Thursday, June 28, 2012

Banana Report

A few weeks ago I put a banana in my hives to see if this would help with the chalkbrook issues in all three hives. Our big hive, Sun's, got a whole banana and the other two each got a half.

Well this is Serenity's hive- this was the split we did earlier this year. You can still see the blackened peel at the top and bottom. There was a PILE of chalkbrood mummies on the bottom of this hive. The bees were doing a great job of cleaning them out of the frames, just not out of the hive.

The banana peels had mold on them and looked nasty. Yech, but I will tell you that two out of three hives are looking pretty chalkbrood free. I am now wondering if we need to move the third hive to a sunnier location as they still have wicked chalkbrood. Sigh.

So will I do this again- sure it didn't hurt the bees and along with better ventilation, might help. It certainly didn't hurt the bees.

Along with all this crazy chalkbrood I have been waiting for the bees to supercede Sun. She's three years old and is starting to lay in a patchy pattern. Perhaps my talk to the bees worked because what to my wondering eyes should appear today but a new queen. She was camera shy so I only got an iffy shot but like her mum, she's all golden. She is lighter than Sun but she has no marks on her abdomen.
Serendipity- our swarm hive- is building slowly. Partly this is the chalkbrood but I think they are just not in a good location. They are off the bee deck (my hives sit on a deck originally built for a hot tub) and it just might be too cool.

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