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beeman

Much better year with Bees

Although July ( cosidered the main Honey take month) was a washout, this has turned out to be a much better years Beekeeping than the last two.
I have taken plenty of Honey, all my new Queens seem to have mated properly, and are laying like the clappers.

I have finished feeding for the coming winter, and the bees are bringing in an amazing amount of pollen, this too, will be used over winter and early spring.

In my neck of the woods there is still Himalayan water balsom in flower, and plenty of ivy to follow. Both these plants give both pollen and nectar, so the hives should be full for winter.

Just leaves my 2nd round Varroa treatment in early December,
then roll on spring!
Bazzer

I have noticed a lot more activity in the last month or two compared to last year.
Are they on the up following the colony collapses and given the previous gloom and doom a fingers up or is this just a blip?
beeman

I have no experiance of colony collapse disorder myself, I never lost a colony (hive) last winter. I just wonder how many are lost through starvation, even through this july I had to feed, due to poor foraging weather, and honey having been taken off.
Lorrainelovesplants

Going to start feeding this week, and wondered about varroa treatment?
Still brood about so not really happy to treat until November.
Still looking at the Oxalic acid tratment.  The local bee club had this done last year (and one of my hives) but really didnt like it - seemed to upset the bees and a bit haphazard (done by the local bee inspector)

We collected a lovely swarm this year and they are doing really well, so dont want to lose them.
beeman

Some keepers are leaving thymol based treatments on all through the winter, including my local SBI.

My bees never seem to mind the oxalic acid treatment, and I'm amazed how many mites are killed even after Thymol in August. The good thing is Varroa will never become immune to it.
Lorrainelovesplants

What thymol based treatments do you mean then?
beeman

Apiguard is,I guess, the best know thymol based product. It comes in a 3" square foil tray, similar to cat and dog meat ones. You need to make a small ( say 1" deep ) eke, to put on the top of your brood box, as normal bee space is'nt enough. You then peel the foil lid back, and place the tray on the hive and replace the crown board. Leave like this for 2/3 weeks, then put another tray on.The 6 week period is 2 breeding cycles for Varroa. The product is temperature dependant,so it works best at 15deg c or above.If you use open mesh floors, as I do, you need to put an insert in as the fumes are heavier than air and would sink out of the hive.

This all sounds worse than it is, as the job only takes a couple of seconds to do. Hope this explains it all and is of some help to you and your Bees.
Lorrainelovesplants

Now I alread use piguard, but you have supplied new info.

Currently (as instructed by beekeeping mentor) Im putting in a tray of Apiguard and replacing it in 10 days (so only covering about 20 days really), also I use open mesh floors and will now use your suggestion of putting a tray of some sort in to keep in the fumes.

Also, feed before treatment or after?

What do you think of hive clean? havnt used it, but lots of talk about it locally.
beeman

If you are feeding with sugar syrup, as I guess most do, you need to be getting on with it now. Do'nt forget it takes a lot of work by the Bees to invert the syrup before storage, and their working days are getting much shorter now, night time temperatures are dropping away at the same time.As long as you use a top feeder ie, over the crown board type like a hamilton you should be ok, as the thymol fumes are heavier than air they will sink away from the feeder.

I have no experiance of Hive clean, so cannot comment.

I would strongly recommend the use of oxalic acid in early December though. All these treatments sound like alcamy but without them our Bees are doomed, make no mistake, Varroa is our biggest enemy.

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