February 20

New Things I Have Learned in Bee School February 13 Weeks 2 and 3

  • Use Diatomatious Earth and spread around base of hive for effective ant treatment.  Must put out again after each rain.
  • Use duc-tape to make tabs to slide your winter bottom board in and out
  • If you accidentally kill a bee it will give off pheromones to alert other bees…not good.!  Now I know why I was so violently attacked last year in one of my inspections.  Smoke, slow, and gentle are the rules to follow.
  • Bees seem to prefer wax over plastic is the consensus of instructors in this class
  • Do not inspect hives after working hard or when sweaty.  Showering with non scented soap is best.  Take your watch off so you do not have the sweat Oder coming from under the watch.
  • Wisk washing detergent is a BIG No No.  The Oder of this product will drive the bees crazy.
  • Best time for hive inspections are mid morning….never before a thunderstorm cause all the girls are heading home.
  • use food grade buckets for honey storage.
  • Repace brood frames when they get dirty (turn dark).  Frames for honey in supers can last for many years.  Normally brood frames should be replaced within 3 years.
  • The compound eye of a worker bee has 6,900 hexagonal facets, each acting as an independent eye.  Each facet acts independently.  Eyes can detect changes in airflow.
  • The antennae acts as the nose of the honey bee.  The ability to smell is comparable to humans EXCEPT…bees are 10-100times more sensitive to orders of wax, flowers, and other orders important to bees.
  • 7 types of sensory cells on the antennae.  In addition to smells they detect CO2, humidity, temperature, taste
  • not only determine Oder but can tell the DIRECTION of the oder
  • Bees use MULTIPLE systems for orientation/navigation including visual, magnetic field detection, and olfactory (smell)
  • The visual system includes: sun compass orientation, polarization of light waves, and landmarks
  • Congregation site for drones is usually 10 to 40 meters off the ground and about the size of two football fields.
  • I am moving to 9 hive frames, which according to a number of bee keepers,  causes the bees to draw the cone out further, makes hive inspections easier, less likely to kill bees.