Thursday, May 12, 2016

May 12 Bee Inspection: Illegal Immigrant Ants in Anya's Kingdom!

Well we checked out all three hives and, despite all the rain, they are busy collecting nectar and capping honey. Starting with the new hive, we looked for a queen, but didn't see one. The queen cell was open and the hive was calm so it's likely they have a queen who may not be mated yet or is mated but hasn't started to lay. All the brood in the hive has hatched so, in case they don't have a queen at all, we took two frames of brood including eggs from Bianca' hive and put them in. If there's no queen, they'll raise one. We'll add a third box on that hive because most of the frames are full of bee bread and nectar.

Queen Anya is going gangbusters laying brood and the workers are also filling up the empty frames with nectar. A colony of illegal immigrant ants is laying eggs in the top of the hive. I doubt if they are much of a problem and as the bees increase they will probably handle the ants on their own. But searching the internet I found several suggestions. Apparently ants hate cinnamon so we could prop the hive up on cinnamon sticks or sprinkle some in the top of the inner cover. (Need to check about that before I do it.) Also, another beekeeper suggested sprinkling coffee grounds around the hive. Apparently ants aren't fond of that either. And what a good way to use up coffee grounds instead of throwing them in the trash. I'll definitely start doing that. Sure can't hurt.

On the whole, things looked good in the bee yard which was a relief because of our two weeks of rainy weather. We'll add another box to the new hive tomorrow after I have a chance to get it ready. All the colonies were calm. We used the smoker but didn't really need it. Despite our doing a pretty thorough inspection looking at lots of frames, the bees weren't upset at all. We're pretty happy with our good-natured girls.

No comments: