There's an old saying in beekeeping that goes something like,
the pest management plan
you came up with in January
Something like that... it'll come to me. What we do know as beekeepers of the North is that winter provides us some down time to plan for the year ahead. And that means coming up with your pest management plan, and getting your supplies in order. When will you check for mites and what will you use to treat? When will you treat? What are the signs of other pests in our hives and what should we use to protect our hives? These are all things that we should be asking ourselves right now. The answers to these questions will form your pest management plan.
Luckily the Wisconsin Department of Ag, Trade & Consumer Protection helps us out by posting information on available treatment options here in Wisconsin (along with a lot of other great resources). If you're following along from another location, check with your local government on available options.
In Wisconsin we have a wide range of available treatment options for the evil Varroa mites, one of the most common pests we deal with (or should be dealing with!). As always, take some time and research the various options out there. We also want to make sure we are testing for mites so we know what our actual mite loads are. If you're not comfortable testing for mites on your own, or just need someone to show you how, feel free to reach out to the club. We're here to help others learn!