The Unwound Third > Jam Session


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If you live in the sticks, you gotta be able to do things on you own.  Great looking hives!  Conrats! 

Yogurt with a little honey is sublime.

Yep yep yep... We do a honey vanilla yogurt. You are right, the best way is the Greek way, plain sheep milk yogurt with Greek honey drizzled over it, breakfast of champions. You brought back memories of staying with my girlfriend's relatives in Thessaloniki on our way overland back to the UK from India, 1974

Cool. Keep us posted.  My grandfather kept bees, and I remember he would just go in and pick up the combs without any mask, gloves, etc.  I think he spoke bee.

I've only suited-up in full once so far, on Monday when transferring the two colonies from nuc boxes to their new hives. One of the nuc boxes was bursting with bees and understandably they were fixing to swarm; there were several swarm cells on the frames. Once I confirmed the queen was still present in the nuc box I scraped-off the swarm cells while moving the frames into the new hive.

For that session full protection was necessary, if only for reducing my stress levels. Since then I've been aiming to let the two colonies focus on drawing out comb on the five new empty frames in each hive. Now both colonies have room to expand hopefully the swarming impulse is reduced. They might still swarm though, nothing is guaranteed with honeybees apparently.

On Monday I'll do a full inspection and some IPM (integrated pest management), treating for the dreaded Varroa mite with formic acid patties. I will be fully suited-up for that.

Progress report. I took off the second layer of deep supers shown in the photo after talking to my informal bee mentor. Added formic acid patties 20 days ago and removed them this week, treating for varroa mites. During that time I monitored the numbers of mites falling through the screened bottom board. They are certainly present in the hives, as they are in nearly every hive in North America.

I re-added a second deep super to the strong hive since they clearly needed more brood space and it seems to have been a good move. The bees are working their way up into it and the hive population still seems to be growing with reduced signs of swarming. Without wishing to speak too soon things seem pretty good so far.

Sting count is 1 (one), received on the first day.


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