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I took the opportunity to remove my bottom super and mouseguards 2 weeks ago when temp was 15c. I will wait awhile before supering on top as they will need to keep warm still for a bit longer.
Perhaps wait until a bit warmer before you take lower super away. I found that there were no stores left but quite a few bees inside which meant that I had to shake them into the brood box. Slightly disruptive so better on a warmish day
The raptors, and other birds, have been having a hard time during the recent cold snap and the hard ground. The buzzards, kites and hawks have been geeting more desperate. I have seen them at close quarterd in our village and garden.
Would be interesting to know if you have actually seen them taking bees.
I have never seen that but if they are that hungry they might try anything.
Same with mine. Looks like a problem at first- – – but just their way of keeping cool in hot weather.
Even if we plant loads for our bees and they choose to go somewhere else we are at least providing for bumble bees. If they are foraging elsewhere it is probably a good sign – – -meaning that they are finding something better, and in more quantity, elsewhere. Our honey bees love to find a good, reliable and abundant source for all those hungry mouths in the colony.
There is nothing like observation (at home or at the garden centre) to tell you which plants honey bees prefer. But if you are going to lash out on plants for your bees it is best to do some good research first. Most ‘bee friendly’ plants suit bumble bees better and honey bees which have shorter tongues and therefore find them difficult to access. For example I read that Salvia was really good for honeybees. so I bought and planted some- – – but I have only ever seen bumbles on them. Worse than that they really stink!
Interesting story. Great to learn more about Sicily.
Only just seen this Sophie.
I would suggest squashing moths if you find them in or near hives.
You really dont want them laying within. Its not a pretty sight and the comb would have to be destroyed. They love old comb and/or weak colonies, (strong colonies seem to manage the problem).
It helps to replace comb on a regular basis and store drawn comb carefully. One common mistake is to store comb without treating (to kill waxmoth larvae and eggs). Acetic acid or freezing.
I freeze mine . That kills all stages.
Hope that helps.
Not a healthy bee.
Has lost all hairs on abdomen.
Could well be CBPV,(Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus).
Would suggest internet search (NBU for example).
Not that unusual to see the occasional bee like that.
- It does seem as if you need to replace that brood box and old comb.
- If you have one or two frames of freshly drawn comb that would help.
- You could place it above the brood for a while to get it started. But they will then put stores there.
At this time of year it’s a good idea to make sure that the bees are based around the entrance and not to one side, (or at the back, warm way), so that they can protect the entrance. Wasps are beginning to show.
It is the same mesh as used for varroa floors (mesh floors), but I am sure that anything similar would do.
You can buy a sheet from any supplier ( one example – Thorne’s) or you could try David Cottrill , Bee Equipment), near Kineton.
If you cant find any just pin some thick plastic over (with holes made with nail or similar). If you have mesh floors ventilation should not be a problem anyway.