Friday, January 9, 2009

Varroa Mites

Over the Holidays we had many guests show up to visit. As usual I showed off my bees with an inspection one warm afternoon. Each person gets their photo taken holding a deep frame plus a spoonful of honey off that frame. Lots of smiles and frantic laughs (not all are comfortable around bees).

While looking at the images a day or so later I saw them. VARROA MITES on the backs of a few bees. I hate reminders that I've been beekeeping for less that a year. Should have put in strips back in November. Anyway I go to the local Dadant store only to learn they can not sell chemicals anymore; or until they get a pesticide license. So now I must do it online. Fine the order has been made.

However while in the Dadant shop I talked to a guy with 160 hives, he said he was not commercial. He told me of a devise he bought that cleans or disinfects hive with vaporized vinegar. Some machine he bought from its creator in North Carolina. He told me that by pumping the vapor into a hive for 30 seconds just about everything would be cured. He then went on about how we use too much chemicals in our hives as it is. I'll need to research this some more of course.

The practice of using powdered sugar came up as well. I don't think, though, that Mary would survive it.

Anyway the strips will be here soon and the hives will be treated. I'm not big into chemicals but without the experience I'll keep to the tested ways for now. Mary's re-Queening never took. There was a Queen in the hive that I could not find. SO, Mary is still quite weak. Bad brood quantity and patterns all last Fall. Plus she continued with that odd trait off pouring out onto the ground during inspections (hence thumbs down with powdered sugar as the nights are in the 20's). Myrina still seems in good condition.

I am looking forward to next year. I have already though of acquiring 2 more hives.

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