Honeyflow.com | FAQ's |

Hive not bouncing back well after mite treatment

I have 2 colonies this year, and I’ve been trying to stay on top of things with the mites. One colony, in an 8-frame normal stacked Langstroth hive, got up to 12 mites per 1/2 cup of bees by sugar shake in early/mid summer. The other, in a horizontal long Langstroth setup, only had 3 or 4. I treated both hives with an extended-release OA treatment, and got them down to low mite counts (both at 3-4 mites right now). However, the stacked hive just hasn’t bounced back the way I was hoping. Right now, that hive only has brood in the bottom deep, and not even filling every frame, though the laying pattern looks good in the frames she is laying in when I check it. The bees seem less lively than in the long hive too. I was hoping to see the hive expand again once I got the mite counts down, but I’m only seeing a leveling off now.

By contrast, the long hive right next door, which never had more than 5 mites per 1/2 cup of bees, has about the same number of frames of brood but those frames are fuller with less gaps, and less food storage taking up space on brood frames, so they definitely have more brood overall but it’s hard to quantify how much. They have honey and pollen on other frames on both sides of the brood nest. The bees in that hive seem livelier, though that’s a totally subjective assessment.

This is both hive’s first year in- installed as nucs this spring. They’re not short of honey or pollen as far as I can tell. What can I do to help them be strong enough to overwinter well? Would feeding protein patties help encourage brood-rearing? Any other treatments I could do while it’s still so hot here (northern CA, still 100 degrees regularly). I don’t want to wait for winter/fall treatments, as I want to take advantage of the weather for the last batch of brood they’re rearing right now. They still have time for more than one full life cycle before it really starts to cool off.

It is not abnormal after treatments to have a slower brood laying happen. Also, with the temps being as high as you say that is a contributing factor. I think it would be a mistake to add pollen sub as you will simply increase the amount of bees that will need more food to overwinter and depending on how your temps get in winter you could cause starvation. Sometimes the best course is to let the bees be bees. Your mite count obviously was high so maybe you need to switch your next type of treatment in case there is some resistance going on. I use Apivar and Oxalic vaporization and I seem to be able to keep the mites down and the honey flowing and the bees doing well; but I’m in Ontario Canada and have very different weather patterns than you. Maybe another CA resident has more localized advice for you here.

2 Likes