Yes, boys and girls it’s about that time, again. Time to reanimate that freak show of a hive, the one and only gem of a hoot nanny, that timeless classic and legendary beast of epic proportions.. the ol’Frankenstein. A standard ten frame Langstroth box trembles in the shadow of this Goliath honey hammer of a hive. And, just like how Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein did it in the lab.. it’s really that easy to bring things to life! All you’ve got to do is sprinkle in some magical honey bees, drop a little science and presto! you end up with something that will give all other beekeepers hive envy for days on end.
But, wait.. there’s more?
Why on grandma’s green earth are we rebooting this thing.. what happened? Well, I thought you’d never ask dear thoughtful bee enthusiast… hive beetles. You know, the persistent armored parasite type bugs that slime out colonies and cause them to abscond? They single handedly took out Frankenstein about two and one half weeks ago.
Dear friends, let the footage speak for itself.
Gone, Baby Gone, the Bees have gone away
One by one, each and every colony on Bee Hill was infected with this parasite. Hive beetles are strong fliers and travel up to 10 miles to find a hive. They even overwinter with bees just outside the cluster. Sad stuff. “They Say” that the best defense against small hive beetles is a strong colony. I say, Bull Mackerel. This colony was off the grid strong and then, a gone-er.
Ten things that I’ve done to get to, today, the day that bees bring old Frankenstein back to life.
1)Disposed of all affected foundation from Frames
2)Blow torch treatment to fry beetles and larvae
3)GuardStar – ground treatment over the course of two weeks (lots of rain)
4)Beetle Blaster Traps
5)Homemade CD Traps
6)Checkmite Plus (I’ve since removed all of the strips, for some reason – they had a noticeable undesirable effect (strange orientation flights) and this is counter productive.)
7)Neverwet Coated Aluminum Flashing Baffles modified to block 80% of the bottom board opening into the bottom box
8)Temporarily tape up joints on outside of hives
9)Food Grade Silicone to fill gaps
10) Act Immediately
Weeee…let’s Reboot Frankenstein, fingers crossed this time
Remember, it’s not where we’ve been, it’s where we are headed that matters most!
Till next time.