The hive is fighting off invaders after the syrup spill. I’d been hoping for rain, but that didn’t happen, so it was out there with the hose making like a rain goddess. All sorts of unfriendly creatures: bald-faced hornets and paper wasps I could identify without problems. Then there were (at least I hope I’ve gotten rid of some of them) others that are as yet unidentified (even with the Audubon guide). I’ve yet to do an internet search.
I think that others are yellow jackets–at least they were busy enough with the sugar syrup (dried on the hive) to mostly ignore me. The honey bees do have a fight on their hands right now, though it was looking much better after the second time I washed down the hive. This is incredibly frustrating–I changed the style of feeder to avoid this exact thing, and then to have even more syrup dumped onto the front of the hive and into the hive! (I’m not sure what I’ll do with the feeder that did the dump–maybe take it to the beekeepers meeting and see if anyone who already uses and likes it, wants it–I don’t think that I’ll try it again!
At left is one of my girls with one of the invaders. I really didn’t hang around to try to take pictures–I was busy with the hose. And some of the yellow jackets were just a bit PO’d about getting rained on.
These girls have really been slurping down the syrup, so I had to add more. I went to the bee supply and got a second pail so that I didn’t have to keep the super where the feeder lives open long with all this activity of the invaders. I guess drawing all the comb and defending the hive takes a lot of energy. I’ve been reading some statistics on how far a honey bee will travel, and how many flowers she must visit to make a pound of honey, and how fast they can zip for flower to flower. Amazing creatures.
I’ve just been out to the hive to take another look around. The girls are patrolling, but the entrance with the guards is quiet. Still a couple paper wasps around, but not on the hive or near the entrance. I really didn’t need this actual experience of what a mess spilled syrup makes–I’m going to be taking a lot of precautions to see that it doesn’t happen again! I know it was stressful for the bees, but it was stressful, and distressing for me too! I’ve noted that even with all this going on they were still quite gentle with me–I didn’t put on protective gear to work around the hive or to change the feeder. I think that they must have held their own pretty well since there were more of the opposition dead that my honey bees.
Since I put on the new box and frames last Friday, I may be looking in to see how things are going this coming Friday, depending on the weather.