Mid-winter Varroa Treatment – December 2013

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Trickle treated 35 hives of bees with oxalic acid for Varroa today at 4 apiary sites. The temperature was 6 degrees, windy and beginning to rain. It took from 1.15pm to 4.15pm including travelling time so it has to be said it is the quicker of the two methods. If we had only the one Varrox Vaporiser it would have taken 10 minute per hive – which is nearly 6 hours and without the travelling time.

It has to be said the bees were not pleased to see us. It also has to be said that they are still very well stocked with stores. Most of them were on double boxes or one-and-a-halfs and because they had so much stores they were well down in the boxes so that was a bit of a dilemma: either you disturbed them more by separating the two boxes or you took a gamble and trickled from on high. We did some of each. I’d say the hive is open for no more than 1 minute each if you’re organised and have everything ready.

The only other thing to say is that there was very little problem with brace comb but then we have most of the bees on double boxes or 1.5’s – perhaps with that extra space they don’t feel the need to pack the space between the top bars and the crown board.

We must have found at least 8 hibernating queen wasps and often – stangely enough or perhaps not – 2 per roof – common wasps I’d say, going from the marks on their faces.

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