This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

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Sunday, September 4, 2016

What are beekeepers doing at the moment

The honey flow is over for most of us.
Mite treatments need to be put on ASAP. Treating for mites is imperative for hive winter survival.
 This pic is from a local beekeeper that treated for mites a week ago. She started the season with packages in new equipment. She did get a couple supers of honey, so for her first year she was very successful.
 She was concerned about winter survival of her bees so she treated for mites using Mite Away Quick Strips. Looking closely at the pic (double click on the pic for full screen) you can see the little maroon mites all over the sticky board.
Mites are all over the sticky board
If there would have been no treatment, the mites would have increased with time. By early October the mite population would have exploded, the odds of overwintering would have been much lower. Waiting to treat the bees for mites? As time goes on, the mites will cause damage to the bees. The weakened bees are more stressed and winter survival can be threatened.
 A high mite load can cause late fall absconding. You look at your bees in early October and they look fine. Two weeks later you look again and there isn't a bee in the hive. This is a symptom of a high mite load.
 The other symptom of high mite load is the bees make it into February and look great. Then over the month the cluster decreases in size and the bees finally die, usually by late February. The bees are succumbing to a virus brought on by a high mite load.
 Treat your bees. By not treating, you are spreading mites to your neighbors hives. Be a good neighbor.