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Going Hands-Free

Bayverol Strips

Packet showing the Bayverol strips. I believe each strip contains 3.4mg of Flumethrin.

Medicine for the Hive
After the disaster that my hive was quickly becoming, I decided upon drastic measures – I have given the hive ‘Bayverol‘ which is a mitacide (poison which kills varroa). It comes in plastic strips which hang in the hive, slowly releasing the active ingredient. I can keep it in there for 8 weeks – which will take me to about 2nd August. The dosage was 4 strips per box, and since they have a honey super on, I needed 8 strips. It also means that the honey is unfit for human consumption – not a worry, anyway, as it was their winter feed. Still, no more flogging honey from that box.

Bayverol strips in the hive

Bayverol strips in the hive. They have little bendy arms which grab hold of the frames. This was the top box.

Bayverol strips

Putting the strip into the hive – no gloves

Bayverol strips

How it looks afterwards. I can still see lots of bees, which gives me hope they will survive the winter.

Hands Free
As I needed to put fiddly itty-bitty bits of plastic in the hive, and do it quickly (the sun was going down, and the evenings get cold, I tried my luck without gloves. It was a success – no stings. I still got pretty nervy each time a little cloud of bees took off and got in my face, but I was sticking bits of plastic in their hive, so cannot blame them. I am slowly rising up the ranks, from those who have a hive, to a real bee-keeper. I aim to someday be like my Dad – 9th Dan black&yellow belt bee zen master. I am aware of the painfully long journey ahead – or is it a long, painful journey? Still, at least each sting means less chance of arthritis. I wish my darling bees a warm, happy, mite-free winter, and I aim to split the hive in the spring if it is strong enough.

I checked on the hive yesterday morning, and was very concerned – I could see no movement, and a couple of dead bees near the entrance. Just like you and I, bees don’t like leaving dead bodies in their home, so you normally only see them if there is a real problem. By mid-morning, the air was warmer (above 0˚C), and the dead bees had been carried away, while other, rather more live bees, were bringing back pollen. Phew. Stay tuned for more learning experiences.

Possum

This is possum, a cat which turned up at our door, skin and bones. Now it is not so skin and bones. We have called her ‘Possum’, after her massive, fluffy tail. If she has no chip, we will probably keep her. I like the idea of a family member with more ear hair than me.

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