I was sitting in my back yard watching the bees and saw a few strange things. First of all, a wasp walked right into the hive. The bees didn't even try to stop it. Secondly, a few hours later, I saw a bee pulling a white thing across the table that the hive is on. I realized on closer inspection that the white thing is actually a developing bee. It was still wet. I never saw how it got onto the table. A short time later, I saw a bee that looked black and had a paralyzed leg, run as best as it could, from the hive and right off the table.
I've only had this hive for a month and have no experience with bees until now. I don't know what to do. I've been guarding the bees from the wasps with an electric fly bat since the wasps won't go into the traps. I have seen some wasps eating my bees and I can't do anything about it unless I'm constantly guarding them.
I have seen quite a few bees walking around in the grass near the hive and I've seen some start convulssing until they die. I gave them a jar of sugar water with tea tree oil in it today to see if that will help.
The mixture I made up was a quart of 1:1 sugar water blended in the vitamix with about 10 drops of tea tree oil. The bees seem to be enjoying it. Any other suggestions??
I'm pretty sure that the black bee that went running (limping) from the hive is a mason bee or something. My guess is that it was caught robbing and was fleeing the scene. I changed the entrance reducer to the smaller setting to keep the wasps and robbers out. The bees were in a big commotion over that change. They finally settled down though. I found another wasp munching on a bee under the table and killed it with my electric swatter. My son killed at least 20 wasps in my garden. Let's hope they stop multiplying now.
I would still love some input about the sugar syrup I gave them. I hope I didn't put too much tea tree oil in it.
Personally I would avoid sugar water. There should be plenty of forage for them this time of year. Sounds like some strange things happening but if the hive Is healthy and functioning it sounds like it will sort itself out...if the population of the hive is strong and they are doing all the regular bee things, laying, capping brood, storing nectar and capping it etc I wouldn't even worry about the wasps. Keep the small reducer on so they have a smaller area to guard and they will fend off the wasps just fine.
Thanks for replying. They are doing a brilliant job bringing in pollen.They probably don't need the sugar water. I was only giving it to them as a way of administering the tea tree oil. My worry is about the bees that are crawling aimlessly through the grass. Does that mean they have mites? We only have one hive and would be sad if we lost it. 🐝
It's supposed to help with mites. Every day I find at least 5 or so that do that. When I looked into why, mites came up. I watched some videos on YouTube and it sounds that's what they have. The symptoms seem to be the same for tracheal and voroa mites from what I've read. Either way, the tee tree oil should help I think. We only got this hive as a 4 frame nuc in mid July so these bees probably have a lot of work to do before winter so it might help them build up by then as well.
I started with a 4 frame nuc. I live in British Columbia Canada. It's very hot here in the summer. We nearly reached 40°. We actually just examined a crawling bee and found it had a deformed wing and a verro mite. My son picked the mite off and examined it under the microscope. He put a toothpick with tea tree oil on it up to the mite and some tiny organisms jumped off of the mite. I don't know what those were.
We both a screened bottom board which we will put on tomorrow.
look into Russians for your next hive. So far they have all been healthy, have had to do no doctoring and they are supposed to overwinter in the cold winters better. Have only had them a few months now but that was what attracted me to that breed.
so far I only have one hive that can get testy, not bad but if I know I am doing anymore than lifting the lid I put my whole suit on. I rarely have to smoke any of them. The rest I usually just use gloves and veil unless I am tearing the whole stack apart.