It’s been a while since I’ve posted about the bees. The winter is pretty slow for them but since our winters are so mild they don’t just completely shut down like they do in a colder climate. Gabriel continues to learn a lot and has actually done several bee removals. Benjamin is becoming fascinated with bees also and asked for bee gloves and veil for his birthday.
Right now we have a total of 4 hives.
We have 3 that are in these hive boxes. Two are not aggressive and Gabriel is going to try again to re-queen them. The third one is pretty aggressive and Gabriel is planning on ordering a complete new colony of domestic bees to replace it. The reason is that the aggressive bees don’t play well with non-aggressive bees. They’re bullies.
We have one hive in the top bar hive our friend build Gabriel. This is a view of the observation window. Sorry for the glare, I was being scolded for being in the bee yard with out a suit and veil on.
Gabriel took the roof off the hive and pried up a bar…
…the bees were busy working away.
Right now all of our hives are feral. We actually like that. Now, we’re not experts at all, but it seams to us that if we have a mix of domestic and feral bees that the good genes from each are going to be passed on to the offspring. Feral bees are super hardy and amazing workers. Domestic bees are tamer. So maybe over time our bees will be bees that are hardier and harder workers than true domestic bees and tamer than true feral bees.
Over the winter we lost one hive to carpenter ants. It was a smaller hive that seemed to struggle from the beginning. We’re now in the process trying a few different things that will hopefully get rid of the carpenter ants and not hurt the bees. The bee yard is next to a wooded area with some dead trees that are full of carpenter ants. The wooded area is not on our property so we also need to be respectful of our neighbors.