Thursday, 23 September 2010

Varroa treatment

At the week end we checked the bees and started to prepare them for the winter. Whilst the weather is still warm and the bees are still flying, in fact they are very busy working the ivy, we began treating them with Apiguard, a thymol treatment for the varroa mite.

Starting with the main hive we removed the super, the frames were full of honey, but uncapped. As honey can't be used for human consumption after Apiguard treatment and as the honey wasn't ready for extraction the frames have been stored and will be fed back to the bees in a few weeks time.

The tray of apiguard was placed on top of the frames, an eke was then added, giving the bees space to work, before the crown board and roof were replaced. A solid floor, repalced the mesh flooring, so increasing the affect of the treatment. The entrance had already been reduced to help keep the wasps at bay.

In two weeks time the tray of Apiguard will be replaced with a new one, again for two weeks.

The is doing far better than expected. We were afraid that the supercedure of the queen so late in the season would mean the colony would be very small and need nursing through the winter. However the new queen is laying at an amazing rate, so much so that we will probably need to transfer the frames across to a brood box, after the varroa treatment. It may be necessary, to add insulated dummy boards on both the outside walls and provide extra feeding, but it does look as if the new colony will be going through the winter much stronger than we could have hoped for.

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