THE BEEYARD REPORT
how quickly the plan changes. I didn’t think we were going
to have nucs to winter. Now, it looks like we will have around
30. After we sold all the queens, Adam left 32 nucs to requeen
themselves. 30 of them were successful. Our normal success rate
with cells is only about 85%. New queens tend to lay longer into
the fall than the older ones. We still have a chance to get enough
young bees in the nucs to winter. We’ll evaluate them at
the beginning of October. Some years ago, I bought some overwintered
nucs from Peter Coyle. He showed me all of his equipment and explained
his system. At the time, I thought,”This is a really smart
guy.” I also thought,”I am never ever going to do
this.” Now that I am going to do it, I can’t remember
anything that he told me.
Our crop is going to be pretty good. It’s
going to be over 100 barrels but I don’t know how far. We
still have 12 yards to clean off. The mite load varies a lot.
Some yards are in the single digits. Others are in the 20 to 30
range. There is still a lot of brood so those yards are going
to require treatment. One of our good producing yards has a big
load. I got 70 on one of the ether rolls. They were showing signs
of PMS. Bees were pulling pupae with mites out of the cells and
there was some crappy looking larve. It’s going to be curtains
for that colony.
I had panned to try the new Apiguard treatment
to see how it worked. Most of my inner covers have enough room
to apply it. It is currently on back order so it doesn’t
look like we will be using it this fall. I got some of the Miteaway
II pads just so I could fool around with them. They require a
rim about 1 ½ “ high. They can’t be used if
the temperature is over 80 degrees. The smell is really bad and
the chemical gloves are really hot. The pads may work but they
have a lot of bad points. The rim is the worst part. The last
thing I need is something that requires more parts.
We have been working with oxalic acid in some
of our yards. It worked in the spring when mite loads were low.
We have been using it this fall in yards that have loads in the
fifteen to twenty range. Results are unknown at this point. I
found out you don’t want to spray oxalic acid when the temps
are in the mid 80’s. It runs the bees right out of the hive.
It may not cause any lasting damage but I didn’t like the
look of it. I was 35 miles from home when this happened. I knew
I wouldn’t be back in that yard for a month. I had a box
of Checkmite strips on the truck so I used those. I hope they
Adam didn’t wind up with a very good fall
schedule at Iowa State. He has to be in Ames Tuesday through Friday.
He also has considerable school work to do over the weekend. This
has slowed things up. He is here on Saturday and usually shows
up late Sunday to extract for a while. If I get lucky, I have
him for a while on Monday.
Last month, I wrote about losing two yards. Now, I have a lady
complaining about another one. I don’t think she will be
happy unless bees are totally gone from her yard. I usually try
to work with people when they complain. In this case, I think
I may take exception to that guideline. She really managed to
Submitted by Phil Ebert