Today was a heartbreaking day here at Jehovah Jireh Apiary.
Summary of hive inspections at Jehovah Jireh apiary, October 26, 2017. Hive 1 – found several bees with DWV, and several dead, white, nearly emerged pupae on bottom screen. Otherwise okay. Hive 2 – found queen, but she isn’t marked. This hive may have swarmed or superseded. Hive 3 – On its way out. No eggs, no uncapped brood. Very sparse capped brood. Low worker population.
Summary of hive inspections at Jehovah Jireh apiary, October 2, 2017. The bees in all three hives were calm. No sign of any significant infestations. Population in all three hives was sparse. Attribute to early fall foraging, in the middle of a sunny, warm, but not hot day, or possibly due to Autumn draw-down. About 50 dead bees on the bottom screen of Hive 3, but none in death throes like last inspection. All hives seem to be okay in terms of stores. All three hives’ brood clustered at entrance end, with one frame of honey between entrance end wall and brood – textbook behavior per Dr. Leo. No queens seen, but eggs and brood of all ages found in all three hives.
Did hive inspections today on the twelfth day after end of the enforced brood break on Hive 2. All hives are thriving, but Hive 3 had about 50 dead bees in the empty zone to the left of the follower board, and about 10 bees in violent death throes. Looked for all the world like poisoning.
The astonishing speed at which honeybees construct new comb, when they want to.
What we found in our oil pan traps when we did the Autumn oil change today.
Summary of hive inspections at Jehovah Jireh apiary, September 7, 2017. Today marks the end of a 24-day enforced brood break in Hive 2. We therefore released the existing queen from isolation. We originally planned to requeen today, using an egg frame from one of the other colonies. But we decided on advice from our mentor to leave the existing queen due to the lateness of the season. We administered the last of three planned powdered sugar sprinkles in all three hives. The sugar shakes and brood break are part of our attempt to bring the Varroa mite population down going into winter.
Summary of hive inspections at Jehovah Jireh apiary, August 30, 2017. We are entering the third week of an enforced brood break in Hive 2. We administered the second of three planned powdered sugar sprinkles in all three hives. The sugar shakes and brood break are part of our attempt to bring the Varroa mite population down going into winter.
Report of August 22, 2017 hive inspections at Jehovah Jireh Apiary.
We plan to use isolation frames I just built to prevent our queens from laying for 21 days, in order to break the brood cycle of the mites. We will combine with heavy smoking once a week to encourage grooming.