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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a Master Beekeeper! Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.


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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Adjusting Bermuda to Help with Unused Comb

The height of small hive beetle infestation is really not the time to do a hive inspection in which you take the hive all the way down to the bottom board. But Bermuda has lots of empty space in it and I've worried about this, my strongest hive.

I have two of Jerry Freeman's prototype small hive beetle traps. The first version was on this hive and although he has corrected this problem, the trap on this hive tended to kill bees as well as beetles. The second version of his trap was on the hive at Blue Heron that I took apart a few weeks ago. I wanted to change out the old trap for this safer-for-the-bees version.

Whatever guilt I have about taking the hive all the way down to the bottom board is somewhat alleviated by knowing that I set up this trap. If the SHB get too excited in this hive, hopefully the bees will cast them off the frames and they'll fall in the oil below and drown.



My plan for this hive was first to take the bottom box off of the hive because it only had frames with pollen in them. I would use the box further up on the hive after I readjusted a number of things. The second box had about three full frames of brood and about 3 partially filled brood frames. The third box had three full frames of brood and that was about it.

I was so lucky because I saw the queen in the second box. I forgot to put the camera on Macro so she's out of focus, but at least we can all know she is there. I was immensely relieved to see her and know that I could put her and the frame she was on in the hive and keep her safe (from me).



So I filled the bottom box with 8 filled or partially filled brood frames. That used to be the second box, so the queen was safely there as well. I put all the heavy with pollen frames I could find in the second box. I put a third box on of drawn frames - all empty - so that they could fill them either from the current goldenrod flow or from the sugar syrup which I planned to give them.



I placed a baggie feeder on the top of the frames that you can see in the box above. I then took each of the remaining frames that were not going back in the hive and shook the bees into the box on top of the syrup baggie. I left the frames leaning against the back of the hive and put a full box of frames from the hive in front of the hive so that the bees that clung to them could find their way home in their own time.



I have had such bad bee karma lately that I do hope this readjustment of the hive works. It isn't my house, after all. Who am I to decide where the nursery should be? But I did, so I hope the queen and workers agree with my readjustment.
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3 comments:

  1. Hoping too that they'll be happy. Boy we try so hard for their benefit don't we?

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  2. Don't be worried, you are doing the best you can and we can tell how much you love your bees! I love reading your blog and living vicariously through you while you tend to your hives. :)

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  3. Best of luck to your bees, Linda! Even out of focus, we can see Her Majesty is quite beautiful!

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