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.
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.