These Japanese bees have got it down.
Looks like Utah’s defense.
Unfortunately, those are Japanese honeybees, not the European kind we have in America. I heard today that the Japanese variety evolved with the murder hornets and know exactly how to defeat them. Our gentle little European bees have no idea. An effort is underway to eradicate the murder hornets. I hope it works.
Not sure about that. The bees we have can defend their hive from invaders by that very method, generally Western Yellowjackets are the culprits. Depending on hive strength they may not succeed, but it’s how they’d do it. We lost our hive to yellowjackets two years ago (it was probably 60/40 yellowjackets at the last honey extraction), but last year we killed off about a dozen Yellowjacket queens in April and May and harvested over 100 lb of honey in our single hive. We’ve only caught and killed two queens thus far this year. I think we got ahead of them.
Very cool you have hives
Thanks for your contribution to all
You call the Equalizer.
I know nothing about this. Bill Riley had an entomologist from the U, on his show and she said the typical American bee would not fare well against the murder hornets. Looks like you have actual experience with American/European bees, so I’m referring to you.
I’d like to know more about this. Sounds incredibly interesting.
It’s a fun little hobby. The detailed beekeeping is really done by my step-son, he has two hives in the Avenues and we have our one in Taylorsville. Two years ago our hive configuration had what we suspect was too many entry points, making it hard for the hive to defend itself. Also, a lot of people I know thought they had worse problems with yellowjackets than normal. We fixed the entry issue by putting a tighter fitting top on the hive. I read up a lot in yellowjackets and learned that only the queen survives the winter and comes out in spring looking for food before she lays eggs. I made sure we had those WHY traps loaded in April and we caught about a dozen queens. They’re about 50% bigger than the workers. This year, as I said, we’ve only gotten two. I can’t definitely say what we did made the difference, but it is in the direction of goodness.
I’ve got a couple of amazing videos from two years ago after we harvested when the yellowjackets had taken over. We probably had 20,000+ of the little bastards stripping every last bit of honey and wax off the combs as they were in a box in our patio. We couldn’t go outside for half a day. I have one video of them swarming the box like mad. Two hours later they were done. It was wild.
The best news is the murder hornets probably won’t get here as apparently they like more damp climates and lower altitudes.
Yes, she said that. She also joked that the murder hornets have a great publicist because they have a great name for the news/social media and are still at a very controllable stage. Entomologists all over the West Coast are looking for their hives, mostly underground, and killing the queens. it is thought that some of them stowed away on a boat from somewhere in East Asia, probably China. (An extra little goodie from that country, maybe.)
I was lucky enough to be able to harvest honey when I was an LDS missionary. We lit a little fire in his tin smoke sprayer and went to town. Then we separated the honey out of the wax using a homemade, bicycle powered centrifuge that the owner made.
My neighbor had bees for years until a black bear came down out of the mountains and wrecked his boxes.
Mix in the honey to make honey mead for us drunks.
Maybe we should just deploy more praying mantises.
Two years ago in the late summer one day we had about 40 praying mantises show up in our yard. I was coming in from work and I saw one out our fence so I got the kids, then we saw another in a nearby bush then we started noticing them everywhere. Still have no idea why they all descended on our house. We watched them for a while and the next day they were all gone. Kinda weird.
When I was a kid my dad went in with a co-worker on a bunch of hives. They put them out in farmer’s fields all around the area. They set up a large extractor in the co-worker’s garage. They produced several hundred pounds of honey a year for the few years they had the bees. Dad kept a couple of 5 gallon buckets of honey from a bad drought year that produced really dry honey with a moisture content under 7% I think he might still have some of that since it keeps so well for a long time.
Dad just texted back and in fact he does still have at least one 5 gallon bucket of the super dry honey. It’s probably close to 40 yrs old now and still good.
I read somewhere that honey never really goes bad.