Archive for January 2016

Apiary report: Sunday 24th January

Nice to see  lots of members again at the apiary though the weather could have been a bit nicer but it was very mild, following a cold spell and ideal for the tasks ahead.

We had started, two weeks ago, treating a stack of 6 supers of drawn comb, with Acetic acid.  These were dismantled and replaced with a further 6 supers, having first removed the metal side bars, and stacked them inside a large polythene bag ( ex new mattress cover) with a pad between each super containing Acetic  acid.    This kills the spores of nosema  and any wax moth eggs and helps preserve the drawn comb.

Oxalic treatment for varroa has its advantages and disadvantages.  It can reduce the life expectancy of the winter bees if they are unable to go out on their poo flights due to bad weather. The process of cleaning each other means the acid ends up in their stomach and without cleaning flights it shortens their life.  Overdosing or two applications could cause the colony to die, so caution is very necessary.

we first checked, cleaned and replaced  the varroa boards, then lifted the lids and crown boards and with a specially designed applicator that pre measures 5ml, each seam of bees were treated.   It is recommended that all hives in an apiary are treated at the same time, so even some colonies that had a low varroa drop were treated.

Hive#1  varroa count 42 in 14days =  3 / day. treated with OA

Hive#2  varroa    30        =  2/day.   treated  with OA

Hive#3   varroa    8         less than 1/day.    treated with OA

Hive #4  varroa   7           less than 1/day.   treated with OA

Hive #5  varroa   87        nearly  6 /day .   treated with OA and top super removed as empty.

Hive#6   varroa   16         around  1/day.   treated with OA

Hive #7   varroa   46       nearly 3/ day      treated with OA

Hive #8  varroa   20        over 1 /day         treated with OA

Hive#9   varroa   Solid floor Warre hive treated with OA and top box removed as empty and mouldy.

Hive#10   Top Bar hive not treated

Nuc 15 F  varroa   15    approx. 1 /day .   treated with OA

Nuc  15H  polly nuc    not treated




Apiary : Sunday January 10th

We have been keeping an eye on the Apiary during the high winds and rain we have been having.  The Warre hive , being tall and thin, had to be secured with guy ropes, front and back, to stop it being blown over.

All the hives were checked and all showed signs of life.   We have put patties of fondant on all colonies as a precaution as during the warm autumn a lot of their stores were used up.   We have also popped the varroa boards in to check drop numbers before dosing with Oxalic acid after the coming (hopefully) cold spell.   Further inf0rmation on that will be  put on the news page, but is pencilled in for 24th January.   As many people as possible would be welcome with other jobs to do as well.

On Sunday we started Acetic acid dosing of stored supers, using  a large polythene bag holding 6 supers with pads in between.   These will need dismantling next week and another stack made up.

I would like to wish everyone a happy new year, and don’t forget to check your own hives for stores. Colony starvation is not a pretty sight and one to be avoided at all costs.

Richard Williams,   Apiary Custodian.