Bees at the Greensboro Arboretum

Bee related information that doesnt fit any where else

Moderators: Jacobs, Wally

Post Reply
Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1684
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Bees at the Greensboro Arboretum

Post by Jacobs »

Arboretum_IMG_2284.JPG
Arboretum_IMG_2284.JPG (59.51 KiB) Viewed 13645 times
David helped me move 2 hives to the Greensboro Arboretum yesterday morning. Although I have seen honey bees in the Arboretum each time I visited, folks there wanted the pollination activity that had been lost when a bee tree came down several years ago. I can't say if the bees will make a surplus of honey at this location, but I expect the pollen frames to be quite colorful.
WannaBee1
Forager
Posts: 86
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:22 pm
Location: Lindley Park, Greensboro

Re: Bees at the Greensboro Arboretum

Post by WannaBee1 »

Is this a permanent installation in the Greensboro Arboretum? Are the hives sponsored by the GCBA or are they someone's personal hives? What a great teaching tool for the public and a wonderful way to increase pollination in the park! :D Another club member and I live within walking distance and wouldn't mind helping when and if needed.
Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1684
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Bees at the Greensboro Arboretum

Post by Jacobs »

Hopefully this is a permanent placement. It is not a GCBA sponsored activity.
Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1684
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Bees at the Greensboro Arboretum

Post by Jacobs »

I re-populated these hives this morning with 10 frames each of mostly brood and bees from 2 late swarms I overwintered in nucs. The weather was not ideal, but I have almost given up on spring coming and staying.
Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1684
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Bees at the Greensboro Arboretum

Post by Jacobs »

The hives have survived 3 "out of bank" floodings this season. One hive is weak and the other is of decent strength. I'm going to keep an eye on both and hope weather/bees will cooperate so that I will be in a position to boost the weak hive sometime in February. I did see that there is a fairly newly planted sourwood tree in the small tree collection. I am looking forward to seeing when it blooms and if the bees will work it. And no, even if I see them working it, I won't be labeling what I may get as "sourwood honey."
Wally
Guard bee
Posts: 1773
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 2:35 pm
Location: Randleman

Re: Bees at the Greensboro Arboretum

Post by Wally »

WHAT?? You mean if I see 1 bee on a Sourwood tree in my yard, I can't label my honey Sourwood honey? But I thought that explained why there are several times more Sourwood honey sold than is produced. :twisted: :P

Yes, folks, be careful who you buy Sourwood honey from. It may be 1/1000 or less Sourwood.
Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1684
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Bees at the Greensboro Arboretum

Post by Jacobs »

Neither hive made it through the last of winter, so I installed 2 new packages yesterday. It looks like a row of holly type plants along the baseball field are just days away from blooming.
Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1684
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Bees at the Greensboro Arboretum

Post by Jacobs »

Flood_IMG_3360.JPG
Flood_IMG_3360.JPG (42.14 KiB) Viewed 11705 times
This is what 7+ inches of rain will do when hives are not strapped down. I'll find out Monday if both are queenright (and if a creek water flush is an effective varroa treatment).
Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1684
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Bees at the Greensboro Arboretum

Post by Jacobs »

Both hives were queenright, but full of SHB larvae where pollen frames went bad quickly. I reduced one hive to 1 10 frame medium and the other to 3 10 frame mediums. Both sets of bees have been able to manage their space and not let SHB re-establish. Populations in both were severely reduced, so I put went into hives at home and put 2 frames of capped brood and nursebees in each hive. Later this week I will probably collect 2 more frames of bees and brood from 2 other hives and do an additional population boost so that these queens will have all of the help they need. I will also look at putting feeders on to try and stimulate more brood rearing to make up for what was lost.
WannaBee1
Forager
Posts: 86
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:22 pm
Location: Lindley Park, Greensboro

Re: Bees at the Greensboro Arboretum

Post by WannaBee1 »

Good save, Rob! Thanks for keeping those hives out there for the public to observe. It's a great way to engage young (and old) minds by making folks aware that pollinators are worth saving.
It's good to know the newly growing population is fending off the SHB infestation. :D Go get ‘em, girls!! After you test the hives, please let your fellow beeks know what that ‘cleansing’ did to your varroa mite counts.
Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1684
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Bees at the Greensboro Arboretum

Post by Jacobs »

I don't know that I will bother with mite counts. These bees may get a dose of OAV in the near future and then let it go until I hit them with OAV in winter. Flood water appears to kill varroa and does kill brood under the cappings. I don't know that I will get either of these hives strong enough to withstand one of the regular mite treatments.

I do enjoy having the bees at the Arboretum. I spend a fair amount of time talking to park visitors about bees and answering their questions when they see me working hives.
Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1684
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Bees at the Greensboro Arboretum

Post by Jacobs »

I probably crushed 200+ adult SHB in these hives this morning, but they appear to have kept larvae from the hives. I dug up my old AJ's Beetle Eaters and mineral oil and put 2 SHB traps/super in the hives. I haven't had much success with these in the past, but I have never seen SHB numbers like these. The traps can't hurt.

I have half treatments of Formic Pro on hives at the house, so it will be at least until Thursday before I can go in them and see if I can get more frames of brood and nurse bees to boost the Arboretum hives.

If it looks like we are going to get the remnants of the current hurricane here next week, I may be putting 2-3 empty deeps under these hives and then re-strap them to their cinder block bases. That may get them high enough to avoid flooding again. Losing bees is hard. Losing good drawn comb is devastating.
Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1684
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Bees at the Greensboro Arboretum

Post by Jacobs »

As of this morning, both hives still have bees. Both appear to be fairly weak. If I get lucky with weather and they hang on, I am hoping that I may have bees enough at home and weather that will let me boost these hives some time in February. I haven't had that kind of weather luck the last 2 winters.
Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1684
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Bees at the Greensboro Arboretum

Post by Jacobs »

Both hives were re-populated in 2020 with swarms I caught then. They have done well since and were very strong on today's examination. They were not yet in swarm mode but definitely needed more space. Both are bringing in a surprising amount of nectar and one was actually capping some honey. That can all change with a cold/wet snap given the amount of baby bees to be fed.
Wally
Guard bee
Posts: 1773
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 2:35 pm
Location: Randleman

Re: Bees at the Greensboro Arboretum

Post by Wally »

No 30's forecast at night for the next 2 weeks. Maybe an early last frost date.

WE CAN HOPE......
Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1684
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Bees at the Greensboro Arboretum

Post by Jacobs »

Both hives populated with 2020 swarms are doing well. I just removed full Formic Pro treatments from both and am seeing nice patterns of capped brood, shiny white larvae, and eggs. The stream abatement project is ongoing and looks like it will lessen the likelihood of the stream coming out of its banks. Once the work on the banks is done, I understand plantings will cover the bare slopes.
Stream Abatement IMG_0740.jpg
Stream Abatement IMG_0740.jpg (51.48 KiB) Viewed 721 times
Post Reply