Wednesday, September 17, 2008
After a little research and an e-mail from Dr. Tom Webster from Kentucky State University, I've concluded that my hives need to be doctored and treated for Varroa. My mite counts were well over 50/day (50-100 is dangerous).
So, off to the hives... Both hives had activity outside, although, Genesis had more, as always. I opened the lid of of Genesis and was shocked to see that the bees had consumed every bit of syrup I put in yesterday. That was a gallon. Exodus was the same way. Strangely, both hives had literally hundreds of bees drowned dead inside the feeder. I'm not sure what's up with that, other than they were really excited to have something to eat I suppose. The dearth is here and food sources are scarce. I'll have to refill those feeders asap with another couple of gallons of 2:1 sugar syrup.
I also installed a treatment of ApiGaurd which is a chemical that will kill the Varroa mites that are infesting my hives. As directed, I'll give it two applications, two weeks apart. Left untreated, they would surely cause my hive population to dwindle and eventually crash the hive resulting in a total loss. I used an empty super box as a spacer between the top brood chamber and the feeder.
I did not inspect the hive today as my time was limited. I'm still not sure on the course of action I'll take for the suspected Wax Moth. I really need to do a full hive inspection and check for webs, larvae, and damage and confirm their existence in the hive. From the reading I've been doing, Wax Moths are a symptom of a weak hive. Perhaps treating the Varroa will allow the bees to strengthen up and eradicate the suspect larvae themselves.
I also picked up the county owned extractor. It's a really nice three frame, electric driven model. Thanks to the county extension agent, I'll have my honey extracted in no time.