So we are at the last of a three part series on our taking a bee hive out of an abandon house adventure. Let me give you the big spoiler. Before the end of summer we lost the hive to wax moths. What are wax moths you ask? This tells you better than I can.
Essentially they are a moth whose larvae burrows through the wax and eats the pollen and brood destroying the hive. A strong hive can control and defeat wax moths and there in lay our problem. When we brought the bees home, we likely brought the wax moths with us. We also reduced the bee population, caused a break in the birth cycle of the bees, and led to a situation where the moths could overcome the weakened hive.
Another time in my life where I learned from my mistakes, but another suffered for them. I always regret that, but at least it is even more motivation to not make the same mistake again. So let me do an after action review and tell you what we will do differently next time the opportunity presents itself.
I will do a reconnaissance of the site before we go out to it. This is another one of those things where I did not transfer general experience from my past into a new thing I am doing in the present. I KNOW that, given an opportunity, you do not go into an unknown situation without first seeing the objective. Had I done that, I would have had a much better idea of what I had to bring.
I will obtain and take a vacuum cleaner with adjustable suction with me and, if available, with battery power. This would have been essential to gather up even half of the bees present.
I will take more hive boxes than I believe I need. I thought I did that this time, but I was way over matched on equipment to transport the bees.
I will start earlier in the day. First because I have learned that bees are more docile early in the morning or late in the evening, and second for the sake of coolness.
Since this is short I will end with a little photo essay of our last couple visits to the girls. We came away with about thirty pounds of honey from one hive but the other two, who got a later start, have not capped everything else so I will check them again next week.
The reasons the other two hives, though strong, are behind is that they started with less, being a new hive and a split, and this awful drought we have suffered.
We are getting to the point where we are going to have to prep for winter so next week will be the dead line.