Mite treat and queen check

The 2nd application of my mid-summer thymol based mite treatment gave me the opportunity to assess the hives for the queen and her brood laying. The concern is that the treatment can disturb egg laying. As is my practice, I look for eggs and young larva along with an assessment of the pattern of capped brood. At this time of the year I’m also conscious that fall storage is important and gauge for how much and where the stores are in relationship to the brood nest.

The standard hives are mostly down to three medium 10 frame supers with capped and uncapped honey in the top box. Last year I over wintered in 4 supers and replacing about 1/3 of the frames this past spring, averaging about 13 frames per hive or about one super. This cleared a good bit of old frames so the hives are on reasonably clean comb.

After mite treatment, my next concern is the continued production of eggs so that the late fall hive has a good amount of young, healthy bees. To encourage continued brood production, I have protein powder available in a community feeder (picture in bee yard photos section). I have filled the feeders for the third time; my bees are looking for protein now that blooms have tapered off.

After the 2nd mite treatment is finished, I plan to start feeding sugar syrup to keep the queens productive and the young bee population high.

My over winter nucs follow the same procedure except they are currently 8 frames plus a 2 frame internal feeder. The nucs are full of capped honey and in some conversations, a bit honey bound. I may remove the feeders and add frames with empty comb if it looks like a fall honey flow will happen.

I was sent a link to an informative document on the various types of mite treatment with a section comparing the effectiveness and limits of popular treatment methods. It makes for interesting reading and confirms some of the discussions that I have had with other beekeepers.