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Posts Tagged ‘agarita’

HopGuard

Medicine for the bees

This is HopGuard, a strip of cardboard soaked with a gooey concoction made from hops. According to the manufacturer, it is a natural product that will kill the mites in my hives, but will not kill my bees. One drawback is that it is messy, and latex gloves are a must. Just an FYI – bees can sting through latex gloves.

The cardboard strip straddles across a frame with the ends hanging down into the brood nest. I placed two of these strips in each brood box.

Here are the two installed strips. The good news is that the bees do not seem bothered in the least by the product. Unfortunately, it will only kill the mites that are on the bees, not the ones attached to developing brood inside the cells, so several applications may be needed. I placed a white board under the hives to catch the mites that drop from the hive. After about 30 minutes, I counted zero mites dropped from one hive and one mite dropped from another. Maybe my fall mite treatments with Apiguard were very effective. Or maybe I need to give HopGuard more time to work. I’ll check the white boards again in 24 hours.

Meanwhile, in the Elm Creek area…

Agarita, one of our best, early honey plants is officially in bloom. It’s interesting that the buds are red and the flowers, after they open are bright yellow. Agarita honey has a fantastic flavor and someday I hope to have some hives strong enough early enough to produce some that I can harvest. But not this year. The bees are doing well, but are still in drought recovery mode. They need all the nutrients they can get right now.

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Agarita at Coyote Yard Jan2012

Mark showed me his pictures from a visit to the Coyote bee yard this past week and I knew we should share a picture of the Agarita out there. I have yet to see them in bloom in person so he’s going to take me out there when these buds open fully. Can’t wait to see it and photograph it. Once the Agarita blooms near the beginning of March, the bees will mainly use the nectar in order to build up their hives and prepare themselves for spring and the wildflowers that will be in bloom. With the rain we have gotten lately, the wildflower season should be a great one and we are very excited to see how the flowers and bees do this year. It’s got to be better than anything we saw last year.

When I got home from work today, I saw Mark in the Honey House so I headed back there. Friday evenings we clean up the Honey House and get materials and suits ready if we have class the next morning. We are anxious to see what develops as the forecasters are calling for storms, two inches of rain and flash flooding. Hmm…could prove tricky for us to have twenty-three students and a flooded back yard. Not a horrible problem to have and we aren’t complaining but we’re going to have to get creative! As I told Mark, we’ll roll with it and see if the rain actually comes. And then we’ll see if the students venture out. If they’re here, class is on. 🙂 Unless it’s such bad conditions that Mark actually cancels class. But we haven’t had to cancel any classes to date so we’ll just have to see what’s what in the daylight tomorrow. Meanwhile, I leave you with a shot of what I saw as I walked from the Honey House to the back door to go make dinner – isn’t that a lovely sky?

Sunset over the new ranch

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