Monday, February 22, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

out with the old and IN WITH THE NEW

...a VERY interesting article in December's BEE CULTURE magazine regarding possible drug interaction going on inside the hive - between APISTAN and CHECKMITE. Not that we'd put BOTH inside the hive at once....but over the years - maybe we've made a "switch" in treatments in our apiary? WAX IS ABSORBANT - it's absorbing all those "additives" we put in the hives PLUS the stuff they bring in from the field. (The study also showed that even cleaned and re-processed wax used in making foundation still showed traces of these chemicals in it.)

In reading the article it made me VERY AWARE how important it is to implement some type of SYSTEM for cycling out "old foundation" on a REGULAR basis.

The president of our club, Jeff Champeau, uses a simple SHARPIE MARKER to mark the YEAR THE FRAME WAS INSTALLED into the hive. Anything showing a date 5 years prior gets pulled out and replaced. It's about 2 frames per deep - place the new "blank" foundation in positions 2 and 9 for drawing out. 2 frames per box means he's cycling out 20% of the frames on an annual basis.

As my hives are approaching year 3 and 4, I need to think about implementing this - THIS spring, but I think I'm going to go for a 3 year cycle...we're doing your best as a beekeepers from allowing things to build up to toxic levels in there. Healthy bees!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010