Most beekeepers have finished wintering their bees. The bees are wrapped for the winter.
Today, Saturday and tomorrow Sunday the temperatures will be right for treating for oxalic acid.
Even if you wrapped your hive and have not treated with oxalic acid, this mite treatment is worth doing.
I have talked to several beekeepers who have not treated with oxalic acid. They said they treated with Formic Acid in August. A couple of the beekeepers said they went out to their hives in early November and all their bees were gone.
This is a symptom of high Varroa mite infestation.
Sometimes for some unexplained reason, Formic Acid may not work. This is why when any mite treatment is used, a pre-treatment and post treatment mite check is needed. This is to know first, what is the current mite load and second, did the mite treatment reduce the mite population to low levels.?
Sometimes you need to treat with formic twice.
A beekeeper I know last year treated ten hives with formic. He did a mite check post treatment. Three of the ten hives still had a high mite count after treatment. So he treated the three hives again, the second treatment worked in all the three hives.
Also, sometimes a beekeeper treats their hives properly in August, the treatment works and the mite count is low. If the weather stays warm and the bees can fly in September and October, hives can pickup higher mite counts from other untreated colonies that are located near your treated hives. The mite counts in your treated hive can rise to higher levels from this transferring of mites.
The late season mite treatment of oxalic acid, helps get your hive as mite free as possible to with stand the rigors of winter.
The bees right now are are clustered in the box under the top deep. Bottom box if you are two deep, middle box if you are three deep, A hive with supers for brood boxes should have four supers. The two top supers should be full of honey and the bees should be clustered under these two.
Other than that, the bees are clustered in the hive eating honey and keeping warm. They may fly out on cleansing flights if it can get to 50 degrees or so.
The bees over the winter, will eat about 10-12 lbs of honey per month. That is about a deep frame and a quarter worth of honey. A deep frame full of honey has about nine lbs per frame.
Hives should be covered with a winter wrap soon, if they have not been covered yet.
Winter is coming and beekeepers are taking a break from the chores of the past season. A well deserved rest.