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Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Just finished the varroa treatment

I have just treated the last four hives with Oxalic Acid at 3%.

The instructions are to dribble 10ml per seam of bees.

It's a bit hard to determine a seam of bees.  Is it a seam if they occupy just one third of the width?

Oxalic acid, applied when there is no brood, is very effective at knocking down the varroa.  It erodes their extremities and makes it easier for bees to groom them off.

Varroa infestation is a prime culprit for colonies that do not thrive.  The bees are weakened by the little bloodsuckers and are affected by mite-borne viruses, like "deformed wing virus".

The first three I treated just before Christmas, when there was a calm lull in the weather.  And I was surprised by how active the bees were.  I gave them some additional syrup because the warm weather has made them more active (and hence the consume more).

All seven hives are alive, but a couple are a bit depleted.  They might not make it through the winter.

The biggest (and most active, interestingly) colony is in a polyhive on plastic frames.  Who'd'a thought it?  But that hive has a full width feeder and I gave them a LOT of syrup in later summer and autumn.

The polyhives feel that much warmer and dryer when you open them.

I don't expect to post again before the spring.

I wish all my followers a peaceful and bounteous new year.