We were rejigging the strawberry patch. I have made an Observation about the vegetable patch. During a couple of weekends in late spring, They put plants into the ground, and then spend all the rest of the summer pulling other plants out.
Andy says its called Weeding. It seems to take up an inordinate amount of time.
There was a strange noise – it started as a low hum, and got louder and louder. And then a black cloud came low over the trees. Aaarghh, a swarm of bees coming straight at us. Run for cover.
We made it indoors and luckily they buzzed off quite quickly. But from whence had they come? Time to check out our hives.
Hive Bee was fine and dandy. Lots of bees and lots of lovely, sticky honey.
Sadly the same could not be said for Hive A. It was completely infested with Wax Moth, and it must have been our bees who had just emigrated. The hive was in a right old state. Quite repulsive. Upsetting. And needing some urgent action.
As there were no bees in residence, no viable colony, it was an easy decision to simply destroy the whole lot. All the frames were thrown on the bonfire and burnt.
And the shell of the hive thoroughly cleaned out. It will be treated with a blow torch too to get rid of any remaining eggs. And will be beepopulated next year.
To end on a happy note, here is a Carpeneter Bee either pollinating or being pollenated by a Passion Flower.
6 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Hives”
Oh no! Nasty wax moths. Glad your other hive is doing well. I absolutely love the carpenter bee covered with golden pollen.
I can’t believe how destructive and thorough they are. The other hive certainly seems healthy enough to resist them, thank goodness. Just hope the fleeing bees have found somewhere nice and safe to settle.
I feel your pain. An August swarm is just plain poor timing. I’m experiencing one now. The hive where the bees came from remains viable (for now).
I’m curious why you burned your wax and frames? I was told if you stuck them in the freezer for 24-48 hours, it would kill the eggs and larva. I think you can save the wax to make candles (or to possibly use in a swarm bait hive.)
Great photos. We have a border collie too. For about 7-8 years people would comment whenever they saw us walking the dog. “Who is taking whom for a walk?” Now she is the ‘perfect dog.’ Walks without pulling and respects our library silence after dinner “reading and blogging time.”
It was such a shock finding that horrid mess, that I think we panicked. Burn the lot, immediately, we cried! I certainly wanted to try and avoid the other hive becoming infested. Plus I didn’t fancy the idea of maggoty frames in the freezer.
The collies are brilliant company (usually), selectively obedient and I think I’m right is saying that on the majority of occasions, I have the upper hand?
Happy to see that you are under proper Border collie supervision!
Yes, with Blog lying right on top of the plant that has just been dug in, and Genepi about to run off with the next one. Its great having BC helpers.