TBH Week 17: The Perils of August
The hive went two weeks between inspections for the first time. In the meantime, we rode out a hurricane and BUGS!! Ants overrunning the feeder! Small hive beetles corralled in a back corner!
We think we have a root cause for the ants, that is, besides them being sugar vultures. The pea gravel might have settled under the hive, causing syrup to pool away from the bees. We'll shim the hive until winter gives us an opportunity to gently jack the hive up and re-level it.
SHB were bound to find the hive. We were in a sweet spot for a while, though. We can seal up the corral area to make hiding harder for them, and I'll put a trap back in. The colony is still plenty strong enough to keep them quite literally on the run. Plus, they crunch so good…
That the bees have thoroughly lined the entire hive with propolis tells me that they've noticed that the solstice has passed now. Bee coverage is still great, but brood numbers are dropping, and it's only a matter of time before the elders die off. Until then, this sweet colony stays curious and keeps its home scrupulously clean. If they're not taking orientation flights in the sunshine, they're checking out the watering pan or chilling on the front porch.