Norfolk Beekeepers' Association Jobs For September
Jobs for the month...
As the season - one of the worst in living memory - comes to a close, it is essential that all stocks have their supers and queen excluders removed. A check should be made to ascertain that the stock is queen-right and is then treated with Apiguard to control the parasitic mite, Varroa, and feeding commenced to ensure adequate winter stores.
Autumn Varroa Treatment
Apiguard is the only effective and legal product to use on honey bees. It should be remembered that a beehive is a food production unit and as such, any treatment is regulated by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD).
Apiguard should be applied with the tray open side uppermost, placed directly on the brood frame top bars. It should be placed in the centre, toward the back. A spacer should be provided under the crownboard to allow bees access to the tray contents. A second tray is applied after a two-week period. After a further two weeks, both trays can be removed if empty; if any Apiguard remains in the tray stir contents and leave for a further period.
It is a sad reflection on those who are in a responsible position in the beekeeping world that it has become evident that an NBKA member had been sold Thymol Crystals for controlling Varroa with absolutely no instructions or information regarding the amount that was to be used. It transpired that the beekeeper was overdosing by possibly 15 times with an unapproved product. The golden rule is: if in doubt, don't.
Feeding of colonies should, ideally, be completed by the end of September. A sugar syrup solution with a ratio of 2 lbs of sugar to 1 pint of water should be fed to ensure the stock has adequate stores to carry it through until the following Spring. A rough guide is a minimum of one full frame of food for each frame of bees. As always, any nectar flow from Ivy at this time is unpredictable, but whatever, give one or two gallons of sugar syrup now, with a view to feeding a further gallon or so if the Ivy disappoints.
Feeding can be done at the same time as Apiguard is given - do not put Apiguard directly under the feeding hole in the crownboard. Finally, fit entrance blocks and give some thoughts with regard to protection if woodpeckers are likely to be a problem.