[NAFEX] honey bees

Kieran and/or Donna holycow at frontiernet.net
Thu Apr 1 09:59:02 EDT 2010

It's finally gotten warm and sunny in Tennessee.  My husband pointed out the lights of a passing plane the other night and asked how long since we had been able to see such a thing, probably November.  We could actually see the full moon too, not just a shape in the clouds.  Various types of solitary bees were out in force on my Jap plums, but no honeybees there.  The winter blooming honeysuckle never opened a bud in Jan or Feb, didn't get going till late March.  There were honeybees on it, but not very many and mostly the wild black German type.  I saw a few with some yellow.  Last year we saw more tame yellow bees than we'd seen in 15 years, but they seem to be gone already.  
    My son up in Olympia WA lost his best hive this winter, so he's bought some kit that a local woman developed.  There's a screen with a white plastic plate under it, you coat it with cooking oil and slide it in under a hive section.  Then you put another screen on top and sprinkle powdered sugar.  (Someone told me about the powdered sugar last year, so it was working for him too.)  Dave says that the powdered sugar interferes with the mites ability to hang on, they fall off by the hundreds onto the white plate where they stick to the cooking oil.  He says the mite population doubles every 20 days, which is why they can kill a hive so quick.    Donna 
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