Oxford Bees

A decision not to treat for Varroa in my out-apiary

Submitted by will on Thu, 02/06/2016 - 20:38

The point of this website is to collate information about Varroa biology, controls and treatments. I want to understand how to cope with Varroa.

My participation in the ReViVe project requires that I do not treat or control for Varroa. This does not mean leaving them entirely alone. I will continue to monitor the two hives for mite drop and for other bee diseases. I probably won't use the more invasive methods of swarm control. I will hopefully take some of the surplus honey.

This is a deliberate decision not to treat or control. It feels like quite a bold step.

Joining the ReViVe project

Submitted by will on Thu, 02/06/2016 - 19:32

BBKA News ran an article in June about a new project to study Deformed Wing Virus in untreated hives: the ReViVe project*. This is part of Professor S. Martin's research group in University of Salford.

I contacted the PhD student who is undertaking the study and offered my two new hives. These have come from a feral swarm and have not been treated or controlled for Varroa.

The two hives are now part of that study. I have sample tubes to fill with bees for testing. I'm wondering how to persuade the live bees into the tubes. It's going to be tricky.

C and D hives building comb; foraging. Confirmed Varroa in D hive

Submitted by will on Mon, 30/05/2016 - 18:26

I visited C and D in central Oxford today. Both hives are building comb. They were both very calm so I didn't need smoke. I just gently opened each hive up and took a look.

Neither hive have any brood yet, so there's no way to be sure whether they have AFB.

I didn't see the queens in either hive.

C Hive

C was populated before D. The bees are building in the super, which is unwelcome but expected. There is lots of new comb partially filled with honey. They've building toward the front of the hive (shown by the wax drop on the hive floor).