Fall inspection

Hi all - today I grabbed the 73F sunny skies & went into my one hive for a fall checkup. As you may recall, this is my first colony & was started as a package in early April. They requeened in May so buildup was slow. I fed 1:1 syrup upon arrival & until nectar flow. I added a medium second brood box to the top of original deep in July, then switched it to the bottom in August when I saw the bees had built toaster waffles popping up from the top of the medium frames…looked almost full & very busy in late August…

Today - STILL one empty frame in the medium, and not completely built on the rest. All the combs in the medium were either dry or filled with pollen.

Based on that I have placed a baggie of 2:1 syrup on top of the inner cover/under the gabled roof, my method of choice as it’s simple & effective & requires no special equipment.

I squished about ten creepy hive beetles & didn’t see any more…I saw a significant varroa drop on the core flute, and one hanging off of a poor worker’s wing, so awful, but zero wax moth larvae or moths! Trap must have done the trick (a 1 litre plastic bottle (hi @skeggley :wink:) with a hole at the top with a banana skin & borax laced syrup, hanging on the fence behind the hive)

Based on that I will vape those varroa bleeders to hell, later this month or next. Oxalic acid vapor, that is - got my wand in the mail & @Bobby_Thanepohn’s & @Valli’s instructions.

I dislodged a small chunk of the gorgeous, deep amber honey comb while muscling out the first frame (perpetual cross combing in my house) to have a look…:yum:

I also watched a couple of drones getting bounced, and killed one yellow jacketed invader.

All in all, I didn’t do anything I haven’t done before exactly, but I feel I’ve turned a corner in my attitude & ability. I dunno, I just feel a bit more confident now.

Thanks for reading & for any advice or input you want to share!


@Eva you do realize you have to vape 3 times (6 day intervals) the bees that are capped brood are not treated hence the 3 applications over the 6 days means the majority of varroa are dosed

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Valli, thank you, I’m still not quite sure about it as my teacher is very old school & had no advice. Still a pretty new practice here in the US. Anyway, one site from Europe seemed to be saying only one treatment, in late fall or early winter?? So I assumed all bees would have emerged???

Valli, I realize it’s gotten late for you & hope you’re in bed by now :sleeping: Nighty night

Yes just off to sleep night

“Generally this treatment is best done when there is little or no brood because it is only really effective on varroa in the “phoretic” state (on the bees). Varroa in with the brood are generally protected from the effects of the treatment. If there is brood present then repeat treatments are possible to cover the complete bee cycle. Generally one a week for 3-4 weeks should do it. The best time to do a single deadly treatment is between Christmas & New Year when most hives have the least amount of brood and the mites are exposed.”

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:heart:️:rainbow::honeybee::blush::ok_hand: thanks Valli!


Valli is correct. It’s three times if still a lot of brood present because Vapes can’t penetrate brood cell. It’s hard working with old school. I was a young beekeeper in the later 1950’s n 60’s. We didn’t have these mite critters. They are nasty n killers. I came thru summer with five hives. Lost one this Fall that had a very high mite count ! ( about 15 mites/per 100 bees) I waited couple more weeks. Then treated … It must have been too late because I lost the entire colony in two more weeks. Three colonies are doing extremely well after my MAGS treatment. Still might loss a second that had nearly as bad mite count… Crossing my fingers. If I do loss them I’ve still gained honeycombs n lots of honey/pollen stores I can add to the other three colony hives if needed. I’m not going to cry over spilt milk or colony losses. It’s a new learning curve these days with all these extra bugs, critters n more.

If you do get a high count with a sugar roll test … I’d forget the old dude (he’s probably my age < 70’s> n do what’s best for you bees not his feelings)…

That’s my 2 cents worth.

Gearld . . The last pix is a mite lower left off my finger tip. Only mite I found in this recheck of this hive. Just for giggles n caution I did do a sugar shake treatment as the mite per bee count was 1 per 300 ct … The powder sugar n hopefully the mechanical powder sugar treatment should of cause the bees to clean off mites as they cleaned the sugar powder off. I’m just trying to see what happens n I’m keeping very detailed records n reviewing to see what works for me.

I have three new Nuc’s ordered for hopefully mid April 2017 delivery.

Thanks for the help & support, Gerald :wink::ok_hand:

Very sorry you lost one of your hives…


Yah ! The loss was a bummer ! But I’m trying to check my records for causes for sure n try not to repeat. I’ve always tried to find the positive even in negatives. Seem to remember those lessons longer :wink::+1:

Ta ta my friend,


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Hi, craig here in USA. Could you tell me about this bottle with banana strip for wax moth you can email me at craigjameskk@comcast.net and I thank you very much.

@craig Wax moth traps.


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I would Apivar them mites immediately or roll the dice and do a 7 day MAQS treatment. These are the bees that are going to be responsible for raising your winter bees. If you can see mites on bees, there’s waaaay too many in there.

Today 73 degrees decided to do full hive inspection and sugar mite treatment. Here in NJ temps down to 34 at night last week or so. Did sticky board count last week with 60 or so mites in 24 hours Drones are gone. Two 8 frame deeps top box approx 6 full frames of honey - bottom mostly pollen and small patches of brood. Should I be worried about so little brood now? This is new hive started in June with local 4 frame nuc sis not take honey at all. All natural comb except the original 4 frames. Bees look healthy many small newish looking. Any advice or insight appreciated !

No worries about dwindling brood at this time of year - the colony is condensing down to a healthy number to overwinter, which entails keeping the queen and a large enough contingent of workers alive & warm without having too many bees to consume all the stores before spring.

About that ‘sugar mite treatment’ - I’m curious to know what you did & how it worked? I’m a new beekeeper this year & I’ve only come across a sugar roll or shake method to determine how bad a mite infestation the bees have, as a gauge for when to treat, with other (not sugar) substances like MAQS or oxalic acid.

Thanks :blush:

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I’m not convinced sugar does enough but being so cold so early I didn’t dare do the Miteaway and now that I see so little brood I really don’t want to do anything chemical. I will do another 24 hour count to see if it driops although not sure how accurate that is either. Now trying to make decision on feeding and when :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Ps this is harder than children I instinctively knew what my children needed ! Thanks for the help!

Harder than children - yes and no, lol :joy:! But I get what you mean, it does take time learning how to ‘read’ bees…
I forget where you’re located - I’m in SE Pennsylvania & it got cold, now milder, and sure to be cold again soon. I did an oxalic acid vapor treatment this past Saturday - two more to go & then fingers crossed! Based on what I judged to be not quite full stores I started feeding 2:1 syrup about a week/ten days ago.

Imo, sugar on the bees is worthless unless your goal is agitating bees lol. For mite counts, results are affected by humidity. For mite control, it just doesn’t work.