Monday, May 13, 2013

Spring Treatments

I've come to the conclusion that bees aren't too much different than children.

They just seem to know that the sugar syrup I'm feeding them has medicine in it.  It must taste yucky because they don't want to eat it.

[photo - early spring - pollen patty]

I've tried to get the bees to take sugar syrup mixed with Fumigilin B but they just don't want to eat it.

I've had much more success with the sugar and Oxytet powder.  This is a treatment against AFB - American Foulbrood disease.

[AFB treatment on wax paper and half eaten pollen patty]

This treatment is either sprinkled on the top bars once a week for four weeks or what I do is put a piece of wax paper on the bars and sprinkle the powder there.  This way it doesn't spill down the hive and get wasted.

I also put pollen patties on the top bars.  These look like large peanut butter squares.  Bees really enjoy them... but some hives aren't interested and don't eat them.  Other hives eat them really quickly.  Whatever their need or preference I do my best to provide them in case they do need them.

One thing to do when adding things to the top bars is use your hive tool to scrape out a space.  Scrape out that wax and comb that the bees build up on top.  You may also need to scrape it from the inner cover.

[AFB treatment - many times the bees have chewed up and removed the wax paper from the week before.  That is the intent]

That way when you close the lid you won't squish bees when you close the lid after adding things to the top bars.

If the bees are in the way on the top bar when you want to set a treatment down, give them a puff of smoke to clear them.  Note you may need to clear them off the inner cover too by giving it a hard shake over the hive to knock the bees out of the way.

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