“Quit slackin’ and make stuff happen!” – Random Internet Quote I Identified With
Summer has been speeding by and, boy, has it been a busy one! Trying to fit in all the activities one can handle to take advantage of the warmth and sunshine can lead other projects be neglected to the sidelines. I will admit it right here
and now that I am guilty. Amidst the summer chaos, my writing took a back seat. My writing may have sidelined but not my bee work. Time to make amends and get everyone up to speed on the progress with the hives!
Slow and steady…
I’m quite impressed with the ladies and their progress, especially the work that’s getting done in my second hive, Queen Maude’s. Out of the two she is the only one that has a super, and to my delight it looks like I might be getting a honey harvest (albeit a very, very small one.) Considering that I was told not to expect anything to harvest this year, I’m over the moon!
In Queen Beatrice’s hive, things are progressing more slowly. I never put a super on Beatrice’s hive as they were taking their time to fill out frames in the upper brood box. However, they are certainly not without progress. Upon my last inspection I pulled out a beautiful frame plump full of honey. It’s good to see they’re starting to make plans for winter stores.
Rounding out the summer…
As much as I would like to pretend that the summer will stay I can’t put off the inevitable forever. My busy summer bees foraging amongst the flowers will soon give way to the next generation, bees who will spend most of their time inside the hive keeping it warm throughout the winter months. One of the things I can do now to help this next generation is give them a mite treatment so I can rest a little easier knowing they aren’t bogged down by hive freeloaders & disease during the cold months.
Hopping it up…
According to my previous mite checks, my hives were not having a particularly significant mite infestation. However, I don’t want what little mites I do have to get a strong footing in my hives during the winter months. I’ve opted to treat so my winter bees will also hopefully have low mite counts.
Temperatures for August in Minnesota can definitely get above 80° F, and I have a honey super on, so I chose to treat with HopGuard® II. The directions say to use two strips per brood box. With two brood boxes on each of my two hives, a packet of HopGuard II certainly covered the 8 strips I needed total.
Overall the application of the strips went fairly easy. I ditched my goatskin gloves for nitrile ones and draped the application strip, one on each of the center frames, over the top bar. I’ll keep the strips on for two weeks then remove. Take that, nasty mites!
On the fence about what treatment to use? Check out our educational post on picking the right varroa mite reatment for you and your bees.