Friday, July 10, 2015
Failure to Thrive
Failure to Thrive is a medical term to describe children who are not gaining weight as expected and have poor height growth. However, today is seems like a good description of my beehives.
Today I visited my hives at Dr. D's place - I have been avoiding my 3 hives at the old farm since two of them are filled with hateful bees.
Of the hives at Dr. D's place, only 6 are still alive after all of my splits earlier this year. Below is a picture of that bee yard taken 5 weeks ago but shows the location of all my hives at Dr. D's:
Hive A: This is the first split I made this year. I have 3 supers on this hive now - each has 3 frames of bees in them and is doing well. I am feeding them sugar water and they had eaten about 40% of it in the past 20 days.
Hive C: This is the hive that had the moth infestation. As of today, there are only three frames of bees in it. This has not changed in the past 3 weeks (since I first found the moths). I did find some Wax Moth Larva in the sugar water and I tried to remove them all.
Hive D: This is one of my original hives. The bees in this hive are slightly aggressive but not nearly as bad as the ones in The Beast back at the old farm. As of now, I have 4 supers on this hive: 2 are filled with brood and one of them is filled with honey already.
Hive F: This new Italian hive has a lot of wax but no brood. The new Italian queen seems to be gone. I removed one frame of brood from Hive G that had a queen cell on it and placed it in Hive F. These bees had eaten half of the sugar water in their feeder trough.
Hive G: This new Italian hive only had 2 frames of brood and one of them had the queen cell on it. I am confused by this since it is a new queen and there is brood - so why was there a queen cell? These bees too had eaten half of the sugar water in their feeder trough.
Hive K: This new Italian hive had 3.5 frames of brood and bees with two additional frames of dark brown wax. They too had eaten half of their sugar water.
As you can see Hive C, F, G, and K simply are failing to thrive. Monday I will add brood from Hive D to Hives C, F, and K. I will also move young brood from Hive K to Hive G.
The local crop for these hives is Soybean. Soybean produces nectar and pollen from July 1 - August 31 in this area. So I am hoping that my hives will be able to take advantage of this and increase in size.
BTW: Today it was 91 degrees without a breeze - the heat index was 100 degrees. I sweated so much that I could see my tattoos through my drenched white shirt.