May Field Day Report
We had a really nice field day at Hope Community Farms in the Iroquois neighborhood. This location used to be where the Iroquois Projects stood and due to having the highest crime rate in the city, they were torn down and replaced with a community farm. The farm employees refugees who hand-till the ground and provides them with jobs. These workers are older and some physically disabled who would otherwise not be able to work factory or other jobs.
Secretary Haileigh Arnold is the farm manager and these are her hives. She was gifted a hive last Fall from a KBA member who was moving out of state. The hive had a mite-biting queen. She found the hive upon inspection a week before the field day about to swarm and moved the swarm cells into a second hive. We looked through the primary hive and found it to be very healthy with lots of pollen, honey, and brood. The queen was an excellent laying queen with a great brood pattern. We were not able to locate the queen, but she had eggs laid within the last two days, so we believe she was in there hiding. We took out a full frame (green frame) of drone cells and scraped them off looking for mites. We found none at all. The drone frames are a way of IPM (Integrated Pest Management) used to get rid of mites who breed within the cells. You would use these frames and scrape them off after they are capped but before the drones emerge.
We counted 18 queen cells in the second hive and eliminated all but two cells to prevent multiple queens hatching and possible after-swarms. President Lara Augustine took two cells in BZ queen cups to take back to her apiary to further the mite-biting queen breed. Lara Augustine is a member of the Kentucky Queen Breeders Association.