Update on the poorly managed hive.

So in my previous post about this hive (N1, for those actually following), I mentioned some Deformed Wing Virus (DWV) was visible.  Not loads, but as these guys were seemingly very aggressive as well I decided to treat them with oxalic acid (OA) vaporisation to counter any excessive varroa population that might be bothering them. This means I’ll be sacrificing any honey in the supers as I can’t harvest after treating with them on, but I’d rather have a strong colony of healthy bees. Plus they’ve had brood in these supers already so the wax has cocoons and bits in it. I like to keep my supers clear so they’re getting sacrificed.

OA vaporisation has now taken place twice – 6 days apart. One more to go this Friday and they’ll be done.  There’s been a fairly heavy mite fall but not so enormous I’d have expected it to be causing massive problems.  If they’re carrying DWV they are best wiped out though and three sessions of OA vaping should kill off most of them as it deals with hatching brood as well as the live flyers.  I guess this needs a blog post in it’s own right to go through that – it’ll come in time, promise.  This has also saved me having to unseal the hive after each vape treatment. I hate wasting stuff and this includes duct tape!

They seem to be getting on pretty well. Certainly very active looking from the outside, but as they’ve been moved, shuffled round, had the brood box expanded with foundation added and frames removed, and now vaporised twice, I’m not opening them up until after the final vape this week.  Hopefully the new 14×12 frames will be being built out and I won’t have excessive cross combing underneath.  (Can you tell I’m a little nervous about this).   Next post should tell all!