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Fran Freeman

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since Jul 24, 2012
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Recent posts by Fran Freeman

Ed Sitko wrote:Sharing this photo taken recently near Lancing Michigan

"Just thought you all might be interested in this. I discovered this in Anderson park down along the Grand River near us. If you look closely, there is a hole in the tree above the honey comb. So, maybe the hollow in the tree is full, and they moved their hive outside. But, you can see the bees between the layers of honey comb. When it warms up, the bees become more active and cover more of the comb. When it cools down, they pull up more tightly between the layers."

Beekeepers - can you offer any theories on this bee-haviour ?



Happens occasionally up in Ontario, Canada also. Looks like the colony became overpopulous (hard to expand when you're living in a tree), swarmed and ran out of time to find a new home so they began building comb where they were hanging. Normal honey bee behaviour inside the hive is to cluster when temperatures start to drop as they do this time of year. This is the contraction you see when it is chilly. The cluster surrounds the queen and 'shivers' to generate heat---hard to do when you are living outside. At a low enough temperature they experience chill torpor and are not able to move around. This colony is unlikely to survive the winter without some kind of housing. Can you or a beekeeping friend carefully remove the combs with the bees--and paying particular attention to get the queen--and place them in frames in a hive box? Combs can be held in place with elastics. The bees may not have sufficient food stores to get them through the winter but a beekeeper would know how to supplement. As an urban beekeeper managing my bees with organic and sustainable practices, my preference would be raw, AFB-free honey but sugar fondant can prevent starvation in a pinch. As feral bees, these ones have the potential to be particularly disease-resistant and are worth saving.
4 years ago

"I tried once to rescue a wild hive from a tree someone had cut down but failed. I thought of building a hive box but dont have any Idea where I can buy bees. (in Ontario)
I will try to find a source and if I do I will post it here.
thanks all."



Ontario Beekeepers Association www.ontariobee.com/ lists breeders of local Ontario bees. They also list a subset of breeders whose focus is hygenic bees -- local bees that sniff out and remove pathogens and pests particularly in the brood -- and bees with strong grooming behaviour who are more effective in removing mites.
6 years ago
Hi David and Matt
I'm writing from Ontario, Canada where our provincial beekeeping association tech-team strongly advocates use of screened bottom boards for mite level monitoring. I'd be interested in hearing your perspectives on the use of screened bottom board in Warre (and Top Bar) hives. Thanks!
6 years ago
Hello to Matt and David. Looking forward to this forum.
6 years ago
How similar is Kimchi preparation to making Sauerkraut and can it be made without the fish?
7 years ago