Saturday, August 6, 2011

Visit from the Bee Inspector

I had made a call to the State Dept. of Agriculture / Bee Division (I can't remember the real name) and asked for an inspection. Usually I wouldn't have to do that, since Ken W. would make the rounds to the local beekeepers every year to perform the inspections; but the State leaders, in their infinite wisdom, decided they didn't need to fund the inspection program enough to have Ken do this. It's a bad decision, since through Ken's activities, we keep disease minimized in the bee population, plus Ken provides input on how to improve your hives.

Anyway, my wife called Friday late afternoon and told me that Al, the bee inspector, showed up to inspect the bees. He is an older gentleman, and like Ken, he didn't use any suit or veil for protection when he inspected the bees. Tracy was out there talking to him, and a bee decided to give her the business. After getting caught in her shirt (she successfully let the bee escape without a sting), the bee decided to get tangled in her hair, and she got a sting right on the top of her head! She said she hadn't been stung for 10 years before that.

The hives are doing well, but the inspector did find some bees with symptoms of Deformed Wing Virus, which is an indication of Varroa Mite problems. I'll have to see what I can do about that. He also mentioned that the Goldenrod should be blooming soon, so the bees may bring in some more nectar. Otherwise the hives got a clean bill of health!

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