local-honey-bee-suppliesRJ Honey Farm

Winter Prep #1


Varroa mites. You have them.

The goal of this year was to build up the bees into two deeps full of bees. When you open the hive and take off the inner cover the frames should be boiling with bees. The price of this success is the breeding of varroa mites.

Many beekeepers I've talked to say they don't have them. Don't kid yourself. Everyone does. A couple ways you can check are a mite board and a sugar shake. You'll need to do this to see if your mite treatment was successful.

Many beekeepers I've talked to in the spring who need new bees to replace bees that died over winter didn't treat for mites. If you want to keep your bees alive, you'll need to treat for mites. The reason to do it now is to purge the hive of mites before she lays her winter bees. You'll want the winter bees to be clean and healthy going through the winter and coming out in the spring.

Here are the ways we treat. Both should be done with the honey supers off if you intend to consume the honey.

One is oxalic acid vaporization. This is a natural treatment. You'll need a vaporizer and oxalic acid. If you purchase the vaporizer from us we give you enough oxalic acid to treat 5 hives three times. This treatment takes three weeks. The hive will need to be vaporized one time a week for three weeks in a row. It is pretty easy, requires some common sense precaution, and once you have the vaporizer the treatment is pennies. We'll show you how it is done.

Another common treatment is Apivar. This treatment is more expensive and is a chemical. It requires inserting two strips of Apivar per deep of bees. The strips need to be removed after 6 weeks.

There are other treatments: thymol, MAQS and others. But whatever you use, treat!