Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Emergency honey collection

So I've decided to remove all the old honey supers because of the wax moth infection. Today I removed the remaining three supers. Two on Mary & one on Myrina. I spun what honey they had and pulled the wax. 43 lbs of honey & roughly 48 oz of wax. Thirty frames & three supers on the burn pile for tonight. I don't like that wax moth larva pupate in wood. I know freezing solves that but these frames are seriously old with many wax moth scars on them as is. It's time for them to go.
I had not planned to take the honey in these frames till the end of September. I fear the moth will only get farther into the hives and do more damage. Right now the damage is minimal & I'd like to keep it that way. I don't think any larva have pupated yet. There's no silk that I see yet either. Some frames are filled with capped honey. Some are about a quarter filled. Several Are totally empty. So it's take the honey that's here and be done with it.
As usual it's family fun day when we spin Honey. Had to deal with the occasional wax moth larva. They were quickly dispatched. My family spins Honey like they pick strawberries. One for you, two for me, one for you two for me... Plus the neighbors came over to help as well. It's amazing that I keep any honey at all.I noticed in Mary though that the bees were acting very odd. When I knocked the bees off of the frame they formed bee balls on the ground instead of flying back to the hive. Not for a few minutes but for the rest of the day into the night. Plus when I smoked the bees on top of the hive they did not retreat back into the hive. Instead they flowed, like water, over the edge of the hive. They bearded along the edge but eventually fell off. Grouping up with the other bees already on the ground. They're all under the hive now. Even as I brushed them off into the hive they 'flowed' over the top.
When I did Myrina every bee I brushed off a frame immediately flew back into the hive. They never formed a ball outside at all.
I have the feeling that there may not be a Queen in Mary.

To finish up I put a new honey super on Mary. Now each hive has two hive bodies and one honey super each. I'd like the girls to have an extra super of honey to get through the Winter with. As with all the frame i've replaced this year I use the coated plasticell in a wood frame. I wonder if that hinders the wax moth since there's no midrib to burrow through?

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