I have just treated my two hives for varroa using Oxalic Acid Vaporization. I did the treatment last year and really didn’t see a mite until early September. Since then there has been an increasing problem made worse by the extended warm weather. Anyway I videoed what I did for anyone whos is interested. I will update this post if and when I do further treatments.
Treating Bee Hives for Varroa using Oxalic Acid Vaporization.
For anyone interested in the details of oxalic acid vaporization have a look at the article I wrote when I was first making the decision to use this method.
I started May with one hive… now I have two hives and 3 nucs! its been a busy month. My first hive was brimming over with bees but to be quite frank they really were not doing alot, mostly lollygagging around at the top of the hive. I also noticed a substantial increase in drones. I suspected that all this “hanging about” was because they wanted to swarm.
The recommended advice at this point is to “open the brood nest” by splitting, which I did on the 6th May, removing three frames in total ( two with capped queen cells ) and placed them in another prepared hive with another frames worth of shaken bees. This hive settled down well, though I was concerned that I placed the queen cells too near the entance, thus exposing it to colder conditions at night. two days later those cells were gone. I guess I’ll have to wait and see if the queen is there, but generally they seems to have settled down and are bringing pollen into the new hive.
Its The end of April and the hive is buzzing with bees. Between the rain and windy weather the bees having been building up rapidly. The top of the hive is full of bees. The first drones appeared about a week ago and I would have attempted a split but the poor weather has set things back a bit. So I’ll make my first split in early May.
Back in March i did a full inspection and found that in the brood box, about 50% of the honey stores were still present but their appeared to be a shortage of pollen. However the early spring has meant that there has been plenty of pollen available and the bees were busy bringing it in. The super stores has not been touched. The inspection showed the hive in good health with the original queen still alive and doing well!
April has brought a huge amount of forage. The primary source is a large rape seed field about half a mile away, nearby laurels flowering and toward the end of April Sycamore trees. But within just a few yards of the hive there is a huge number of nectar sources. Some of them are pictured below.
For the last couple of weeks between the storms and rain, the bees have started collecting pollen on the few sunny days. The snow drops are flowering and this appears to be providing at least one source for pollen. Some of the pollen coming back to the hive is off white but some is bright orange, I guess that could daffodil or crocus from further down the hills where they have started flowering. Continue reading →
This time of year between Christmas and new Year is the ideal time to carry out a “preventative” Varroa treatment using oxalic acid vaporisation because it is normally when there is the least amount of brood and the varroa are at their most vulnerable to this treatment. Continue reading →
Well its late November and the cold weather has begun, with several frosts. The recent mild weather has meant that I was able to complete my Varroa treatment ( oxalic acid vapour ) and bring the hive back into a reasonable state. The bees were even taking heavy syrup until late October. Continue reading →
October has been very mild, frequently wet with some wind but the bees could fly most days and there have been no very cold periods. Even today at the end of October the bees are still pulling in pollen! I have been feeding heavy syrup because one of the side effects of the oxalic vapor treatment, is that the bees seem to take up some of their stores after each treatment. So I have been pleased to get some more stores in. I have been keeping an eye on the long term forcast to make sure the weather is likely to be sufficiently warm for them to handle syrup. Continue reading →
Its October and the weather has just started changing. Cold winds from the north have brought on a real chill and the bees appear to be preparing for winter by developing a loose winter cluster pattern in the super. This picture is of the bees forming a loose winter cluster.
Some bees are still flying but activity seems to have slowed down markedly.
I had to come to a hard decision to treat my bees. The hive had reached a daily Varroa drop count of nearly 100. The writing was on the wall, I either did something or I would lose my bees and have to start again next year. My long term strategy is to breed bees that can handle Varroa themselves and to regress my bees to impede the varroa life-cycle. But the hard truth is I’m just not there yet. Continue reading →
So far October has been mild and the bees are able to fly and continue foraging, The ivy is flowering and there are a number of other late blooms. The super is nearly completely full. I stopped feeding mid-september when the ivy flow started. Autumn is approaching fast and a number of issues make me worry that my hive may have problems over the coming winter.