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154Re: bee questions and some answers

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  • enna end
    Sep 4, 1999
      Your story sounds so exciting. I am new to beekeeping. I got my first
      hive this spring and am about to rob the honey. Plan this Monday. I am
      working as a nurse this weekend but am off Mon & Tues. Wish me luck.
      Enjoy hearing your adventures. Will write soon.
      --- Farrington/Bequia Canvas <beqcan@...> wrote:
      > Hello all;
      > I am new to this list and looking forward to reading
      > and learning from the posts. I am a new beekeeper
      > to boot. Ma, from Nass Valley has addressed many of
      > my questions very thoroughly. Thank you. In
      > answering these questions she has also told you all
      > a bit about myself. We did finish our sailboat and
      > did sail into the sunset. We lived and sailed our
      > boat hither and thon for ten years. Never made it
      > around the world, but we had no intention of doing
      > so. Several Atlantic crossings to visit the magic
      > Portuguese islands - The Azores and Madeira. Some
      > time in Europe, along the Algarve, in Seville for a
      > couple of months and a four month trip through the
      > French canals as well as time throughout the
      > Caribbean and the Bahamas.
      > We are settled now in Bequia with a home - sold the
      > boat - two dogs, a hive and a half of bees, fruit
      > trees - mango, lime, orange, grapefruit and so
      > forth.
      > The half hive of bees will be rectified soon. Ma,
      > when I first was in contact with you I failed to
      > mention , because I didn't know it was important,
      > that this half hive was apparently composed of
      > half-wit bees. We found them building their home on
      > a tree limb right out in the open. We wondered
      > about this at the time but ignored it. This bunch
      > of bees have failed to thrive. It has been
      > suggested that the queen was/is no good. I have
      > seen them supersede but so what? A bad queen lays
      > eggs that will develop into bad queens. I don't
      > really understand all the diploid/haploid stuff, but
      > whatever I have done to this hive has failed to
      > improve its performance. They just cannot seem to
      > get it right.
      > So, I will start a nuc from my good colony and as
      > the nuc progresses I will add whatever bees and
      > brood I can from the half hive after I remove the
      > half-wit queen.
      > I said I was terrified of messing with my good hive
      > not from fear of the bees but because I did not want
      > to disrupt my one good working hive. I respect the
      > little ladies but I'm bigger and stronger than they
      > are so I do not fear them. Besides, I have some EPI
      > kits handy...
      > We do nothing to prepare our bees for winter. There
      > are only two season here - wet season/dry season;
      > tourist season/slow season; fly season/mosquito
      > season; hurricane season/winter. There always seems
      > to be something for the bees to forage on. Mine are
      > still bringing back pollen and I see some stored in
      > the hives.
      > As for finding the queen I am remarkably
      > inproficient at so doing. I have seen the half-wit
      > queen a few times, but never on a regular basis.
      > I say there are no mites here mostly because the
      > other Bequia beekeepers tell me so. However, I have
      > not seen any deformed bees, dying bees at the ground
      > or entrance, everything seems normal. Lots of
      > coming and going and so on. I did see a large red
      > spot/thing on the thorax of one bee one time. I
      > believe that could have been a bee louse, but I'm
      > not really sure.
      > Mite control - I have searched the web and gleaned
      > information from others posts and I can direct you
      > to some web sites.
      > http://www.wvu.edu/~agexten/varroa2htm#Essential is
      > a good discussion of essential oils to combat the
      > dreaded mite. Near the end there is a section
      > titled, Comments on Natural Resistance to
      > Varroatosis. The first paragraph of this section
      > refers to some bees being naturally resistant to
      > mites. The authors speculate that it is due to the
      > bees foraging amongst plants that produce the
      > essential oils which have been proven to control
      > mite populations. So, I will plant lots of mint,
      > which is useful for we humans as well, and hope for
      > the best.
      > However, another sensible solution to mite control
      > is the judicious use of Food Grade Mineral Oil.
      > http://www.beekeeping.com/articles/mineral_oil.htm
      > is a good discussion by Dr. Pedro P. Rodriguez. His
      > theories and experiments are sensible and workable.
      > He advocates, among other things, a thin bead of
      > FGMO on the top bars. This is easy to do. We are
      > mite free and I would like to keep my hives that
      > way. So, I am altering the good Doctors strategy
      > just a bit. I reason that if I can keep the mites
      > away from the ladies in the first place I won't have
      > to deal with a hive full of them later. I will
      > smear a very light film of FGMO on my landing
      > boards. This will be easy to clean, easy to
      > re-apply, easy to monitor and do the same job, I
      > hope.
      > OK, this is a hugely long letter for my first
      > post... Now you all know all about me and the girls
      > I live with. I apologise if I got too verbose - it
      > should not happen again.
      > Regards, Bob in Bequia

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