Pests and a Waggle Dance

Wasps are a real problem at the moment although I’ve seen a definite improvement since installing my home-made “waspinator” above the hive – it’s a fake nest which fools the wasps into thinking there’s already a wasp nest there; they are very territorial so they keep away. You can buy them for about £12 but I thought they looked just like a stuffed paper bag so that’s exactly what I did and hung it up. Seems to be working quite well.

Sadly, over at the Association beginners’ apiary last week we found that the wasps had overwhelmed one of the colonies. Alan’s hive was completely overrun by wasps – empty of stores and only a tiny shivering handful of bees were left protecting the queen. He put these into a nuc. to give them a chance of recovery but they didn’t look great, very sad.

Now that all the honey has been taken off, it’s time to treat my bees for another pest – Varroa. The Varroa mite is a parasite that attaches itself to the body of the bee, weakening it and spreading viruses such as “deformed wing virus”. Arriving in England only in 1992 it is now endemic and all colonies need treating regularly. I decided to use Api-Life Var to treat my bees – it’s a natural organic treatment that Thymol, Eucalyptus Oil, Menthol and Camphor)

Bees at the entrance

While having a quick look at the colony this week I was excited to see a bee “waggle dancing” – showing the the other bees where to find forage. I quickly grabbed the camera and took a bit of video – you can see her in the middle, waggling and doing a figure of eight kind of movement!

Waggle Dance Video

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