Monday, August 27, 2007


Well, I've had a few of the boxes off lately, just to eyeball the colony and make sure nothing was obviously amiss (making sure, for example, the wax moths hadn't migrated over). Last week though I had the advantage of professional help in the form of Don Hopkins, Plant Apiary Inspection Supervisor (web site). Don went through the colony systematically and luckily I was pretty lucky, no nasty surprises and a reasonably healthy looking colony considering the weather this year.

We did find Varroa mites, but that's not only expected but at this time of the year they are at their peak and so no surprise there. With the heat last week (still over 100 some days) the Api Life VAR (Brushy Mtn link) I had bought earlier in the year was not going to work as it requires daily temperature below 95. Luckily the forecast this week is not only for cooler temperatures but also some rain at last, so maybe we'll get some autumn blooms - right now some of the autumn flowers are coming out early and weak due to the heat and lack of water. Hopefully if it isn't stormy this afternoon I'll start the Api Life treatment.

Back to the colony though the lack of water and the damage to the Poplar flow earlier in the year means that while the colony looks strong and there is good brood and a lot of pollen there is unfortunately a decided lack of honey and still some frames not drawn out. So, the plan is to keep feeding a 1:1 sugar syrup for the time being and see if I can stimulate the rest of the frames to get drawn out and keep the brood production up as well.

Finally Don commented on the light color of the girls, not something I'd paid that much attention to other than to note how pretty they are especially when young. They are still incredibly docile, notably as we went through the whole colony on a really warm mid-afternoon.