And he’s at it AGAIN!

I left the motion-activated sprinkler off last night to see if it was having any effect on the stinky rascal trying to decimate my hives. Take a look at what I found this morning:

Spit balls of bees, again. See those dark lumps between the wooden slats? There were at least 4 of them in front of Melissa.

During last week’s rain I noticed a lot of dead bees on the landing and wondered if the hives were being robbed. I went to Jim’s place on Tuesday to pick up two moving/robbing screens, I showed him the pictures and he said it looked normal to him. He said that there always seems to be a lot of dead bees on the landing when it’s raining. I decided to try the screens anyway, figuring I had nothing to lose. Once I got them painted and set them on the hives I realized they needed to be reinforced somehow. They’re fine if you don’t have anything harassing your hives but with that skunk around I didn’t want it pulling off the screens. In the midst of adjusting to the new screen, it hit me…I could leave the front entrance doors open and just close them at night to keep the bees from interacting with the skunk! I have to go out there every morning to turn off the motion-sensor on the sprinkler and turn off the faucet to the hose. Every night I turn them back on. With the screen all I have to do is flip the doors open and closed!! No more sprinkler! I was very excited. To put my plan to the test, I left the sprinkler off and you know what happened. I’ve done it before out of shear forgetfulness but with no pile of bee balls. Clearly the skunk doesn’t come every night.

So this morning I attached one screen:

One screen with the latches I used, they're 1" hooks and eyes.
Predrilling the hole.
The hook on the screen, the eye will be mounted on the hive body.
Ready for install: the screens, the drill, a rag to clean the landing and hive bodies (it rained last night) and the eyes.
It's pretty secure. I pushed it in various directions to make sure it would stay put.
I put some pine branches over the entrance to make them reorient on their way out. The little metal flaps on the bottom are what I will use to close the entrance tonight. I hope this works!

So there you have it folks. As always, click on the picture to make it bigger. Wish me luck! And by the way, the nuc seems to have escaped the skunk’s attention. I’ll be checking for a laying queen toward the end of the week. May 5th marks 28 days since the nuc was made and the average time for a new queen to have emerged, mated and started laying. If all looks well then Connie can have it anytime afterwards. I remember making my nuc last year and how much I desperately I wanted to get my hands on it, just to HAVE my bees already!



  1. hi there
    i see that you go to the bee supply guy in damascus, i have gone there in the past but lost his contact info, would you happen to have it?

    • Sure do: Jim Fraser, Brushy Mountain distributor. He has basic supplies at his store (woodenware, foundation, tools, feeders, etc) and can get anything BM carries, just let him know what you need. The store address is 6910 Damascus Road, MD 20882. He’s open Sundays 9-5 and Tuesdays Noon-7pm. His email is jfraser71@aol(dot)com

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