Last year my friend’s beehives were ravaged by hornets, so whenever I have the chance I like to check on them for him during hornet season.
Now, This year’s weather has been pretty much disastrous (lucky us) for the hornets on Awaji Island, torrential rain in spring to hinder the nest building followed by a couple of huge typhoons in late summer which drove the final nail into the coffin for the underground dwelling species. As for the hornets who build up high and dry, well…. Even that practice was no match against the tree uprooting wind and the bucket loads of endless rain
The Japanese giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia japonica) is called ōsuzumebachi 大雀蜂 which is literally “great sparrow bee”.
The Japanese yellow hornet (Vespa simillima xanthoptera) kiiro suzumebacho (キイロスズメバチ) the English translation is the same as the Japanese name.
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.
For any bee keeper losing a hive is a sad time. I am lucky enough to keep the Japanese honeybee, a very sturdy honeybee. In fact the only time I really need to worry about my hives is during the autumn months when the giant asian hornet decides to turn it’s radar onto my hives.
It’s been well documented that Japanese honeybees can ward off attacks from these hornets, however I have found that if the hornets are persistent enough the bees really have no chance.
The beekeeper does have one weapon in their arsenal, using the Japanese Hornets attack pheromone against itself.
Using sticky paper I catch one Hornet, and then make it super angry (this is not hard to do 🙂 ) . Then lay the paper in the path of the oncoming hornets and one by one they die to there sticky deaths.
Well it’s my birthday today, so why not do something interesting on your birthday 🙂
On Thursdays, I generally check on the Hatada apiary and today I noticed that the Perilla had started to take their dance of death and turn a shitty brown and make the stone terraces look like a big turd.
I knew this is gonna happen and had been putting off weeding that section of the apiary because I just don’t like weeding and there are a lot of snakes
I had decided on only weeding around the beehives, but being Mr. can’t stop when he gets started ended up pulling all the Perilla.
The bamboo fence for the apiary is harder to build than I first thought. Of course having to collect the bamboo, split it, find the good parts and then attach it to the fenceposts, really does make it labour-intensive.
I wish I could’ve started sooner, but since you can only collect bamboo between the months of December and February I don’t really have much choice.
I am hoping this year I can use this field, I still haven’t got the okay from the owner, but I’m weeding out the ragwort in the field anyway because once this noxious weed (Madagascar ragwort) takes root it’s a real pain to get rid of, it also makes lousy honey…
The field is honestly amazing, the perfect place for the perfect vegetables, it measures up to my checklist and everyway.
Good soil check
Lots of sun check
Water supply check
Up Fence check
Fully fenced in. check
More than enough space to do different crops. check