Thursday, July 13, 2017

We Wear Socks in the Bee Yard for a Reason

One thing I know for certain: Bees will never go up your pant legs when your hands are empty.

It'll always happen when you're holding a super so flowing over with bees that you can't set anything down quickly to deal with the little runner going angrily up your leg.You won't even have a hand free to (God forbid) squish her.

When Dad was new to the bee yard he wore the bee gear to use the whipper-snipper to clear grass from in front of the hives. But he forgot one minor detail. To put the socks over the pant legs.

The bits of grass where like shrapnel on the fronts of the hives (I got him to stop and to only use the lawn mower out front) but it was too late for him. Angry bees had gone up his pant legs. He ran to the car and the next minute his pants were around his ankles while he shooed no more than five bees out of his pants.

For me, it happens frequently when I'm shaking bees off something over the hive. There's always a few that hit the ground and often they end up my pant legs. I try stamping my feet really hard which can often knock them down. Then I raise my leg and shake. But more often than not they're still there.

This frustration is easily avoided by pulling your socks up over your paint legs.

One time I had bare feet in my work boots and I ended up later in the day going up a ladder to collect a swarm. This kind of unexpected activity is where you get caught. I had no socks to pull up over my pants. So put an extra pair of socks in your bee vehicle.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Washboarding - Housework for Bees

If you've taken up beekeeping then it won't be long until you see a chore bees do outside the hive.  It's called washboarding.

The bees will be next to each other with a bit of space between then and they will appear to be moving in a rhythmic movement back and forth.

They don't always move in sync but they can often appear to be.

What are they doing?  They're using their tongues to clean the outside of the hive.

They'll mostly do this outside the entrances of the hive.

This is a task that I often see bees do once the population is built up so in a lot of ways it's an indicator of a strong hive.

See the video of the bees washboarding below.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Best Homemade Protein Patty Recipe for Honey Bees

A couple years ago our bee club had a presentation by one of the Tech Team members of the Ontario Bee Association.

The team had done an extensive study  to find out what is the best protein supplement to feed bees.

They used all of the well known brands available on the market and also visited the USA to find out what the commercial beekeepers were using as a supplement.

They tried them all and studied the results on the hives tested.

The winning recipe came from commercial beekeepers in the USA.  They've posted the easy homemade recipe on the Ontario Bee Association's website (Ontario Bee Assocation) and you can view it at:

Homemade Protein Supplement Recipe for Honey Bees