The main goal of yesterday’s Clermont visit was to start Apivar based mid-summer mite treatment. As always, we followed the product’s label instructions. Before this visit, each colonies’ configuration was confirmed, and the desired number of strips noted. No colony got the maximum treatment of four strips. The eight-frame and ten-frame colonies were treated with three strips. The five-frame colonies were allocated two strips. In total, 61 strips were used. Label instructions do not specify the frame size, but the strip length suggests that they are designed for nine-inch (or deep) supers. The strips are longer than a six-inch medium super. Using medium frames changes the “strip number to frames of bees” dosage chart that is printed on the package. The dosage chart does not provide clarification on frame size.
The treatment period is 42 days (six weeks) minimum. Based on our routine two-week schedule, we will remove the strips on the August 28th visit. Alcohol mite count testing will confirm the effectivity of the treatment. An additional September oxalic treatment would be a possibility if the mite counts are out of allowable range.
All colonies now have a two-frame internal feeder in anticipation of supplemental late summer feeding. So far there has been reasonable precipitation leading to the possibility that fall blooming plants will yield a small nectar flow which would help increase winter stores. Two supers of capped honey should be adequate. The ten-frame and eight-frame colonies are currently four supers, and the five-frame colonies are three supers.
An external supplemental protein feeder was installed with a small amount of protein substitute. This is mostly for testing to see if the bees are receptive to the product.