hive restrictor or on. Josh is considering putting his hive restrictor on and I would encourage him to do so. You have a medium and small restriction entrance. I think the medium restriction would be fine…but you may do either. I suggest we all place hive restrictions on our hives which will allow our bees to more easily guard their hives. Airflow will be fine as you have an open screened bottom.
- There is no question that all of our hives can now benefit from feeding, and MOST need it to keep bees from eating honey stored. There were only two hives that have sufficient storage of honey now and that is Erin’s new hive ( she is taking over the instructional hive in the center), and Andy’s hive. Josh has a very strong hive as far as brood and honey pattern. But lacks the stores of honey for the winter. I will be doing an inspection of Leigh’s hive. I have two of my 5 with enough honey, but plan to feed them all. Even though we have things blooming…the hot weather has taken a toll on available nectar.
- I recommend that all of you purchase a bottle of Honey B Healthy. I have researched and found the best price at Dadant and have provided the link below. Most places it is$35 to $40.
- Link for Honey Bee Healthy at Dadant:
This additive is all natural and really goes a long way to strengthening your hive and reducing stress. At the price they are offering you may want to purchase two bottles. We will be feeding again in February as this is the most dangerous time to lose your hive due to starvation.
Please keep me informed of your hive inspections good or bad. Erin and I used our video cameras for our hive inspections and it was great. We did not try to film the actual inspection, rather we used it to make voice notes after the fact. We both were pleased with the results!