Catch a spring swarm generally the only way to increase your Japanese honey bee colonies . Hive splitting, requeening are just something you just really won’t hear Japanese beeks talking about.
For the past four years I have been using the yellow margin orchid which releases 3-Hydroxyoctanoic acid to signal Japanese honey bees. I honestly have know idea why it does this, or what benefits the orchid gets and getting the orchid to flower when I want it to is always a major headache. With my painkillers running low I have decided to purchase artificial traps this year and see how they work.
For any bee keeper losing a hive is a sad time. I am lucky enough to keep the Japanese honeybee, a very sturdy honeybee. In fact the only time I really need to worry about my hives is during the autumn months when the giant asian hornet decides to turn it’s radar onto my hives.
It’s been well documented that Japanese honeybees can ward off attacks from these hornets, however I have found that if the hornets are persistent enough the bees really have no chance.
The beekeeper does have one weapon in their arsenal which uses the Japanese Hornets pheromones against itself. Using sticky paper they catch one Hornet, and then make it super angry (this is not hard to do 🙂 ) . After catching this hornet we then lay the paper in the path of the oncoming hornets and one by one they die to there sticky deaths.
I still have at least one more month until winter is over and I am in the clear. So far I haven’t lost any hives but two are not looking great, So this year I decided to feed them 200cc of sugar water every 10 days to 14 days, I hope it’s enough.