So, we thought we would try a propolis
trap for our beehives. Propolis
is a sticky, resinous substance that bees collect from trees, I think sap. They use it as a sealant for holes in the hive, or they cover anything
they don't like from stray leaves to dead mice. Humans like propolis
because there claims of medicinal properties. I don't know about that, but I like the texture of a little propolis
in the hive. We have a couple of propolis traps
, so we thought we'd give them a try on a couple of hives. True to beekeeping equipment, the trap came with no instructions at first the bees ignored it until a blog reader told me that I need to keep the roof ajar. The bees see light coming in seal off the trap to block the light.
So, we gave it a try on the MimiKo and Bickman hives. We left the roof ajar and set the propolis trap on top of the inner cover.
There's a little hole in the inner cover that the bees can use to access the roof. Bless the bees hearts, they only filled the propolis right where the hole was on the inner cover--doing the least amount of work necessary and keeping the hive efficiently dark.
There was one tiny disturbing thing around the trap in the MimiKo Hive--ants. Large ants. They were between the inner cover and the roof and not into the rest of the hive. There are some dead bees on the ceiling and the ants were taking those apart, but I hope they don't decided to make themselves too welcome. I did some checking on google and found this from Go Beekeeping:
"Ants are a nuisance in the bee hive. They often build nest under the top cover and above the inner cover where the bees don't bother them. They seem to cause very little damage to the bees except be a curse to the beekeeper who wants to control them.
Treatment: Any chemical used to destroy ants will also kill bees. One could set the bee hive on a stand supported by four legs. Each leg would fit into a can filled with oil preventing ants from climbing up the side of the hive. Don't spend too much time worrying about them."
We looked down inside and the MimiKo bees were pretty chill. One ant came down and even ran into a couple of bees but there were no severe altercations. As long as the ants don't mess with the insides I won't stress too much, but I don't like that riff raff hanging out with my girls.