Thursday, April 18, 2013

Struggles in Beekeeping

Last Spring I was ecstatic that my hive survived a cold, long, winter in Maine!  After a year of searching for my queen I FINALLY spotted her.  I was beginning to doubt others when they said “you’ll know it when you see her.”  They were right, she’s much bigger then the worker bees and her wings are smaller as pictured above.  About a month later she swarmed with a bunch of her buddies. I was bummed but I moved on as they did.  The hive re-queened and seemed to have plenty of honey to make it through winter.

Trying to be “all natural” I didn’t not treat my hive for mites.  Mistake # 199 in beekeeping 101 for this chicka.  This Spring I discovered I had lost my hive probably due to mites.

LESSON LEARNED!  Since I don’t give up real easy I have another nuke coming in May.  Earlier this week I picked up the makings for a new hive and CB has started to assemble it.  Last year I was lean on supplies and found myself in a pickle on a Sunday when my bees swarmed.  This year and in the future I WILL be prepared in the event I need another set up.

Since there was a lot of honey leftover I attempted to try and extract some of it by hand but that was an epic failure and one heck of a mess.  I called the local bee place but they don’t extract until June.  I must admit I can’t stand relying on someone else for things!  My plan is to sweet talk Maine Man into building me one or maybe I will purchase an inexpensive extractor if I must.  Any thoughts or suggestions on that from any bee peeps would be greatly appreciated!!!!


Little Messy Missy said...

So sorry about the mites. I wonder if there is something natural you could use to treat them??

LynnHarding said...

Try apiguard (it is thymol and considered organic.) We buy from Better Bee in upstate NY because it is close but all bee supply places carry it. We are going to treat this spring because our package bees arrived from Georgia with plenty of mites. We lost our three hives last fall to mites because we thought they were strong enough.
I have been told that we can use Thymol now and in the spring.