new bees

Jan. 22nd, 2011 06:32 pm
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It's pretty apparent that the Italians I got from Dane last year and are hived in a Lang in Annandale are all dead now (although, I'm completely open for surprises) much like the swarm of Italians that I started out with back in 2009 - dead before Christmas. The Russians hived here at Front Royal in an identical Lang made their latest appearance around New Year's day, possibly later, but that was the last I'd seen of them flying about pooping and bringing out their dead. I'm guardedly hopeful that they will pull though winter, but you never know until April, or so. I ordered two packaged swarms of Russians from Walter T. Kelley yesterday, to the tune of $208 which concludes my foray into buying packaged bees for a while. April 9th the new bees ship so I'm looking at a delivery date of April 11th or 12th that I will hive in the top bar arrangement that Chuck and I spent our weekends last winter building.

What I've learned from my winter bee-search so far is that the varroa and nosema, that kill so many bees, aren't so much the enemy as perhaps they are the messengers from Mother Nature regarding our own colony mismanagement, and it seems to stem from the ease of tearing into their hives - the frame - that might actually be the culprit behind colony collapse. More on this later, as I fabricate and utilize some frameless, Warre-type hives.


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