An update from last week.
Our low budget, DIY yellow jacket trap did nothing. We think there may be a nest nearby our hive but there’s a bunch of brush and whatnot so it is hard to find.
BUT…despite there being a bunch of yellow jackets near the hive, there were none ON nor IN the hive. The entrance reducer worked great.
In other news, we saw Walter out there. He had a surrogate grandson there Bob-catting a bunch of brush. He’s such an adorable man.
We also finally started noticing varroa mites, unfortunately. We decided a while back to allow this one colony to go untreated to see how it goes (i.e. we’re not using chemicals to kill off pests). I very much like the idea of keeping the hive as natural as possible (for lots of reasons, but mostly to try to encourage the bee population to develop natural resistances) but the downside to that is that we risk losing the girls.
I think we’re going to do some applications of powdered sugar to try to encourage grooming among the bees. Steph mentioned, too, that some people use essential oils or some such to encourage grooming (which means the bees would be more likely to flick off the damn mites). The little red dot on the glove is one of THREE that were on this one bee. Bastards!
It’s hard to see our little bees facing natural enemies!