Saturday, April 19, 2008

Working Girls I

Appliances Required - Before opening a hive for manipulation, be careful to have to hand everything that you may require. A smoker, a carbolic cloth*, a small table that can be carried from hive to hive, a comb box, a dinner knife, a goose wing or soft brush, a pot of petroleum jelly are all useful articles.
*The Carbolic Cloth is also a subduer of bees and by some is preferred to the smoker. Ticking, calico or muslin, 20" x 18", may be used, with (if preferred) a hem on one 18" side to take an 18" lath. A solution of Calvert's No.5 Carbolic Acid, one part to ten parts of water, is prepared, and with it the cloth is thoroughly saturated. If the cloth, when not in use, be kept in a close-shut tin box, it will retain it's objectionable smell for a long time.
From The Practical Bee Guide by The Rev. J. G. Digges

It looks like we have managed to successfully perform the 'Shook Swarm' last Sunday. Although we couldn't find the queen during the operation, we carried on and brushed everybody into a clean brood box. They haven't absconded yet and they look to be busy drawing out new comb. So I can breathe again. If it all worked, the queen will be laying again soon and the varroa mite population will have been cleansed.

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