Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cleaning the Deadouts

Some good news, there are actually 10 surviving colonies. My brief entrance inspection of a few days ago didn't reveal that my hybrid kenyan which has half frames is still alive. This is indeed good news because the purpose of this particular trial was to see if I can combine the advantages of both types of hive without the disadvantages. Easily inspectable non attached combs which are as natural as possible.

The weather now is still hot getting to high 20's to 30 degrees by midday. Bees are all over the rosemary which is abundant on the hillsides. There is still some citrus in blossom too which I am sure they are taking advantage of.

The first deadout I dealt with was a layens which was previously populated by a swarm earlier this year. It was totally cotton woolled with wax moth damage. If you don't know what I mean and have never seen this here are a couple of photos to show the mess.

It is a truly horrible job and by the time you get the woolly gunk out and on the bonfire, there is precious little wax left to render. I will clean out the box, flame and boil the frames before refitting starter strips for re-use. I leave the box on it's side with the hinged lid open to allow the birds to peck out any moth larvae I have missed. I will then flame the box and steam clean the inside.

The first warre hive deadout is easy to work out why it didn't make it, it was on it's side with the boxes exposed. A simple case of disturbance leaving the hive wide open to attack by robbers and wasps.

The next one I dealt with was a kenyan. The demise of this one was obvious as soon as I lifted the bars off. Comb collapse over several combs. I think maybe the queen was killed in the collapse. They had rebuilt some comb and one was pure drone comb. Doing this in the height of the summer was desperate for them. Even then their new combs they were building were stretching. Here are photos of there new combs showing the stretching and drone comb.

I seem to have lost two photos from this post? I will publish it and see if I can add the missing one's later.

1 comment:

  1. That's a bummer! I hope that I can avoid the wax moth...