Ada Apiary 4-7-2012

I went out to my Ada Apiary today to see how the nuc box was doing. I did not see any bees at the entrance of the nuc. This worried me as we have had two nights of freezing temperatures and frost warnings. I opened the lid to find two frames of bees and I did see the queen. I shook another frame of nurse bees from my other hive to help boost the nuc.

4-12-2012 Update:

A raccoon or some other critter destroyed the top bar hive I am talking about below. All the comb and bees have been ripped out. Only 5 worker and 6 drones remained in the hive. The Queen is dead :(.

4-18-2012 Update:

A raccoon was the culprit in the destruction of 3 top bar hives.

The Raccoon that Destroyed 3 of my top bar hives.

The Raccoon that Destroyed 3 of my top bar hives.

The top bar hive that had the small handful of bees was my next task. I figured they were about dead and I started to cut out the honey that was left. As I moved toward the area where the bees had been, I was soon greeted with a small group of bees. Turns out there was still just a handful of bees left in the hive, but there was also a Queen. I was happy to see her as this was the Daughter of the swarm queen from 2010. She is an Ohio Queen and I was sad to think she was lost. I had my other nuc box assembled, but I did not bring it with me. Next time I am in the Apiary, I will be bringing the nuc box, a queen cage and feed. April 11th is when I will be getting my first packages of bees for 2012. I plan to use a few of those bees to help boost this queen when I add her to a nuc box. I am hoping to rid myself of top bar hives soon. I plan to cut the comb out of the top bars and fasten them to frames.

I killed 8-10 small hive beetles in the nuc box and 3 in the full hive. I need to remember to get my beetle traps ready for my next visit.

I brought 3 drones home for my daughter to play with. Found one varroa mite on one of the drones.

Drone Honey Bee with Varroa Mite on Thorax.

Drone Honey Bee with Varroa Mite on Thorax.

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