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Now is the time to treat the hives for Varroa Mite, which can wipe out entire colonies of bees. It is around this time of year (Sept-Nov) that mite populations can reach their peak.
Many beekeepers use fairly strong chemical treatments - we do not. We use an organic Thyme-based (yes, herbs!) treatment instead. It is produced as a granular gel in a foil tray, that you simply place on top of the hive and allow the bees to do the rest of the work for you. They feed on the gel and carry it back into the hives, where it can work on the mites.
Many beekeepers now believe that ANY treatment leads to a build up of resistance so are moving towards avoiding treatment altogether. The emphasis is instead placed on using various techniques to give the bees the optimum chance to co-exist without losing their lives. We will be moving towards the latter, but it requires quite a lot of work and we have a 3-5 year plan. I will explain what and how we will do that as we do it.
We have done this same treatment on all three hives, including the swarm hive. And then we repeat in two weeks. And, soon the time will be right for reducing the size of the hives. I will tell you why when it happens (it involves girl bees shoving boy bees out of the hive...!)