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Honey Bee Death over winter 2015 in the Northern Hemisphere




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I only have 2 colonies - I would have lost them in August but I realised there was a problem and fixed it - they came through winter fine - I did a second series of varroa treatment - Mid winters day and again in January - as the first one had quite a drop considering I had a brood break in July/August due to lack of forage


I would say this is very typical of a varroa dead out, that and the varroa droppings in the cells.
Lost one like that. It dropped about three thousand mites with treatment and went into winter looking “strong”. In March there were a few hundred bees and one queen left alive.


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Hi Valli what kind of Varroa treatments did you find successful please?


@PolperroPilot G’day - I put some Thyme, Eucalyptus and Sage oil in my sugar syrup in September and did a vape series (I used the the unlicensed stuff - had to but the Apibloxal now - flipping expensive 100 times dearer) 3 vaporises 6 days apart. Then in December (mid winter’s day), did another vape, and because winter was so mild did another in January while brood numbers were low. Hopefully they are as varroa free as I can make them for the season until September treatments.

Also I had a brood break in July/August which helps


Thanks Valli Will have to get googleing on this Vaping system. With new clean hives I will be keen not to introduce Varroa to my hives and if its inevitable I will have to be prepared well in advance. Great that we are all in this together and can help one another.


Some of the older Beeks don’t like Vaporising. Some say it is unsafe - but if you take precautions it is fine - can I suggest you team up with another beek to vape if you only have 1 hive? it goes off after 3 months?
And at £15 a packet you may not need it all - it becomes expensive


If you are in the US, this is one of the best vaporizers:

There are cheaper models too, and you can get this one cheaper when the suppliers have a sale - I got mine with over 30% off. :wink:


Mine is a blow torch, and radiator end cap - £20 LOL


If you feed sugar syrup in the autumn adding thymol to it prevents Nosema.
Oxalic acid vapour does not penetrate capped brood so is theoretically a treatment when there is none. It’s action does persist for four or five days which is why vaporising every five days for three treatments is effective. It is supposed to not harm the bees because they do not ingest it. Rather the vapour crystallises on the surface of the bee and kills the mites. If you trickle oxalic acid in sugar syrup the bees ingest the acid which messes up their malpighian system (excretory system) so you can only do it once. It has been the standard winter treatment to get the beekeeper away from the family on Christmas Day.


@Dee also helps with Varroa.

I add Thyme Essential oil.

Anyway will see how effective in April - our Group Apiary is doing a Nosema clinic and will be looking at our own samples, Celia will help as she has a good microscope - she will do a test if anyone in the group really wants testing at any time


Hi all,

This will be my first season back into raising bees. At times I have fear n trembling ! In the 1950’s n 60’s we didn’t have to deal with varroa n hive calaspes …

My 3 Nuc’s arrive sometime mid April n I have four 10 frames Langstroth n 3 five frame Nuc’s hive bodies ready. It’s been a wild n busy winter for me here in Washington State near Seattle.

I’ve also been busy read, watching great vids n taking important bee classes to catch up with current beekeeping problems, methods n more. Next weekend I’m taking an active “Beekeeper for a Day” hand on in the field with expert teacher n beekeeper ! I am looking forward to that very much.

It is being emphasized how how important record keeping n in hive inspections n mite tests is ! Even with some fear n tumbling … I look forward with excitement to my return n the new learning curve for a older retired person. Yip ! I will have my ups n downs, disappoints n exciting moments … But all in all … I’m as ready as I can :honeybee:now !

Forward n onward I guess to the battle ! Never a better learning than getting in n getting DIRTY ! :ok_hand:

PS looking forward to others more experienced help n some of my latent forgotten memories.


Love to see a video on that Valli :wink:


@PolperroPilot I could ask? and see what they say.

We had a guy do a talk this month (a Microscopy enthusiast) Showing us his equipment, slides of Nosema and how to use the microscope for various ways of looking at bees, pollen and diseases.

He also runs Microscopy courses - our talk was a cut down of the classes he runs.

The idea from our apiary is to encourage microscopy for those interested but to give us basic grounding to do the Nosema clinics where club members bring a sample from each of our hives and get it tested.

Not everybody has all the equipment required (and it can get very expensive and involved) so the club apparently runs the clinic every year.

We have a very active apiary group at Solihull and some of our Beeks are on the examination board so there is a great deal of insight and information available. We are lucky enough to be in the Warwickshire region, and that includes Stoneleigh the HQ for the BBKA - So I suppose I’m blessed.


Whoops I must have put my reply in the wrong place. I meant a video on your Blowtorch and Radiator cap. :slight_smile:


I didn’t video that as I’m busy with both hands and dealing with a blow torch