Oxalic Acid Vaporiser Treatment on September 20th

After the high count in Aqua from the drone trap last week – 50:100 and the Defra advisory on incidences of high Varroa infestations I decided to use my new vaporiser and apply Oxalic Acid to the home apiary colonies. Will do the Mole Valley ones next week.

Oxalic Acid Vaporiser - completed

Bit of a faff removing the entrance blocks especially as it was the middle of the day and as the weather has continued to be warm the bees were very active. Didn’t see the vapour coming out of the top of the hives but certainly seems effective based on the drop counts. Very easy to use and found the on/off switch to be useful, also liked the fact the battery is relatively light weight so easy to move around the apiary.

Put in Varroa slides before applying the treatment and the 24 hour drop counts were shocking:

  • Aqua – 132 – surprised at how high as this the colony that I have been very focused on drone trapping during the season
  • Blue – 212 mites, might be down to the poor start it got during the season
  • Cyan – 180 mites – very active so after the other results not too surprising
  • Denim – 37 mites, surprised how low it was compared to the others; hopefully the treatment was applied correctly This has been a very active colony throughout the season
  • Honeydew – over 300 mites. Very surprised as this was a new colony this year but I obviously haven’t been managing it for Varroa very effectively. I thought the it would be one of the lowest as it was set-up as a nuc and I didn’t use drone trapping.

Second count 48 hours after treatment not much better (either the treatment is really effective or my colonies are in a very bad state!):

  • Aqua – 85 mites
  • Blue -180
  • Cyan – 60
  • Denim – 10
  • Honeydew – 260

With such high counts I will treat again in 3 weeks. This is one of the advantages of using the Vaporiser is that the treatment can be repeated.

Mid May – Home After 2 weeks

Well the weather has been changeable. But looks like after the warm Winter that everything is flowering 2-3 weeks ahead of normal. The weather is set to be settled and very warm for the next week. My bees have certainly been active and bringing in quite a lot of stores. However my swarm avoidance and queen rearing hasn’t gone to plan.

Only one of the Apideas survived, but the resulting queen that is laying is very small. Not sure why the other Apidea didn’t survive, all the bees seem to have perished, maybe the entrance was blocked.

Update: Saturday, 17th – Moved Green 5 frame nuc to out apiary and transferred to full size National box. Also moved Apidea created yesterday with sealed queen cell from Cyan to out apiary.

Currently Chesnut and Hawthorn in flower

Weekly Inspection – April Rain

Well the bad weather has continued this week, lots of rain and temperatures only reaching 12°C. The rain meant that I put off doing the last stage of the queen rearing but only by a day. Noticeable that the bees haven’t been able to forage much and have been eating through their stores this week. Transferred sealed queen cells into the two apideas. Replaced one of the sealed queen cells with a spare laying queen I was given from two colonies being united (not my bees). I set up a nuc with brood and bees from Aqua and Cyan – dusted with icing sugar to prevent fighting and put the queen into a Butler cage between two frames. So I’ll see how she gets on over the next few weeks.

On Thursday, 19th whilst doing the transfer of queen cells in the Plum colony I examined the Maroon colony which had shown signs of swarming last week. There were more new charged queen cells so I took out the queen and four frames of brood and stores and put into a nuc and brought it back to my home apiary. I will let the parent colony raise a new queen.

So I currently have 2 new nucleus colonies(Green and Lime), each with laying queens.

Took out the varroa slides at the Mole apiary and only found a total of 3 mites, so nothing to worry about on this front.

Flowering: Pear and horse chesnut both coming into bloom.

Weekly Inspection – April Showers

Well the weather has been awful this past week. Showers, sometimes very heavy, and temperatures around 10C. The forecast for the coming week is more of the same.

The modified Snelgrove board split is progressing well (see the blog for more details). Managed to stock my 2 apideas as part of the queen rearing with bees from Maroon and Orange colonies.

Put the varroa slides in on the out apiary colonies. Will see what the mite drop is next week.

Monday, 16th – inspected home colonies

Gooseberry still in flower and the Goat Willow catkins are out. Lots of other blossom also out.

Weekly Inspection – Easter

Well the weather has been much colder around 10°C – 12°C all week. Starting to see evidence of swarming activity – charged queen cells , 2 with eggs and lots of queen cups. Took out 2 slabs of drone brood. Evidence of quite a lot of Varroa in one colony, so will treat with icing sugar next week.

Have also put the Apidea frames into a colony to see if they will draw the comb, then I can feed Apideas with wet sugar rather than syrup.

The largest colony, Plum, seems set on swarming so will go back tomorrow to perform a Snelgrove style split.

Flowering: Plum finishing, gooseberry just starting

Annual Oxalic Acid Treatment

Annual treatment with Oxalic Acid for Varroa control. Temperature around 9c, bit warm but didn’t want to leave it any later in the month as one of the main triggers for the queen to lay is day length. Didn’t open up the hives, just applied 5ml of Oxalic acid to each seam of bees.


8-1-2012: Oxalic Acid Treatment
Comment Next Inspection
 fairly active
weakest colony check store in a month
 very strong
 plenty of stores
 not treated