I just today, March 10th watched a TV show developed at the Rossman Apiaries in Georgia by the entomology department.
Those of us who have been there and done that have the option to observe and be critical; First the short sleeves and white shirts are fine but often the dark pants cause the bees to not like what is going on. SO, dark colored clothing is out.
Second, a colony was found to have become queenless and had a remainder of a short amount of bees left. That colony was given a comb of young larvae in hopes they would produce themselves a queen. To often that doesn’t happen because they have not enough bees to provide the necessary heat and not enough cell builders. Consequently NO queen.
Often the smoke was not applied until after the first comb had been removed. Experience dictates that a bit of smoke before removing any comb is a good practice. Learning HOW AND WHEN to apply smoke is quite important. While those colonies were in the build-up stage in an effort to gain rapidly in population the entrances at the bottom were fully opened. It isn’t always that warm in the state of Georgia. Again, experience played a part and it wasn’t until such time as there was a good, general honey flow on that the entire entrance was opened.
The Boardman Feeder was also being used at the bottom which again experience has told us that if feeding syrup is necessary that such a feeder is not the best. One thing was correct, if feeding colonies is necessary then keep doing it until the bees decide that they no longer need it. It is another case when BEES KNOW BEST.
Oh yes, and some of the inner covers were placed flat side up which is not a good way to keep burr comb from being placed on top of the frames and one would also kill more bees than necessary when putting on the outer cover.
Those of us who work bees regularly have to keep these things in mind all the while. It only makes it easier for the beekeeper and the bees to appreciate it as well.
2615 Aspen Road , Unit #1
Ames, IA 50014
Mr. Glen Stanley spoke at the Central Iowa Beekeepers meeting March 15th about the Central Iowa club's beginnings. CIBA was started in the 1940's. Mr. Stanley was the State Apiarist from 1961 until 1988. Glen is celebrating 80 years of keeping honey bees. Congratulations Glen!