Thursday, March 4, 2010

Modifications & Some Success

The bees in Mary finally found the window entrance! I'd like to congratulate Mary on this but likely it was Myrina's robed bees that figured it out. Today was in the high 40's which is a little too cool to fly. I figure they were OK to fly because the hive sits in a heated garage. They weren't bringing in pollen but taking Orientation flights. THAT is the success part. Myrina's bees could have flown back to their hive. Instead they have accepted Mary's ICU hive as their home. The orientation flight is a bees way of learning were her home is located so she can always find it after a days hard work.

Home Sweet Home

There were also some cleansing flights. This is an important step in Mary's survival. Now that they can go outside to work they can tend to the colonies needs. Which is better that relying on me to guess what they need next.

I had to modify my original ICU setup before the bees found the entrance. The aluminum tube was long and dark at first. I put a bend in it to act as a heat trap. I though it important since the cold air would otherwise flow over the little cluster. The bees never ventured into it to find the light at the end of the tunnel. So i shortened it and made it a straight shot directly to the entrance. 2 days went by and no effect. Last night i stuck a row of nail holes into the top ridge of the tube. Then put the shop lamp directly over these holes. Now with light streaming into the hive from the entrance
tube I believe the bees saw the light and followed it out.

Top Perforated Entrance Tube

Also, here is the top syrup feeder I added a to the cover. The bees still haven't found it yet. I do not know why. I'm still working on it. It may be a gap issue. There is still a entrance feeder in the original entrance too.

We are looking at 50 degree weather next week. The maples will bloom and Mary's bees will have a chance to improve their lot significantly. She's not yet out of the woods though. Mary has a weak queen. The queen will need to start laying eggs to further her survival. As soon as I can steal a swarm cell from Myrina I will requeen Mary. That Queen will be strong and hygienic like Myrina and most, if not all, of Mary's problems should go away.

1 comment:

immwia said...

Wow, this is an amazing journey I am still sitting on the edge of me seat hoping Mary and the swarm make it.