Oxford Bees

Accidental Queen inclusion in Colony 12

Submitted by will on Sun, 21/04/2019 - 06:38

When I added a super to Colony 12 yesterday I discovered a problem -- presumably another one of my mistakes.

Last season I fed them and left an extra super on the hive over winter. I put it above a Queen excluder. Yesterday I opened the hive to put another super on and found that there were Drones above the excluder. Somehow the Queen had made her way into the super before I put it together.in

Very high Varroa count for city centre hives

Submitted by will on Fri, 19/04/2019 - 06:34

I did a 24 hour Varroa drop count yesterday. This involves clearing the removable hive floor and counting the Varroa mites which drop out of the hive over a 24 hour period.

I counted

  • 15 Varroa on the floor of Colony 12;
  • 16 Varroa on the floor of Colony 4;
  • 30 Varroa on the floor of Colony 8.

These are very high numbers of mites for this time of year.

Varroa fall is worryingly high for Spring

Submitted by will on Sat, 13/04/2019 - 19:38

I have seen a worrying number of Varroa bodies on the floors of my hives. This is particularly concerning at the start of the season because it suggests much higher numbers of the mites later in the season. If I was a conventional bee keeper I would treat the hives now. I'm not going to. We'll see what happens.