The Hive Defender Succeeds
Hi Bruce I have been meaning to write to you for some time to inform you of how your ingenuity saved my bees.
I had three fairly new small hives together in an apiary at the rear of my garden, as it also houses the storage tanks and water pump for the house it is well fenced from stock and in a very sheltered position.
I checked on them first thing in the morning [and] my hives appeared to be doing well and everything appeared normal. We had seen a few wasps around but they had not been a problem so imagine my horror when I returned at midmorning to see the central hive under heavy attack by an absolute swarm of large German wasps. I had never experienced this sort of problem when I previously kept bees some many years ago in a different locale so I was a little unsure as to how to tackle this problem.
So this is what I did – [I] got my smoker going and smoked the hive which was under attack and all the wasps vacated it in a hurry – I then covered it completely with a sheet and tucked it in. Returning to the shed I brought the brand new Hive Defender that [I] had purchased from Ceracell, well before my nuc arrived and set the hive upon it.
Turning the entrance to the opposite direction and reducing it to one bee space didn’t stop the wasps from trying to enter the hive so I completely closed the hive for 24 hours after which I fed the bees and gave them moisture – and as there was no sign of any bees guarding the entrance I kept it closed for a further 24 hours.
During this time the Hive Defender continued to attract the wasps into the trap section under the hive whilst leaving the other two hives unmolested except for the odd probe which was quickly dealt with by the guard bees.
After 48 hours I opened the hive to check on the damage and found that despite a huge number of dead and partially dismembered bees out of the nine frames four had survived and had plenty of brood – the hive was left to its own devices and has recovered well but the Hive Defender continues to give excellent service by trapping numerous wasps on a daily basis.
We searched around ours and neighbouring properties where we found and killed eight large nests of German wasps however we still continue to trap a significant number of wasps each week. I have attached pictures of this week’s haul removed from the slide under the Defender which is actually quite small compared to the numbers we have seen. Of interest is that these wasps never demonstrated any interest in the protein based baits that I trialed on several occasions.
The wonderful Hive Defender is on duty twenty four hours per day (wasps are active for much longer hours than honey bees). Wasps are more interested in trying to gain entry into the defender than the hives, it is completely free from chemicals, of robust construction with high quality materials, well-built and will continue to defend my apiary for many more seasons to come.
So Bruce I really want to say thank you to you for saving my bees as without your Defender not only would I have lost the hive that suffered the initial attack but I think the others would have been at great risk.