Adding a sticky-board.
I had a look in the hive today, with assistant D to hand me the tools. Today wasn’t too flash an experience, but no stings at least. The moment I opened the hive, I heard a sudden, loud ‘BUZZZZ’, and the bees buzzed out in a big cloud around me. I think they were buzzing at about f# instead of middle C like usual. A hundred or so were trying to sting my gloves, and I got a bee in my bonnet! (got him out without a problem, whew.)
Inside the hive, I pulled a frame from the middle of the top super, and they had just started to cap a few of the cells (may bee 5%), so, by the time we are ready to extract, at the end of February, the whole box will be full and capped. If cells are not capped, it means the bees haven’t got the moisture content low enough, and the honey can go if it is extracted.
I put a sticky board under the hive, a sticky board is a large piece of sticky cardboard that any varroa mites stick to, and lets me know if I have a serious infestation of the horrid little blighters. We can now assume that there are mites throughout the country, in pretty much every hive. This is why we have those border security guys, that fine morons who sneak food and stuff in to the country. All it took was one person, who thought it was their right to bring in honey products, and now the beekeeping industry, and most agriculture, is faced with massive costs, due to the hit to the bees. Thanks.
Anyway, it was a sunny day, but I really could have done with a smoker. Mind you, with the fire risk around here, if neighbours saw a puff of smoke the fire dept. would be out like a shot.