Bee Wars, or the Sad End of Our First Apiary


Beekeeping, as in any business, has its own characteristics. Those that are described in information sources, but in passing. As a rule, these are local, regional features. Serious literature does not consider it necessary to particularly distract them. Specialized forums describe something similar, but how hard it is to read because of the huge amount of bickering, sometimes turning to personalities! Find the information you need in this word stream - that needle in the haystack. Therefore, it is good, of course, to learn from the mistakes of others, but it does not always work out. I will tell my story of the bee war, more like a thriller.

Bee wars, or the sad end of our first apiary.

The subtleties of pumping honey

So, we pumped out the first honey, the frames with strongly darkened honeycombs - those on which the family was bought and brought out the first brood, turned out to be the most "full-fed". The next batch of kids was laid in a clean, light honeycomb, and the old cells of the bee were cleaned and filled with honey.

After evacuation, such dark cells are usually discarded and sent for re-burning. But there are technical subtleties: during pumping out in the honey separator, a very small part of the honey around the perimeter of the frame remains. Therefore, the evacuated frames are put back into evidence for a day or two, so that the bees clean out the remnants of honey and drag them to other cells.

At the first pumping, I did not know this, so I cut the honeycombs with the remnants of honey from the frames and put them in a bowl so that the honey would flow out. There it was! He did not want to flow out completely. Rummaging on the Internet, I found out that it was necessary to give it to the bees for drying. I dismissed the offer to put the honeycomb near the evidence (and this was in one of the articles!), Like a wrecker - everyone will fall onto these honeycombs: wasps, hornets, and other people's bees, you won’t be beaten off later.

I laid out the honeycombs with the remnants of honey on a piece of film, and in the evening, when the bees were no longer flying, I placed all this in the store extensions, parting the frames.

This option, coupled with local features, has become one of the reasons for the great war.

If you put a honeycomb with honey near the evidence, wasps, hornets, and alien bees will fly

Bee breeds - this is important

I already wrote about bee breeds, but I will repeat a bit and introduce the necessary clarifications. Central Russian bees, as well as Siberian and Far Eastern bees, are very aggressive due to difficult climatic conditions. They protect the mined, not sparing their belly. In the literal sense, because, according to Dahl, the stomach is life.

The breeds of karnik, bred in the southern regions, Carpathians (of different lines) are very peaceful and calm, even philosophical, in my opinion, belong to the partial withdrawal of reserves.

But pure breeds breed large apiaries - this is beneficial, since the uterus of these breeds is very prolific, and the bees are able to work all the warm period. Big family - a lot of honey. But lovers often breed either a gray Caucasian bee (as a local breed, it is most adapted to conditions), or numerous crosses with it.

It is easier for lovers with Caucasian bees - they are less greedy, quickly switch from one mellifer to another (more plentiful), their proboscis is long, which allows collecting nectar, for example, from red clover. But the uterus is noticeably less fertile. A characteristic feature: they are very prone to bee theft (only the Italian breed is ahead of them in this parameter), while protecting their nests well from thief bees.

So, the current situation: my philosopher-karniks were surrounded by gray Caucasian bees. But that is not all.

Features of commodity pumping honey

We pumped our honey at the end of June, when both linden and chestnut bloomed, that is, after the local main bribe. At the same time, two trailers with evidence in a radius of no more than 500-700 m from us returned from the exit to the chestnuts (in the Tuapse district there are much more of them, beekeepers take their apiaries there). That is more than 30 evidence with strong families of Caucasian sulfur and mixed breeds.

After the main bribe, honey is pumped to the maximum, it immediately goes for sale. Chestnut honey is expensive, dark, with a characteristic aroma, does not crystallize for a long time, is in demand.

And our bees with almost full evidence of honey, and even with honeycombs packed in store extensions with honey remnants, kind and philosophical, ran into the gray Caucasian neighbors, who had to urgently replenish the seized reserves.

The outbreak of hostilities from afar looked like a siege - many bees circled over the hives, the bees crawled along the walls of the hive, trying to get inside

How we lost our first hive

Of course, we did not expect robbery. And our bees, apparently, too, otherwise they would not have let strangers into the hive. And they simply could not fly by - the heat, July, the evidence is heated in the sun and from them there is a breathtaking smell of honey.

The first thief bees, relatively quietly caught in the hives and carried honey in their goiter, brought their relatives with them. The sweet word "freebie" is sweet for everyone!

Ours, apparently, realized that something had gone wrong and organized the defense. The start of hostilities was noticed by the husband, and from afar it looked like a siege - many bees circled over the hives, the bees crawled along the walls of the hive, trying to get inside. Upon closer inspection, defenders on flylets were discovered trying to keep other bees out.

An urgent consultation on the Internet produced the result - to cover up the doors and wait for the invasion. By the end of the day, or, at most, in a day, thief bees should understand that nothing shines for them here. Therefore, the gates were closed, and the rest of the day was devoted to finding information about effective methods of struggle.

By evening, a little easier: strangers flew away, for my own I opened the doors and let them go home. Honeycombs, already cleared of honey, removed from store extensions. Letki left ajar "one bee."

The pandemonium began in the early morning. The thief bees seem to have flown from all around. I closed mine again in the hive, and I began a systematic struggle with strangers. Beekeepers advise letki and smear all cracks with diesel fuel or kerosene in order to interrupt the smell of honey and repel other people's bees. I tried, it did not help. By lunchtime, swarms of bees flew over the hives, crawled along the walls of the hives, trying to find the slots and crawl through. Hornets appeared and atrocities began: hornets grabbed bees, tear off their heads and dragged them to themselves.

Smoke and water did not exert any visible effect on bees or hornets. Rubbing the fenders and the walls of the hives with onions and garlic also did not bring results. Seven sweats left me, because - the heat, July, and I am in full beekeeping equipment tossing about between the Internet and the bees. Until the evening I also tested repelling repellents (it did not help). Already in the dark with a flashlight came up to the hives, wanted to open the doors - bees crawled along the hives.

Only at dawn there were very few bees, and I quickly stuffed water bowls in the hives - the heat is! There was no time to inspect, the number of bees around increased exponentially with every minute. I covered the hives with covering material - so that the sun does not heat them much, and disorient other people's bees.

Another day my bees sat under siege. By lunchtime, the covering material was gray from bees crawling over it. Hornets feasted. A terrible sight! In the evening, I pulled away the covering material with everyone who was there, pulled it away and filled it with dichlorvos. And even conscience did not torment.

At dawn, we transported one beehive under a widely grown bush of hazelnuts, in a fairly hidden place. But the second did not have to be transported. I was alerted by the silence in the hive, I had to open it. The uterus was no longer there and rare bees crawled lonely on the frames. On the bottom is a bunch of dead bees.

The frames with honey were taken for pumping, the hive with land and wax was closed and left in place.

The crowd of bees began in the morning

How our bees lost the neighbor’s war

The saved beehive was no longer in sight, and I kept running to him to find out the situation. Bees were flying, dragging the bug, life was getting better. After pumping out the honey, I gave them a drain for drying, and they did a great job. The experience did not pass without a trace, the bees in the family significantly decreased. I removed the store extension, left the sushi and a few frames with honey. The uterus sowed, the brood was open and printed, so we hoped for the best.

Further developments were due to drought. From mid-June to August there was one rain, and even then it did not rain, but one name - it sprayed a little from above and that’s it. The grass died out, even the chicory stopped flowering. There is nowhere for bees to take nectar. And ours has a framework with honey and the family is weak. In general, one day was enough when we needed to urgently leave.

Upon returning, they found a beehive surrounded by bees. Everything was closed and left until the morning. Inspection at dawn showed half-empty honeycombs and a bunch of dead bees at the bottom of the hive and near it. Thieves uterus was also killed.

This is how our first beekeeping season ended ingloriously, leaving 15 kg of honey and a sad experience.

Read also the author’s previous articles on beekeeping:

Dear readers! This sad story happened last year. Now we have new bees, crossbreds. They, too, had to fight off thieves all the second half of the summer, but I regularly coated the hives with fir oil and reduced / increased the width of the notches. The bees became evil, because face control at the entrance to the hive is a tedious and inhibitory procedure. I, too, were somewhat bothered by the constant running around to the evidence and the difficulty of inspecting families (thieves fly instantly). I have not yet found effective methods of protection. Maybe someone tell me?