Friday, April 22, 2011

Swarms, Trap-Outs, and Combining Hives

Tuesday when I got home from work, Mark told me to hurry and change, and to grab a notebook because we had bee work to do.  We jumped in the truck, Andrew joined us, and off we went to New Hope.

As we drove, I took notes on his day.

1. The porch hive was moved to Harley's place.  Interestingly, we were unable to move them the night before because it was so hot they were bearding on the outside and fanning to keep the temperature down inside the hive.  Early Tuesday morning they were still outside, so Mark smoked them in, put on a vented entrance closer, and drove them out to Steens. He added a deep super, a feeder board with feeder, and oil. Their population is good and we'll check on them this weekend to see if they need more feed.

2. At the Barhams', he added a medium and removed the feeder from BB1, added feed to BB2 and saw the queen and eggs so hopefully their population will soon increase.

3. As for BB3, they got a healthy new dose of bees and hopefully a queen, thanks to a swarm call.  Jeff, "the big friendly guy" in New Hope had some bees move into the soffit on his house that day. Since it was rotten, he allowed Mark to tear it out to get to the bees.  He observed from his truck and was really interested in the entire process.  Thanks, Jeff, for the bees!

Mark took the bees, and had to wrestle newspaper in the wind so he could put the new bees on top of BB3.  "The lesson for the day is that wind + newspaper + being alone = need staple gun."  Fortunately he had one in the truck, but I would have loved to have gotten pictures of that process!

4. Our top bar hive caller from Monday night lives in New Hope, so Mark stopped by to see him.  He gave us the top bar hive he'd built!  Thanks, Mr. McGarity!

5. The other task of the day was a trap-out in a tree. Mrs. Beatty wanted the bees removed as she was afraid her great grandchildren might get stung.  She has a glorious backyard people called "Beatty Park" back in the day, and a feisty wienie dog.  Mark built a platform and funnel, and left.

That brings us up to the time we were all headed to New Hope. A family had bees in the upstairs wall of their house, but there was no good way to get to them either from the outside (siding) or the inside, so we were unable to rescue them.

Since we were out, we decided to visit the Barhams' Bee yard and Mrs. Beatty to check on them and see how everything was going.

At Barhams', the two sets of bees seemed to be flying out of their respective entrances. Their job is to chew through the newspaper, and in the time that takes, get used to one another. We hope the downstairs bees will accept the upstairs queen (if she's there) and we won't have to requeen.

At Mrs. Beatty's the weight of the bees trying to get into their tree home was so heavy it crushed the funnel.  Mrs. Beatty reminds me of my dear granny, who happened to turn 91 on the same day I met Mrs. Beatty!  (As an aside, we're not sure if these bees are going to make it. Mark visited them on Thursday, after the tornado/hail/straight line wind/thunderstorm episode on Wednesday.  They were still hanging on the funnel, soaked and cold.  He moved as many as he could into the hive and added a feeder. We'll see how they are tomorrow, after a day or two of better weather.)

So many bees!
She could be my granny's twin.  So sweet!

This is about the time Mark pointed out I'd stepped in dog poop.

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