Monday, February 24, 2014

Cleaning Up Deadouts - Bee Vlog - Feb 22, 2014

Getting the equipment from the deadouts cleaned up and ready to be put back into service. Boxes and frames get excess propolis scraped off. Comb I want to reuse gets cleaned up. Any comb not suitable for reuse gets cut out of the frames and melted down.

Video Link

Monday, February 17, 2014

Inspecting Deadouts - Bee Vlog - Jan 25, 2014

4 out of 9 hives died this winter. In this video I autopsy 3 of them.

In the case of Queen Beatrice it looks like a combination of mites and yellow-jackets made life difficult on them in the fall and they went into winter without enough bees.

I suspect Queen Dulce & Guinevere are sister hives - swarmed from the same managed hive - and both had mite problems early in the summer and didn't really know how to deal with them.

One interesting observation I made in these tear-downs is that the hives with quilts had much less water condensation inside, and less mold. I conclude that the quilt boxes help prevent excessive condensation. It wasn't enough to prevent these small clusters from freezing to death, but it could help larger colonies experience fewer losses through the winter.

Video Link