Friday, May 11, 2012

The Beetles - and I don't mean Paul, John, or Ringo

Hive beetles.  Tiny, annoying, indestructible hive beetles.  Today during my routine hive inspection I found three of them along the bottom board.  I was able to smash two and flick one into oblivion (I hope).


Being that my colony is still small (this Sunday marks three weeks since I installed them) I went ahead and placed an order for a product called Beetle Jail.  The Beetle Jail installs on the top bar of the hive frame, and I picked this type of trap because it seemed to be the easiest for me to handle while working the hive alone.  If you research traps on the internet, you'll find that there is some heated debate over the Beetle Jail trap versus the AJ Beetle Eater trap.  Both are top bar traps, but the AJ Beetle Eater requires more vegetable oil (the beetles fall into it and drown) and some reports said it was messy and harder to manipulate.  On the other hand, the most frequent con to the Beetle Jail trap that I saw was that the bees sometimes fill its openings with propolis.  This should be fairly easy to remedy with a quick cleaning during regular hive checks.  I'm hoping that since I caught the beetles relatively early, they won't be much of a problem. I want to keep my hive as "organic" as possible so non-chemical problem solvers are my preferred choice.

Additionally, I ordered a constructed hive top feeder with floats today.  The girls seem to LOVE inside feeding, so this new piece will make it easier for me to refill their feed without really disturbing them.

Much to my chagrin, the weather will be cold again over the next few days, however, I was at least able to refill their current feeder.

Beyond that, the bees were still working to draw out the outer brood frames with wax, the inner capped brood seemed to be progressing normally, and the workers have been storing pollen like mad.  I also noted a few cells on the outer frames now have eggs in them, so that is very promising.

The eggs are the "rice grain" items that appear in the bottom of the cell.

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