January 25, 2012
Preparing for a cross-country trip to California almond pollination
By David L. Green, writer and photographer (Copyright 2012 - no reproduction without permission)
Special care must also be taken to avoid any fire ants hiding in crevices or under the pallet. All hives are moved off the pallets and set on the covers.
The heft of the hive is an important measurement of its strength. Also a healthy hive has a sweet smell, while any off odors may be a sign of a weak or sick hive.
The pallet is removed to go back to the shop for pressure washing.
Feeders are kept in the hives, and high quality corn syrup is fed to the bees in preparation for moves, or for making up nucs. Also pollen patties are kept on the bees during the off season. This prevents any winter starvation, and keeps the hives in tiptop shape for maxium quality of pollination.
insecticide is applied under the pallets for fire ants, and an "X"
frame is placed down to raise the pallet off the ground. A new or
pressure-washed pallet is used for replacement, and all hives are
brushed down, especially in the hand holds, to clean any possible
hiding spots where fire ants could hitch a ride.
A nice frame of sealed brood in the middle of winter is evidence of a powerful queen.
Kutik's Honey Farm