I had to stop feeding since the 27th of August, noticed I had robbers coming for my syrup destined for my girls. Once I noticed they were getting robbed, which was in the evening, I have shut the hives up completely and left shut the next day till about lunch time. It is still very hot here, having another heat spell around 34 degrees Celsius in shade, and during the night it goes down to about 14deg. C.
I stopped feeding and we went to town to our local bee shop and purchased mesh which we have cut into 10cm strips just slightly wider than the landing board. We hammered 3 little nails above the entrance, I made entrance reducers, some with drilled hole, some with oval hole and and some with a triangular entrance. Once we were ready I got dressed, got all the necessary equipment ready, started dealing with shut up hives, 4 out of 5 went really well, I opened up the entrance slipped in the entrance reducer, over the mesh hooked it on the nails, job jobbed. 5th hive, I think they were waiting for me, I dropped the entrance reducer, all the bees, very angry, came rushing out, found a weak spot in my dress, socks and took real pleasure in stinging me, letting me know what I bad job I did. I just slipped the entrance reducer, mesh over it and walked very briskly away into the shed, brushed off the bees, went home, took of my socks, my ankles were really sore, put some onions on them, put wellington boots on and back to the bees to sort it out properly. No more stings this time. I fitted the entrance reducer and the mesh and off I went home to treat my wounds.
We counted 9 stings on each ankle, 2 on my shoulder, 1 on my arm, 1 on my stomach. Ankles were the worst, everything that touched it was painful, by the end of the day I could not move, I believe because it was so concentrated in one area. I put Calamine lotion on it, little bit of Apple Cider vinegar, went to bed about 9 pm with 2 Ibuprofen, in the morning they felt a bit sore but nothing major. Amazing.
Since then I have been going over there with a sprayer full of water 2 – 3 times a day and spraying them. I have also spread Wick over the entrance, any breathing holes plus edges where the supers meat and that seems to be helping as well.
I am going to put pictures from the 28th of August, I took them in the morning, afternoon, and the evening. Plus I have taken photos of flowers that are in our garden and in the fields that the bees have at this time of the year.
I watered the bees today, they are much calmer, don’t come and attack me, just investigate but without the aggression. I think I will leave the mesh on there for a while, as long as this weather is like this I am not likely to feed either, I will wait till the weather changes. Dare I say it. Mind you we could do with water, everything is very dry.