BEEKEEPING IN THE NORTHEAST - An account of my beekeeping, not a treatise of expertise, but for friends & family who wish to keep bees vicariously through me, and for the occasional apiarist passer-by.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Visit With Wendy Booth

I found myself on the phone with Wendy Booth from the NH Beekeeper's Association yesterday and much like my conversation last spring with Ben Chadwick, she talked my ear off with amazing recall of all important things "Bee". What a treat to have the ear of an experienced Apiarist such as these two humble hard working beekeepers. She suggested a hive inspection with Ben and a state entomologist and gave me contact info for my area. The call to them is in.

Crossing Little Bridges - Part II

Well....I crossed many during our conversation. Although I had read most of what she shared a big light shone on the concept of bees having enough room. This is the first time I understood that more room does not mean more supers with clean, new frames of foundation; it means drawn comb room! She said my ant invasion was not the reason for the backyard swarm - not enough drawn comb was. Wendy said feeding the bees is what gives them the extra energy to do just that and that I'm not feeding my bees enough. She said the propolis should just "squirt out of them". I worked with my other neighbor bee-keeper on her hive last weekend and they were building comb like gang busters. I thought maybe because they have longer day-light hours than mine. Wendy said to get protein patties on NOW and syrup NOW or their need for protein will have them cannibalizing the brood!!!! Yikes! She said that queen excluder should have only been left on for about three weeks...if at all!!!

After the comments from followers here about the varroa mite photo I read their references and took my bottom board trays, smearing them with Vaseline and slid them in yesterday morning for a mite count. Wendy said that is OK for the three-day average, but it will tell me nothing if I haven't been doing it regularly. She said it is good for monitoring increases and drops but for a one time "show-me-the-mite-count" event, this is probably the wrong time of year for much of a reading. (photo right: Brushy Mountain Screened Bottom Board)

It is possible the powder sugar sprinkle treatment will help going into winter but she stressed the hive inspection so I can have more hands on advice about my hive and its location etc. as she only knows what I've told her over the phone.

So I'm off to get pure-cane sugar and mix up some feed. My essential oils came, the Mann Lake brand called Pro Health as recommended by Ross Conrad of Dancing Bee Garden in his "Herbal Tea" feeding recipe. (I did not like doing business with Mann Lake online, but it came almost the next day and the high shipping at checkout appears to have been corrected).

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