154Re: bee questions and some answers
- Sep 4, 1999Your 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
> 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.
> 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
> 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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