Not really the kind of pictures I want to post to this page. But as I do like to be transparent with my beekeeping, So introducing the pest with kills 10% to 20% of my hives each year…… Meet
Mr.Wax moth larva
A moth !?! … seriously! A moth can wipe out a colony of bees…it’s a moth.
Whinging aside, this normally only happens if the hive is weak but I have seen a strong colony go down from wax moths after an onslaught of attacks from giant hornets, those hornets never penetrate the hive they just laid siege to it, not letting the bees leave.
Catch a spring swarm generally the only way to increase your Japanese honey bee colonies . Hive splitting, requeening are just something you just really won’t hear Japanese beeks talking about.
For the past four years I have been using the yellow margin orchid which releases 3-Hydroxyoctanoic acid to signal Japanese honey bees. I honestly do not know why it does this, or what benefits the orchid gets, and Man! getting the orchid to flower when I want it to is always a major headache. With my painkillers running low I have decided to purchase artificial traps this year and see how they work.
Bees on Awaji island should be thankful for the plentiful supply of naturally growing camellia species during the winter months. Around my apiaries, I am blessed to have the hills littered with Yabu Tsubaki (Camellia japonica), and apiaries closer to civilization Sasanqua seems to be dominant species. If you ever have trouble telling which is which, just wait until the flower drops. If it drops petal by petal it’s a sasanqua and if the whole flower drops them it’s a camellia.
Hatada eventually should become my biggest apiary hosting around 100 hives, in the area of the shed hopefully a potential 40 hives so I need to keep tools and hives on hand so I can rock up to the apiaries empty handed and take care of business.
Empty handed? Really? Lazy much?
I really want to cycle there some weekends and it’s a good 70 km round trip if I do a loop. Also I never know if I am going to be cycling, motorbiking or driving the Awaji sports car, aka kei-truck.
But the main thing I want to keep up there is a weed-eater. In the photos below you’ll notice some yellow flowers, those flowers are sadly an invasive species are pulling them out has became tiresome, so a little fossil fuel power is needed.
With tremendous help from the Hatada Sea, Mountain and Forest Project I started my first honey bee shed. Once finished I won’t need to take my tools each time to the apiary. Hopefully, we can are done by February, Not to keen on putting the roof on though.
2016 marked the year I became a bee-haver and not a beekeeper, a little black mark which ultimately set me back a few years. You see I have the tendency to bite off more than I can chew and this year I literally choked myself working for Project Shunyoso while doing a full-time job, some coding and occasionally working at Hotel Anaga, Once again I had put myself in the fast lane of life and burning rubber I didn’t have.
Sometime in January I came off my motorbike cough motor scooter and long story short, It was an icy day I wasn’t going fast, I braked on a manhole and can ned my ass off.
A few weeks past and my knee really started ache and eventually my whole body too. Normally, Well I used to bounce back pretty fast, but 2016 was just roller coaster of mess after mess.
Drink more water
Apple vinegar (for some reason does really work so keep that up)
Once this invasive species flowers, it marks the end of my honey season. Bees, flies and other nectar-gathering insects love this plant, probably due to the fact that there are virtually no other flowers around this time.