|Dead Bee hive 12-28-12|
I have to test to see how honey bee colony A died. Look at the past few posts and you will learn how I have reacted to the colony dying. The ropey test, smell test and Holts milk test for American Foulbrood were all negative. To be sure I sent larvae and adult honey bee samples away to the USDA in Beltsville, MD.
At the same time I sent away for two American foulbrood tests kits from VITA Europe. http://www.vita-europe.com/products/afb-diagnostic-test-kit/ They have a supplier in the US and I received my package within 3 business days of ordering. Very impressive. The company is Dadant. http://www.dadant.com/
When the test was completed I was relieved to find only the control indicated in the blue line. The Test line did not appear. This will hopefully concur with the USDA finding of the bees and the bees in colony B will be okay. They are all clustered right where they should be.
Hive A’s problem was probably not being clustered in the bottom deep and freezing. I’ll keep at it learn from this experience. If all goes well I’ll have three colonies or four if I split Hive B. I’ll be using mediums for any Langstroth hives as I continue. If I can keep using Hive A’s equipment then it will be switched to mediums. I have the long top bar hive almost completely constructed. Just some final touches on the roof and and then it needs a coat of beeswax and linseed oil.
Rather than building a second top bar I think I may build a Warre top bar hive. That way I’ll have three different sets of management techniques and can compose a good group of pollinators, honey bee and honey producers. From there we’ll see what works and build on that. That’s the plan anyway. Now I know what To Do With Honey From A Dead Bee Hive