I wanted to treat my bees with formic acid against varroa and tracheal mite, but it kept being postponed. Just getting a hold of the treatment (MiteAway) was difficult. Then I had to wait for the free time and relatively warm, rainless day to do it. Then, last week, it suddenly got colder and we even had our first frost. Not as hard as predicted, but enough to kill the basil. And enough for me to think it was too late. The treatment takes about 7 days and during those days daytime temperatures have to be between 50 and 90F.
But today it’s a balmy 74F (23C) and the next seven says it promises to stay warm enough. So I went for it.
I opened each hive and took out all the frames that had no more honey in them, either because they were never filled, or even drawn out, or because they had been filled, extracted by us and then returned to the bees for cleaning. That made for 20 frames.
While the supers were off the hives, I put one strip of MiteAway (not two as the instructions say: my bee mentor puts just one because he thinks that’s sufficient and more kills too much brood) in between the two nest boxes. That was some heavy lifting, even without supers on there. I think that for all three hives there is enough honey int he top nest box for Winter.
Then I put one empty super on top of the nest boxes (as described in an earlier post), then a super each with the frames that still had honey in them, as well as the eight last frames we had extracted but that were still dripping/oozing with honey (I gave those to the two weaker hives for cleaning out).
The twenty empty frames I took away. I knocked off most of the bees but there were still plenty of them hanging on, so I opted not to bring them into the porch but to leave them out so the bees can take the last they they can from them, and return to their hives by nightfall, at which point I’ll collect them. Here’s a video of them buzzing around.