Friday, July 18, 2008

Quenless - Robbed by Ants!

I am almost sure my hive is queenless. All I have been able to see are drone cells, as per previous inspections. Yesterday I went to check on them and they were all outside the hive - helpless - as small ants were taking over the hive. They had dwindled to little more than a fist-sized clump on the hive. I went in the hive, scraping & brushing ants off the interior and exterior, trying to brush away the ants from the combs that had been built. After this, I misted the clump down, brushed them in a bucket & shook them back in the hive. I reduced it down to just a few bars on either side of the nest, but I'm afraid when I get home today, it won't be a pretty sight.

Observations - Lessons Learned:

  • I should have made a better effort to ensure that the colony was queen-right.
  • I should have controlled the ants with more cinnamon or something else. I knew every time I tried to feed the bees, all the syrup would do is attract ants so I would always remove it after a few days. There was some capped honey left on the combs, but most of the uncapped was gone.
  • I think I messed with them too much. Transferring from the lang. Inspections. Attempts at feeding. Although there are still some foragers, I think the colony has pretty much given up.

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