Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy July 4th

View from our porch at 6am the other day, taken by my better half on a cell phone. Best viewed large by clicking  on it.

Wish I were home. Only two more weeks of proton therapy and I will be. It's been a long couple of months. I strongly urge everyone 45 years old and up, to get regular PSA tests. This is no vacation, but the alteratives are worse.
(Thought I'd try a post using the phone)

Friday, May 20, 2016

A WASP in Ca.

I use caps on WASP, caus this is one big momma!  A little over 2.5cm, a little over an inch long. 

Click on a photo & she will get larger.

 Quite a set of choppers!

Cool looking eyes!

She looks bigger in person and indoors on the table crawling & flying around  : -)

Family Scoliidae (Scoliid Wasps)
Subfamily Campsomerinae
Genus Campsomeris

Common name:  Scarab-hunter Wasp
These dig down & lay eggs on beetle larvae. They eat flower nectar as adults.

Found on a flower near Loma Linda Ca. Where I will be sucking up protons for the next 2 months.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Easiest swarm yet!

Sometimes it pays to be lazy! I didn't get around to setting this swarm trap out and the bees didn't wait for me, & just moved in yesterday.
(Yes PP. That's a practice bomb behing the trap)

Just took a few minutes to move the frame of comb & shake the rest of the bees off the top bars & into the new hive. 99% are inside now. Not a real big swarm, maybe a small football's worth, but they have plenty of time to grow. It was a cool day & they were previously all getting ready to build comb, so not much outside action.. I gave them a frame of honey, a 1/2 a pollen patty, & mostly drawn comb. Forage isn't that great right now, but should improve soon with the blackberry season being early..

Guard bees! :-)

One drawn frame against one side  & 5 top bars. They seem to like that arraignment.

The trap reset in another bay.

Monday, April 18, 2016

First swarm of the season hived

A day late though, they had already moved into the old hive in the barn. Saturday. Sunday I cut them out. This gives me a chance to clean the old comb & wax moth cocoons & webs out. I'll close it back up as there is it always seems to have bees. A few screws and it will be easy to uncover next time. I sure wish I'd seen them before they moved in, but then again, I needed to clean the feral barn hive up.
I added a queen excluder on the entrance & screened the inner cover vent hole to keep the queen in. I had a newly hived swarm leave last year. I'll see if this helps. It's just a piece cut off of a full excluder & set into grooves cut into the three piece frame.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The feral house hive has swarmed

It was a pretty good sized swarm & by the time I got my camera all but a few were inside already.

Look at all those fat little tails up in the air. 

As you may recall from a recent post, the hive had grown considerably.  I was mowing the lawn today and was under the largest apple tree  and I looked up. I was in the middle of a swarm. I was expecting it, but never saw them come out or settle anywhere, but now I bet they were in the tree all along. In any case, I turned the mower off & walked with the swarm towards the barn expecting them to ball up in one of the fruit trees. It seems they already had, and were headed to the old feral hive in the corner of the barn. Sure enough, they moved in.  This should be an easy cut out if I do it right away. I wish I had more time, I'm already way behind on everything.

Although I didn't see them come out of the house, the heat signature from the hive is now much smaller. Still a good size hive though, they may swarm again.



I wish they had gone into one of the empty hives I didn't get around to setting up. :-)