Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hive Maintenance

I finally did some overdue hive maintenance. I moved a full frame from the second box up to the top one. The bees had started to draw some comb up there but it wasn't hanging off the top bars, it was kind of lumped on the bottom of a couple of frames. I am sorry that I don't have pictures of the open hive but we have only one working camera at the moment and Julia had it with her.

It took me a while to get this done because I needed to make a shelf to hold the top box while I moved the frames around. As you can probably tell it's made from scrap wood we had lying around. I had the goal of putting in 3 bolts on each side which was a good decision because I broke the drill bit in one of the holes on one side and left it empty. On the other side I missed the stud with one of the bolts. Two out of three is a raging success here at Camp Ramshackle so I didn't sweat it and got on with moving the frames.

When I set the box up on the shelf some honey comb that the bees had drawn on the bottom of the frames was crushed and leaked a little honey out. It was kind of exciting and concerning at the same time. Good because we got a little taste of honey. Bad because I was concerned that it might attract ants.

When I took a quick look the next morning I was surprised to find that not only were there no ants on the shelf, there was no trace of honey. None. I couldn't have cleaned it better with a rag.

There were ants however. They had come for the carcasses of bees which were crushed when I put the box back on top. I now know that I should have scraped these off when I finished but the bees were pretty tired of me by the time I was done and I just got out of there.

I'm going to run up there tomorrow and check again. I hope the dead bees and ants are gone. If not I'll dump some cinnamon on the ground and get some diatomaceous earth on the way home to bolster the defense.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.