Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fumagilin & Screened Bottom Boards

Today the colonies received their last treatment of Fumagilin.  Fumagilin-b is an antibiotic that controls the disease Nosema, or bee dysentery.  The disease usually occurs during Winter while the bees are unable to release bodily waste each day.  The weather is too cold for the bees to fly outside to relieve themselves.  So they stay in the cluster and must hold it in for months sometimes.  If they get Nosema the bees can no longer hold it in and can make a big mess inside the hive.  Plus the stress of the disease can weaken the colony and lead to it's demise. 

In Fall each full hive gets 2 gallons of medicated syrup per twenty frames.  Last week they all got their first gallon.  Two colonies were given only one gallon since they are only ten frames in size; Myrina & Nuc #5.  The Fumagilin is put in a heavy sugar syrup, 2:1 sugar to water.  That's eight pounds of sugar in about two quarts of water.

Crystallized sugar after one gallon of 2:1 syrup
This time of year the bees will take it down in one to two days.  There is some crystallization of the sugar in the Hive Top Feeder.  To fix that i toss a quart of warm water into the feeder afterward.  It dissolves the sugar and the bees then take it down too.

Also it's time to close all the Screened Bottom Boards (SBB).  Some beeks leave them open but i close mine.  I think it helps the bees brood lower in the hive.  Slatted Racks aid that as well.  Myrina's SBB was replaced with a regular BB with a solid bottom.  Mary & Nuc #5 also have the solid BB now.  Heléna & Melissa both have the closed off SBB.  As does that little September swarm i haven't been talking about.

The next steps toward Winterization will be the final Varroa check & treatment if necessary.



Christopher Beeson said...

How are your bees over-wintering so far?

Are you going to have to provide any emergency feed before spring arrives or are they still heavy with stores?

Show Me The Honey

Hemlock said...

Hey Chris,

They are doing good...So far. Our Winter in almost nonexistent. Except for the last two weeks the bees never stopped flying or Brooding. The Maples have also begun to bloom five weeks early.

Now as we enter February we will see colonies begin to starve out. We have started to feed the bees plus i have full honey frames in storage to supplement the hives. I don't expect to need dry sugar with all the resources coming on early. Would only use sugar at this point if we have a prolonged cold snap.

If warm conditions continue we are looking at an early Swarm season too.

Hope your bees are doing well too. Do you plan to expand your apiary this year? You know you Want to...