Cathedral Bees Update—Fall 2020

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We are happy to report that we continue to have two thriving hives on the roof of Bloedel Hall. We are especially grateful for the steady help and interest of Jaime Rubio. He has given our bees the extra daily attention they’ve needed this season. It’s been enjoyable to watch the hives flourish. We witness healthy behavior including the bees fanning their wings to regulate temperature in the hive. We continue to see lots of yellow pollen coming in.

It became apparent that we have relatively high numbers of varroa mites which is a huge problem for all beekeepers. A recent commentary says probably every hive in the US has some mite infestation so we decided it was time to bite the bullet and treat using oxalic acid vapor. Thus my “super mask” in the photo below. Since mites get into the cells where eggs are laid by the queen, three rounds of the acid treatment are required to successfully reduce the mite population. This can be done with very little damage to the bees.

You may be wondering about the honey.  We will be leaving honey in the hive this winter so the bees have plenty of nourishment through the wet, cold weather. We hope to harvest next year after the bees have survived and when pandemic precautions are no longer an issue. We ask you to remain patient and continue praying for the health of our winged friends.

Peace to all,
Rob Reid


See previous Cathedral Bees updates here.

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