Monday, June 30, 2014

Adding Supers, Drowning Ants, and Swarm Report

So anytime in the next week would be a great time to add supers. The sooner, probably the better. Some people use a queen excluder on top of the brood boxes (between the brood and super boxes) to keep the queen from laying eggs in the honey supers. This is the second season I won't be using the queen excluder because I believe it really slows the bees down when the honey is "flowing" because they have to struggle to get through the excluder if they enter their hive through the bottom entrance. Besides, if we are caging the queen(s) 21-25 days before harvesting, all the eggs, larva will have become pupa and all the pupa will have "hatched -out." AH - HA!!

If you see ants inside your hive you can get a kiddie swim pool, set bricks or dunnage inside the pool to set your hive up on and fill the pool with water - be sure to have rocks, moss or wood for the bees to land on so they don't drown right along with the honeybees.

I'm still getting phone calls from folks who have lost colonies to swarming so keep doing hive checks every 10-12 days and don't miss any queen cells!!


  1. Carl made "legs" for our hive from PVC pipe and screwed them to the bottom of the board upon which the hive sits. We then put the "legs" into large cans filled with water-no ants this year!

  2. Jill and I would like very much to learn how to cage our queen. It seems very daunting, but well worth it. Dawn, can you help us out?

  3. I won't be caging my queens until around the 7th or 8th of August but I'd love to have you suit up with me and help out so you can practice before you cage your own. So I will have a queen caging demonstration at the end of the first week of August.

    1. Well, Her Majesty has been quite shy this week! We have tried to cage her, but we cannot find her among her subjects! The ladies are filling several frames with honey and seem happy, so we are going to abandon our quest to capture HM.

      Oh, as we left the Grays' yard Sunday night, one of the angry ladies made it well known that we had disturbed the hive. We were taking off our suits by our car when she stung Carl right above the eye! By morning, his eye was swollen closed! Point taken...