Bees are tough to raise

babsbag

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What is the ratio/mix of cat food to Frontline?
I never answered this....the directions said 100 g. of cat food and add the amount of Fibronil that will cling to the end of a toothpick. 100 grams = about 3.5 oz. I have only seen a handful of wasps this year so I think that it worked, although it was too late to save my bees.

Speaking of bees. I treated for mites today...bees are a tough hobby unless you are blessed with them. I got stung...one hive is gone...and I have a headache from smoke and Apiguard inhalation. Two weeks ago the hive was happily bringing in pollen and being busy bees. I noticed on Sat. that I didn't see many bees. So today when I checked they are just gone...they left lots of honey and lots of pollen in the hive, but no bees. I gave the honey to my remaining hive and the pollen will go in the freezer for next spring. There were some bees in there but pretty sure they were robbing as the caps on the honey were starting to get chewed off.

No idea why no bees, no dead bees, just gone and this is the wrong time of year to swarm and swarms leave part of the hive behind. And usually when they abscond they don't leave their honey as they know that they will need it. Strange little creatures.
 

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From my understanding (from when I went through this) a damaged/unhealthy/dying bee will leave the hive and go off on its own so as to not poison the hive. If you have farm fields around or pastures and someone sprayed insecticide or herbicide, it's likely that your entire hive got poisoned and they all flew off to die. Hence no bodies, no smoking gun (so to speak) and no real idea or proof of what happened. It really sucks. Sorry...
 

babsbag

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It's pot harvest season... I don't have many other kinds of crops around us but the neighbor that is about 1/8 mile did have his friend bring back about 30 hives just last week. I sure wish there was a way to know what happened. They were always the biggest and strongest hive, lots of honey (for here), lots of brood... The other one lost its queen early on and I replaced it and it took it a while to catch up. I am sure that they will appreciate all of the capped honey, unless of course it is the honey that caused the demise. Time will tell on that front.
 

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It attracts yellow jackets and kills them dead. Hopefully the entire nest, any and all.
 

Happy Chooks

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Strange time of year to lose them Babs. I'm sorry.

I was finally able to wrestle the remaining honey super off of my 2nd hive and got it in the freezer for next year. I was quite surprised I didn't get stung. Started mite treatment on them and finished 2nd mite treatment on #1. I saw some mild fighting on hive #1 at the entrance, which is 1 bee width. The hive was calm as could be, so I think they are fending them off for the time being. I am feeding both hives to hopefully avoid robbing.
 

babsbag

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I haven't seen any robbing other than when I put an internal feeder in one hive and as soon as it was empty the robbing stopped. I have a robbing screen on just in case, I have left it on all summer and I think it will just be my normal MO from here on out. I was disappointed that the strongest hive was gone but the "weak" hive looks pretty darn full.

I treated with Apiguard today and the first tray I opened was almost a liquid. I put it in the hive and immediately a few bees drowned in it. So I opened the second tray and it was pretty solid as I expected it to be. Anybody have any experience with this stuff?

I will put a winter patty in when I do the next mite treatment in a few weeks. I gave them 7 frames of honey today in addition to what they had. Do bees eat pollen in the winter? Would it do any good to give them the frames of pollen from the other hive now? I want to give them every chance to make it through the winter and maybe next year I can split them if all goes well. I haven't had a hive make it through winter in about 6 years. I think having the brood break when they lost their queen probably helped with mite load too.
 

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I've never had a liquid Apiguard and I've even used it expired. (still worked fine) It should be more gelatin consistency. You put the bottom board back in, right? Thymol is heavier than air, so you need the tray put back in a screened bottom board. Re treat in 2 weeks.

The bees will use the pollen all winter. Pollen is needed to raise bees, and the pollen patty has other good stuff in there for bee health. I'd save the frame of pollen for your new hive in the spring.
 

babsbag

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Yes, I put the bottom board in. I didn't think that the apiguard should be liquid, it almost looked like it melted put it wasn't a hot day and my house isn't hot. We'll see what the next one looks likes.

I knew that the bees use pollen in the spring to start brood building and I usually give them pollen patties, I just wasn't sure if they eat it in the winter too. If I save the frames I have to freeze them or the wax moths will ruin them. So I hope that frozen pollen is still useful for them.
 

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Just thaw it before giving it to them.

I keep a patty in my hives all winter. They eat it and raise enough brood to keep the hive alive. It has carbohydrates for them too. The one year I didn't use a patty all winter, I almost lost the hive because the population got so low. I think they ran out of stored pollen and couldn't raise any brood. So I just keep a patty in all winter now. I figure it can't hurt. I have noticed that they start building up in the very early spring (January) better with the patty as well. Stronger colony when the first blooms (manzanita) start.
 
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