Sunday, March 21, 2010

Mary out of ICU

Today Mary comes out of ICU (the garage). Actually last night she came out. After it got dark and all her bees were inside for the night I sealed up the entrance hole and moved her. But only to a temporary spot until I make a stand for the permanent site.

New Temporary Location

She gets to come out into the world again. She's had 2 weeks of gathering pollen & nectar. Her population is still small but Myrina's stolen bees have helped tremendously. There may be a few cold nights left but they should be fine. I really want them outside now so they can forage as early as they want to. They also need to finally clean up the inside of the hive. In the garage for the past 2 weeks the bees have been chopping at the steal mesh closing off the entrance. Now outside with the front entrance finally open they may commence all hive activities.

I left her closed up all night and opened her up completely this morning. I place several sticks right in front of her entrance. That should tell the bees something has changed causing them to re-orientate the location of the hive. I'm afraid they won't do that and gang up at the old window entrance.

Of course with Mary everything is going to be a problem.

After I placed her out last night I wanted to add a Hive top Feeder. The bees were calm & resting in the Hive body so I gave it a try. Oops, her girls did not like me opening the top cover and became defensive. I didn't want all her bees flying around at night in a new location so I quickly gave up. In the moment the top was off I saw where the syrup jar had leaked sugar all over the Inner Cover. I'll need to clean that up when I can get in there again.

When I opened up the hive this morning I had more of the same. At the front entrance and at the top where the ICU entrance was located. I was able to get the HTF on but not able to use the Vent Box as a shim. So right now the T-cover is sitting directly on the HTF. I filled the HTF with the syrup. I used a 1:1 syrup medicated with Fumagilin. They still have the Nosema because they didn't take their medicine the first time.

The new hive stand is a tree stump. I cut a tilt to it but made it to much. I can not get the whole gallon of syrup in the HTF without the syrup over flowing the front end. I'll stick a piece of wood underneath the front end and fix that.

I really want to break into the hive and do a complete inspection but I want to see them learn where there hive is first. Plus the shock of moving will need some time to wear off. I'll update this post later after I've fixed the HTF & the tilt.

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I was able to get the HTF inside the Vent box after I suited up. I adjusted the tilt and poured in the rest of the syrup. After an hour or so I noticed much buzzing around the entrance. Behavior I always attribute to the bees having found the syrup.

The Inner Cover was trashed with crystallized sugar. That and the Nosema stain may mean the end of that Inner Cover. If I can't get it clean without too much water damage then to the burn pile it will go.

Most field bees performed Orientation flights but about 20 to 30 kept going back to the previous entrance location. I'd put them back in the hive then wait an hour and do it again. By nightfall all were back home from what I can tell.

Now I'll sit back and see what Mary can do. If she needs another infusion of bees I can grab a frame of brood from Myrina easily.

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