Thursday, April 27, 2017

Starting over again

Last Sat, the 21 st of April I went up to get my 3 packages and then took them to the bee farm and installed them.  The next Monday I went up to check on the food supply and discovered that they may be infected with Nosema, a stomach fungal disease that makes them defecate all over the front of the hive.  I gave them more food and then went home to make up some medication (a mixture of Tea tree oil and Wintergreen oil)  which I added to a gal of sugar syrup.  I cleaned up some, and then checked on the queens, to see if they had been let out.  The bees had built comb completely over the cage making it impossible for the queen to get free so I had to cut out the queen cages.  As soon as I did, the queen and the attendants scrambled out of the cage, 2 of them may have escaped.  I went to Monroe NJ on Weds. morning and picked up 2 queen cells to install in the suspect boxes, picked up my bottom trays which I had made up and headed back north.  Bees dead everywhere by the thousands with some still alive crawling around unable to fly due to K-wing, another symptom of Nosema.  I installed the new queen cells and then headed to Hudson Valley Bee Supply, where I purchased the packages to show them evidence on the package boxes (shit everywhere literally).  I told him that I suspected Nosema and had lost 1/4th of my bees.  He shook his head and said, "that's too bad, but they should have time to build up."  I would have thought he be more concerned with his customers, and that he may have others out there with the same problem.  If you are reading this and have this problem, let me no so we can approach them en mass.  Fill you in later.