A Hearty Fall Season

Okay, so it’s clear one of the hives on the Abbot’s Cellar roof has mites—but they seem to be thriving in numbers! This has been a huge stresser and we continue to debate the best way to handle the issue. Adding to the complexity of the situation, both hives appear to be thriving, but as we check the bottom board we’re seeing a high count of mites that are dropping from the hive.

We originally looked into Mite-Away strips but the utter toxicity (though organic nature of Formic Acid) so we’re returning to regular dustings of powdered sugar and reading up on additional DIY mite-treatments that will help our bees get through the winter! Any organic, non-toxic recommendations and tips are readily welcome!

[vimeo https://vimeo.com/79511199 w=600&h=450]
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3 thoughts on “A Hearty Fall Season

  1. Emily Heath says:

    If the only treatment you’ve done is powered sugar, I’m not surprised you have a lot of mites, unfortunately. The sugar will always be a low efficiency treatment as it can only effect the adult mites on the bees.

    I usually do an oxalic acid treatment in midwinter, drizzling the oxalic (which occurs naturally in plants like rhubarb) over the cluster in the gaps between the frames. In late December/early January there is likely to be little or no brood, and the mites are at their most vulnerable. This treatment should only be done once a year.

    You might be interested to hear about the BeeGym, a idea designed to encourage bees to rub mites off, although this would only work in spring-autumn when the bees are active and not clustering: http://www.beegym.co.uk

    • jdkjdk says:

      Thanks for the feedback Emily. You’re totally right, the mites aren’t going to get rid of themselves. We were close to installing Mite Away strips but decided they were just too toxic 😦 We’ve since tried a home-remedy as described by the beekeepers at the U of West Virginia. We’ll be sure to keep you posted, and awesome tip on the Bee Gym! Have you personally had success with this in the past?

  2. Gilda Skinfill says:

    Good luck Justin, poor little bees!

    On Sun, Nov 17, 2013 at 5:03 PM, Bee Somebody

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