May 24, 2010

My poor bees are overheating (94 f outside). They'd rather be outside than in. Not sure what this means??? I was told in beekeeping class that we can't move to the 2nd largest opening in the entrance reducer until we add the 2nd hive body, nor can I remove the cork until adding the 2nd hive body but my little bees are baking. Will they leave if I don't provide more ventilation? I'm soooooooooo tempted to remove the cork in the hive body but what if their numbers are too low to defend themselves from intruders?

I went and propped the outer cover up a bit with some sticks and so far the cluster has diminished a bit (great!). There are still quite a few bees at the entrance (much more than usual), looks like they may be fanning (I didn't get close enough to tell). My bee mama skills are lacking since when I opened the cover I discovered they were out of sugar syrup and they were clustered around the sugar jar as well (poor girls). I feel badly about that :(
TeresaR said... much to learn and do when maintaining a hive! I always thought that you can just put a hive up, plop in some bees, and wait a year to collect your honey, and that's it. Guess not.

Ooooh, M, I've been meaning to email you about this: have you ever thought about doing one of your fabulously researched posts on Sevin? A friend asked on FB about what to do about bugs on his fruit trees; another friend of his suggested using Sevin. I told dh to respond with the organic/non-harmful stuff we use on our fruit trees. Anyway, in responding, dh also looked up Sevin. Apparently, while not harmful to mammals (supposedly), Sevin is terrible for bees!! We couldn't believe it; lots of people use Sevin...wonder if that's what's partly causing their decline in numbers. I can give you a link or two to get started on the research. Anyway, I just thought that with the combination of your loving bees and loving natural things, and also writing well-researched posts, this might be something you'd like to tackle. I figured you'd be as outraged as I am by the idea that people are using this stuff without giving any thought to the fact that it harms honey bees.

Michelle said...

T, I would love to research it and write about it!!

The prof. of entomology talked about herbecides, insecticides and pesticides being the cause of CCD. Talked about ways of preventing the bees from being exposed if neighbors are using them, etc... I hadn't heard about Sevin (they didn't cover any specifics due to time constraints) but I'm very interested and the more I learn the better. Please share the links and I will definitely get started on writing something. Thanks so much for thinking of me!

Steven C. said...

Do you run screened bottom boards? Here in central MA we get some hot days in the summer (not a lot, but a few), and I have *never* seen my bees congregating outside the hive due to heat. I also run the SBB open over the winter, and both my hives came through no problem. Just an idea.

Michelle said...

Thanks Steve. I'm going to order the screened bottom board, we definitely need it. Do you use the sticky board with that also and does that affect the ventilation?

Steven C. said...

I built my own hive stand/landing board and put slits in it to hold a mite count sticky board. It goes under the screened bottom board (I've never seen the SBB interfere with the mite count - the only thing which doesn't fall through the screen are dead bees).

You can see what I did here: