Bees at the Greensboro Arboretum

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Jacobs
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Bees at the Greensboro Arboretum

Post by Jacobs » Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:48 am

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David helped me move 2 hives to the Greensboro Arboretum yesterday morning. Although I have seen honey bees in the Arboretum each time I visited, folks there wanted the pollination activity that had been lost when a bee tree came down several years ago. I can't say if the bees will make a surplus of honey at this location, but I expect the pollen frames to be quite colorful.

WannaBee1
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Re: Bees at the Greensboro Arboretum

Post by WannaBee1 » Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:07 pm

Is this a permanent installation in the Greensboro Arboretum? Are the hives sponsored by the GCBA or are they someone's personal hives? What a great teaching tool for the public and a wonderful way to increase pollination in the park! :D Another club member and I live within walking distance and wouldn't mind helping when and if needed.

Jacobs
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Re: Bees at the Greensboro Arboretum

Post by Jacobs » Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:04 pm

Hopefully this is a permanent placement. It is not a GCBA sponsored activity.

Jacobs
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Re: Bees at the Greensboro Arboretum

Post by Jacobs » Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:22 am

I re-populated these hives this morning with 10 frames each of mostly brood and bees from 2 late swarms I overwintered in nucs. The weather was not ideal, but I have almost given up on spring coming and staying.

Jacobs
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Re: Bees at the Greensboro Arboretum

Post by Jacobs » Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:19 pm

The hives have survived 3 "out of bank" floodings this season. One hive is weak and the other is of decent strength. I'm going to keep an eye on both and hope weather/bees will cooperate so that I will be in a position to boost the weak hive sometime in February. I did see that there is a fairly newly planted sourwood tree in the small tree collection. I am looking forward to seeing when it blooms and if the bees will work it. And no, even if I see them working it, I won't be labeling what I may get as "sourwood honey."

Wally
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Re: Bees at the Greensboro Arboretum

Post by Wally » Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:10 am

WHAT?? You mean if I see 1 bee on a Sourwood tree in my yard, I can't label my honey Sourwood honey? But I thought that explained why there are several times more Sourwood honey sold than is produced. :twisted: :P

Yes, folks, be careful who you buy Sourwood honey from. It may be 1/1000 or less Sourwood.

Jacobs
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Re: Bees at the Greensboro Arboretum

Post by Jacobs » Sun Mar 31, 2019 1:12 pm

Neither hive made it through the last of winter, so I installed 2 new packages yesterday. It looks like a row of holly type plants along the baseball field are just days away from blooming.

Jacobs
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Re: Bees at the Greensboro Arboretum

Post by Jacobs » Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:05 am

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This is what 7+ inches of rain will do when hives are not strapped down. I'll find out Monday if both are queenright (and if a creek water flush is an effective varroa treatment).

Jacobs
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Re: Bees at the Greensboro Arboretum

Post by Jacobs » Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:28 pm

Both hives were queenright, but full of SHB larvae where pollen frames went bad quickly. I reduced one hive to 1 10 frame medium and the other to 3 10 frame mediums. Both sets of bees have been able to manage their space and not let SHB re-establish. Populations in both were severely reduced, so I put went into hives at home and put 2 frames of capped brood and nursebees in each hive. Later this week I will probably collect 2 more frames of bees and brood from 2 other hives and do an additional population boost so that these queens will have all of the help they need. I will also look at putting feeders on to try and stimulate more brood rearing to make up for what was lost.

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Re: Bees at the Greensboro Arboretum

Post by WannaBee1 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:38 am

Good save, Rob! Thanks for keeping those hives out there for the public to observe. It's a great way to engage young (and old) minds by making folks aware that pollinators are worth saving.
It's good to know the newly growing population is fending off the SHB infestation. :D Go get ‘em, girls!! After you test the hives, please let your fellow beeks know what that ‘cleansing’ did to your varroa mite counts.

Jacobs
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Re: Bees at the Greensboro Arboretum

Post by Jacobs » Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:23 am

I don't know that I will bother with mite counts. These bees may get a dose of OAV in the near future and then let it go until I hit them with OAV in winter. Flood water appears to kill varroa and does kill brood under the cappings. I don't know that I will get either of these hives strong enough to withstand one of the regular mite treatments.

I do enjoy having the bees at the Arboretum. I spend a fair amount of time talking to park visitors about bees and answering their questions when they see me working hives.

Jacobs
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Re: Bees at the Greensboro Arboretum

Post by Jacobs » Fri Aug 30, 2019 1:31 pm

I probably crushed 200+ adult SHB in these hives this morning, but they appear to have kept larvae from the hives. I dug up my old AJ's Beetle Eaters and mineral oil and put 2 SHB traps/super in the hives. I haven't had much success with these in the past, but I have never seen SHB numbers like these. The traps can't hurt.

I have half treatments of Formic Pro on hives at the house, so it will be at least until Thursday before I can go in them and see if I can get more frames of brood and nurse bees to boost the Arboretum hives.

If it looks like we are going to get the remnants of the current hurricane here next week, I may be putting 2-3 empty deeps under these hives and then re-strap them to their cinder block bases. That may get them high enough to avoid flooding again. Losing bees is hard. Losing good drawn comb is devastating.

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