A very slow start

02 July 2016,

Unlike the common trait for a beginner beekeeper to check their hives too frequently,  it has been some time since my last proper inspection and it has been most frustrating to see the current state of play.

Background

Basically my hive has not expanded at all. Having seen the queen on all inspections, I failed to see eggs and drones. The brood did not expand in size and the bees seemed  very inactive. I also has a problem with ants! and being a beginner beekeeper I was stumped for a while.

Action

So this week I decided to take action. It coincided with a visit to the club Apiary which afforded me the opportunity to ask loads and loads of questions. Some of my frames were old and dark and this was the case in the club Apiary.  This in turn made it very difficult to see the eggs, I mean extremely difficult! but I did see them and this has given me more confidence for my next inspection.

Back to my own Apiary, I jacked up my hive with a car jack, and took out one of the concrete blIMAG0678ocks upon which it stands. I then placed an up turned lid from a plastic box on the lower block, replaced the top block and filled the upturned lid with water, thereby creating a water trap to prevent ants getting access to the hive. Both legs received this treatment.

Next I lifted the lid and saw an infestation of ants and ant eggs, yuck. So I cleaned the top cover and went over it with the blow torch to kill everything. I also blow torched where the hive sits on the stand in order to kill as many ants as possible.

I decided to add a block of fondant to help by poor struggling bees. In order to put the fondant on, I required an ece or eke I’m not sure what its called but it basically raises the roof to make room for a feeder or fondant. This I made from some scrap 2 x 1 1/2 timber.IMAG0679

The Result

I checked under the lid  twice since, to see if the ant situation has improved. I am glad to say it has drastically improved, to the point where I am nearly ant free. The fondant has also had a dramatic effect. The bees are much more active and this can be seen from activity on the landing board.

 

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