For anyone looking for an update on overwintering from last Friday I have NO news. The temperature just didn’t get high enough for bees to fly. The main focus of the day became fixing swarm traps followed by making up a bunch of frames.
The majority of the traps had small issues. Most are made from old ratty equipment. Some were home-made and therefore weren’t built using the standard Langstroth hive dimensions. As a result these traps allowed bees to get out of the traps when the door was closed. Why is that a problem????
I do most of my trap retrieval after work on days I work second shift. The traps come down off of the tree and go INTO the car WITH me. Not in the trunk, in the car, strapped in with a seatbelt. The need for these changes was made PAINFULLY obvious after what could have been a dangerous incident last summer. I was BEE bopping down US-27 and realized I had bees crawling all over my upper legs. I wear dress pants at work and they provide NO protection.
Luckily I saw them and knew it was coming before the first one stung me. Just as always the first sting sent out the scent message to the rest of the girls that, “there’s a stingin’ goin’ on!” Within about 2 seconds I had 10-15 stings right in that area. The media can say what they want about cell phones causing distracted driving. Getting stung a bunch of times while at speed IS MORE DISTRACTING.
Several traps needed more extensive refurbishing. The ones damaged by squirrels were fitted with new tops. The deep seeded resentment for squirrels welled up again. By the end of 2014 I need to have my daughter harvesting some of these little buggers. If they are in my freezer they won’t be chewing on traps. This provided the opportunity to use my NEW table saw, new to me anyway! It
was FREE and is way better than the other one I paid $10 for at the Sale Barn. Big thanks to my Dad for picking it up in Oxford. These traps need to be primed and painted. That will be scheduled for days here in the next couple weeks.
Make sure those traps are bee tight and be safe out on those roadways.