Saturday, May 26, 2012

Bee tree secure ( I hope)

Yesterday I went to the bee tree and found that my sac trap was full of bees.  Unfortunately, most were dead as I had not checked it for three days.  Even though they could return to the hive, they seem to die if I leave the trap up overnight.  Not sure why yet, maybe they just tire themselves out trying to leave or maybe die of thirst.  Someday I will figure it out.  As these were very angry bees, I'm not to concerned with their perishing.  As I removed the trap I saw many bees inside so I installed my other catch sac and told the owners I would return in the afternoon.  Hoping my sulfur sheets would be in the mail.  They were , so I returned with my bee vac and sulfur sheet.  Removing the sac, which had a couple thousand bees in it, I then began to vacuum up all the bees either trying to enter or leave.  It took about a half hour before they were mostly all vac'd up.  I them lit my sulfur sheet and lowered it via a wire into the hole and sealed it all up with concrete.   All entry holes are now secure.  Even if they don't die from the SO2 gas they cannot escape.  If the owners decide to remove the tree, we can still salvage all the honey, as the sulfur does not leave residuals in the honey.  If I had known it would take 2 weeks to get the sulfur, I would have left my hive trap in place, I think I may have enticed the queen out, but now will never know.

Later I went to Debra's house to loan her my queen mating nuc for her new queen she bought and couldn't use.  We placed one queen in the back half of her TBH, and moved some bars of honey and brood, along with some bees.  We placed the other queen in the nuc, which I had previously supplied with a piece of comb filled with water and some fondant.  I had placed some of my angry bees in there for starter stock.  By the time they get some comb built and the brood hatching, the bad bees will be gone and replaced by a friendlier bunch.

Checked my queen today, and the bees seem to be accepting her, but I'm going to wait and release her tomorrow.  I had shook out all the bees I caught yesterday and they took to the new hive right away.  Didn't seem to be any in fighting between the two groups.  Maybe because it was late in the evening.  I walked back to the house to take off my suit and one bee was on the suit when I took it off and nailed me right on the eyelid.  Ouch!!  I  immediately took a Benedryl, hope it works as I really don't need to look like I lost a fight, although I think I did.   Can't wait for the queen to replace all this nasty stock.  My new nuc seems to be doing fine, eating the fondant I gave them and gathering pollen also.  Later

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