After this long, dry summer, it’s nice to see bees still finding sources of pollen and nectar. While inspecting my hive the other day I saw a bee packed full with a bright orange pollen; and thanks to a mid-summer pruning and consistent watering, I eked out a second bloom on my lavender, which the girls are loving!
On the other hand, I have another hive that is not doing particularly well. During my last inspection, I went in to add Hopguard 3 and saw mostly spotty brood and random larvae. The bees were incredibly defensive (as are all my hives these days, even the usually sweet ones!) so I buttoned it up quickly. But as I thought on it for the rest of the week, I contemplated my options. I’ll go back in this weekend to dig into the bottom box and see how she is laying down there – maybe I’ll reduce to one brood box and continue to feed syrup and pollen. Maybe I’ll need to hunt down a new queen. As I write this, I’m also thinking about my bee mentor who has a hive which has killed 6 queens this season! They are a grumpy bunch and his options are narrowing quickly. All this to say – it’s the joy and frustration of being a beekeeper and these situations highlight how much creativity is required.
PUB’s September meeting featured Dr. Dewey Caron who spoke about defensive and Africanized bees (and how to tell the difference). While there are parts of Washington and Oregon in which they’ve been found, we’re fortunate to be largely out of their geographical zone (for now!). Enjoy the cooler evenings and we’ll see you at the OSBA conference!