…when you read this, it will officially bee the first day of spring! …yay…
Now is the time to definitely inspect your hives.
1. Set-up your inspection sheets
*We have easy-to-use hive inspection sheets available free
2. Record your findings – this gives you good reference especially if you have more than 1 hive
*Use you inspection boards to see whats going on, then plan for a full inspection on a sunny day
3. Check mite levels
*as its the start of the season consider treating straight-away because you will be getting a huge increase in your Bee population so mites can quickly build-up and then BAM ! …your hive dies.
what tools do you need?
A good hive tool
Inspection boards and food grade oil ( mites get stuck so you can count them easily )
A good book on disease identification “Control of Varroa – A Guide for New Zealand Beekeepers” by Mark Goodwin & Michelle Taylor (Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry)
what do you need to check?
– is your queen laying well?
– what is in the cells?
Pollen? Nectar? Capped-honey? Eggs? How old? Larvae? How old? Capped brood? Mould?
– in what health are your Bees?
Good wings? Good beehaviour? Are the larvae white and well-formed?
– are the capped cells sitting well and not sunken? … not dark?
*Consider the age of your comb – old comb can hide viruses, best to replace in the 3rd year
what things will bee coming-up?
Make sure you have your treatments at the ready, we recommend using organic and non-synthetic treatments. Research shows that varroa destructor are resistant to synthetic treatment and by using synthetic treatments, you will contribute to the varroa becoming more resistant …oh and also you don’t want your honey to have synthetic residue in it – do you?
Eg: we use organic treatments such as – ApiLifeVar, recommended in warmer weather, vapourising with oxalic acid works all-year round, each requiring 3 treatments every 7 days = 21 days ( you could do an extra treatment to cover new eggs in cells = 28 days )
*users of vapourisers are recommending leaving the hive closed ( after turning the vapouriser off ) for 10 minutes ( not 2 mins as previously recommended ) – something new our followers have shared with us and we support their recommendation – thanks guys : )
> You can also use an oxalic and sugar syrup dribble method, applied by way of dribbling liquid in-between frames on to the Bees – not my fav however Paul Brown at Auckland Bee Club makes-up easy to use bottles pre-mixed and ready-to-go
*it is recommended that you treat every 3 months and vary your types of treatments especially if you have a new hive
what other methods can be used to manage varroa destructor?
We will go into this more next week
* hint = integrated
have you got some methods you use?
….let us know we’d love to hear your ideas
oh and don’t forget another PODCAST coming up soon….yeehaaa
Enjoy Spring 2013 & happy beekeeping
Its the kiwimana buzz…
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Margaret is an avid 'Bee Enthusiast' who manages the Apiary, the Bees and their hives, she also provides Beekeeping Services and training for Beeginner Beekeepers. Phew...if that's not enough... she also works in the workshop assembling Beehive products for customers and the Apiary. (and delivers orders as well : ) She loves to BLOG and chat about Bees, nature and Beekeeping.
She loves New Zealand native flora and fauna, her fav is the Kowhai...with Manuka honey close second ; )
Some of you may know that Margaret is a qualified Life Coach, she trained through the Coaching Academy in London and holds DipPC.Adv.