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Last Chance!

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:54 pm
by kristinahoney
Hi All,
Today and tomorrow will be beautiful days and warm enough to do one last quick hive check if you need to. The queen may have shut down. That's okay. They still need 80# of honey for the winter. You can do one last mite check. Remember, your bees may have raided another dying hive since your last check. Here's the advice I just gave to NoCo Beeks. Thought I'd give it to us too.
Get out there and do an alcohol wash right now! Sticky boards are fun to play with during the summer, but when mite loads are becoming critical and you really need to know what's going on, an alcohol wash will give you the information you need, when you need it, accurately. While you're in there, check for capped brood and asses stores.
Just a quick review:
  • 300 bees 1/2 cup from the broodnest, or, if no brood, at least from the center of the hive
  • Dump into 50% alcohol or winter windshield wiper fluid
  • Shake vigorously 30 sec-1 min
  • Filter through 1/8 in hardware cloth or the screen that's used for bee packages
  • Catch the fluid and count the mites
  • Over 6 is your threshold for treating although if capped broodless you might could do with 10.
  • You should be doing this monthly Apr-Nov or as long as there's flight weather.
It's too cold for anything but OAV. OA dribble might work, but make sure your bees are well fed first. If there's brood, you'll need to repeat OA every 5 days for 3 treatments. If no brood, once will do it. With nights in the teens-20s most treatments won't contact the bees, will interfere with the cluster, or won't volatilize the way they're designed to. If you're isolated from other backyard beekeepers, you might be okay. Cross your fingers! (but get out there and do that alcohol wash now!)
Hope this helps!
Kristina Williams