Archive | June 2016

HopGuard week 3

This marks the third week of hop guard treatment. Last week I did a very quick check on the hives before I replaced the hop guard strips. I checked the outer edges of the brood nest to see how many frames of brood each colony had. White Hive had 8 last week, so I added an extra deep box for them with some honey stores in it for encouragement. Green Hive had 5 frames last week so they just got their treatment.

I’ll check in on them next weekend and remove the treatments. Today marks the first day of summer so things will be much warmer here on out. It’s been a perfect spring though. Rain every few days when we needed it, 70 degree days more often than not. It was actually too hot for spring here in Washington. We had several record setting days up in the 90s. Everything is vibrant and green as a result though. I’m sure we’ll have a very dry summer.

Anyway, everything is going great with the bees so far!

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Treating For Mites

This year I decided to really be responsible and treat for varroa mites. Today was the first chance I had to check on the bees again since I got them, and everything looks good! White Hive has 6 frames of brood, with the other four frames being dedicated to new honey stores mixed in with last years. There was pollen coming in but not as much as Green Hive. Green Hive has 4 frames of brood, with the cluster being about an inch shallower altogether in comparison of White Hive. The pollen stores are significantly higher in Green Hive though, and there’s lots of honey as well.

I wasn’t sure how far along either colony would be already, so I grabbed an old deep box from my room just incase. I found it FULL of wax moth larvae. Each frame had  cocoons along the outer edges, and the front and back walls were also covered. I had seen wax moths fluttering around my room in the past but I didn’t think it was as extensive as it was. And I cleared out the boxes I suspected were the trouble, so finding this was really crazy.

I also was unaware that wax moths ate wood. Each of the white patches inside the box is a small divot where a larvae spun a cocoon. I cleaned off every frame and the box is still usable. Fortunately neither colony needs a second box added yet.

After fully inspecting the hives I placed a strip of Hopguard in each of them. I just realized you’re not supposed to do a full inspection before treating them, but I also am working 6 days a week and didn’t really have a choice.

After putting a strip in the center of each of the hives, I quickly closed them up. The queen in White Hive is really pretty. She’s a really dark brown color with flecks of gold along the upper edge of each cuticle. I didn’t see the queen in Green Hive so I’m not too sure what she looks like now that she’s in the swing of things.

Hopefully the treatment goes well! I’m supposed to apply the second treatment in a week, and then let the second treatment sit for 2 weeks.