Friday, September 28, 2012

Cause and Effect....

Last week I treated you to photos of varroa mites....those pesty mites that invade honeybee hives and wreak havoc on the brood.  I had an "extra" 15 minutes this afternoon, so I decided to just sit outside my backyard hive and watch the bee activity. There is alot of coming and going...beautiful flights both ways, some pollen baskets FULL. It is so relaxing just watching the bees...then I see 6- 8-  maybe even 10 honeybees in the grass in FRONT of the hive, struggling to crawl if the St. Augustine grass was some huge jungle or something. I thought....those must be the older foragers, leaving the hive to die.  Upon closer inspection, I see the deformed wings that is a tell-tell symptom of varroa mite infestation.

What's a mother to do???

I'm in the process of deciding...treat or not to treat?  It is a VERY strong hive...I would love to see it make it through to next season. I love my little honeybees, and it makes my heart hurt to see them struggling so...

The following photos are for educational purposes only....

The first is of a bee I found in the grass...notice the misshapen (almost nothing) wings. The next one is of bees I 'rescued' from the grass to photograph (then returned them to the grass from whence they came.)
So sad...I know none of them will make very sad!!)

Two little stubs where the wings should be.

Same condition here.  The top one offers more of a silhouette of the deformed wings.

so sad.....

  •  I'll let you know if///how  I treat this hive.
  • I have to check my other 3 hives this weekend:  rain is forecasted.
  • I can't figure how to get out of "caption" I'll jsut sign off from here:
  • bye now, and remember to ALWAYS bee kind!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Just a few hours left.....

My kitchen is clean. That's really not a big deal, because my kitchen is usually clean, because I don't 'cook' like I used to do.  Tonight, because of the fresh vegetables on hand, and pork chops begging to be fried the old fashioned way, I cooked. I used 2 iron skillets seasoned to perfection and a teflon coated one, just so the "all done" timing would be just right (meant to be said with that squeaky little voice--so annoying).

Anyway, supper was is all cleaned and the coffee pot is set to come on at 0515 because I have to work tomorrow.

Just after the aforementioned tasks were completed, I strolled outside...just because...and I realized this is the last day of summer, 2012......the last day of summer....I stooped down four feet in front {and slightly to the side} of my backyard beehive, just to see what honeybees do on the last day of summer.  I so much enjoy watching them flying in and out...There is pollen still around here!!!! (Goldenrod is blooming now, and I love thinking how much that will help my bees get through the growth spurt (Lord-willing) in the spring. The bees were flying in low, coming in from all directions--like the airplanes do at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson international.....such task oriented.  I might even harvest another super of honey in a few weeks...The top super is FULL now...but I can't decide whether or not it is 'excess' yet..I'll see what happens in the next few weeks with this fall "flow" on.  I have started feeding sugar-syrup to all 4 of my hives this week.  Hopefully, they will all make it through the winter..but today is the last day of summer, not the last day of autumn.....not too early to be thinking of the springtime!!!

Its not supposed to be this dark when the clock strikes eight o'clock.   Tomorrow equal hours of light as dark, then the dark starts to 'take over'. I'll be counting the days till Dec. 21st when the light begins to make its move back....just a few hours left of has been a mighty good one. I am so thankful.

'see' you in the fall!!!
in the mean time.....bee kind!! ;0)

If I were more "computer saavy" I could get the captions lined up with the photos....HELP!!
Anyway--here is what they are:
first photo:  drone brood......
second photo:  uncapped drone brood wtih visible varroa mite
third: an uncapped drone larvae with varroa mite attached......culprit.....that's all I gotta say.....
///except these are MY frames, so they are MY varroa mites..ughhhh!!!