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Bee Healthy

Last update: 13.03.11 First posted: 13.03.11 by in

Marilyn writes

I went to Halfax Bee Keepers last night (for the first time) for a very interesting talk, by the Bee Inspector Ivan, about bee health. He had some very good slides showing different diseases.

If we can inspect the bees soon we should look out for anything that looks unusual like the shape and colour of the combs and any brood which may look mis-shapen or just odd. Making sure also that the comb cappings are domed and not concave.

For varroa mite treatment he recommended a new thymol based product that comes in strips so it’s easy to apply. It’s called Apilife Var quick strips. We should check regularly at this time of year for varroa by putting in the base board and doing a count. He also said to decrease ventilation for a bit to give the thymol a chance to work its way through the colony. He talked about dusting with icing sugar and stressed that after dusting the board should be left out so when the bees groomed out the icing any varroa removed at the same time would fall through otherwise the varroa would just crawl back up into the hive. All sensible stuff really.

I was impressed at how down to earth he was and very open to being contacted. He also talked about courses which they run as part of his work and I am particularly interested in doing microscopy.

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