Beemused: A Blog

First proper hive work of the season

7th March 2009

First proper hive work of the season

Today I was busy as a bee :-)

 I wanted to examine Mary, the hive that died, to see what I could determine as to the cause.  Once I opened her up & pulled out the frames, it was clear that she had succumbed to an overload of varroa mites.  We’d been reluctant to use miticides, but I think the results showed that we weren’t aggressive enough with IPM to be able to do that.

Elizabeth, our weakest hive (or so we thought), is doing OK, not great, but OK.  The lower brood chamber was comepletely emptied of stores, and there is only a small amount in the upper chamber.  I reversed the boxes, and we’ve bought 10 pounds of sugar for syrup which we’ll be feeding them soon.

Susan is doing very well, lots of bees and adequate stores for spring.  I reversed the chambers, to encourage the queen to expand the hive.

Both hives were treated with powdered sugar to bring down the mites, and given an artificial pollen patty to get them a head start on the spring nectar flows.

–Justin

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