View Full Version : treating newly hived package bees
01-11-2002, 04:18 PM
Somone suggested that when I get my bees in the spring treating with Apistan as soon as they are settled in and starting to get established. Won't this mean loosing whatever honey they will make for the first six weeks while the strips are in? I am just starting and will not be expecting any surplus honey anyway. I am curious on what to treat for as soon as they are hived. (Nosema, Mites, etc.)
01-11-2002, 06:03 PM
I'm now wintering my first hive that started from a package last spring, and they are currently doing well. I cracked open the hive and checked them today, as it was unseasonably warm here. As you can tell from my experience I don't know a lot, but I can tell you that I didn't treat my bees in the spring and suffered no apparent loss from mites. I did treat them in the fall and monitored the mite fall, and there was a fair amount of mite fall. Also I can tell you that you don't need to worry about honey at that early of a stage. In the first six weeks your bees will be using most of their recources to draw comb and build a little surplus for their own use. I fed my bees sugar syrup until they had drawn most of the foundation out and had good success. According to other beekeepers in my area we had some fairly good nectar flows last year. I can promise you that I didn't even come close to getting surplus honey for myself, and even ended up feeding in the fall to build up their stored to what I thought would be sufficient. My advice is to not even consider surplus honey in the first year of a package as a deciding factor in anything, but to simply make decisions considering building a strong healthy colony that will be able to survive the following winter and be strong when the nectar flows start the next spring. I'm really excited now waiting for spring to see if I've done a good job and will get some surplus honey from my established colony, and also to start a new package and build them up for 2003. I know some people get a surplus with a package, but I think you will enjoy your bees more if you don't even consider that in your plans at all. As far as treating them with Apistan, you would probably get a better answer from an experienced beekeeper. Good luck, and I hope you enjoy your bees as much as I have.
01-11-2002, 06:06 PM
I forgot to say that I did treat my package with Fumidil B on the advice of another beekeeper, but I would also like to hear from another beekeeper on this subject.
01-12-2002, 03:03 AM
Apistan and other miticides kill mites on the adult bee- many of the mites will normally be in sealed cells, and these are not affected. If you get a chance to treat during a brood-free period such as immediately after hiving a swarm or package, it's worth taking advantage of this. I don't know whether you're considering going over to biological beekeeping, but even if you are, your bees will need treating until you have changed over.
[This message has been edited by Robert Brenchley (edited January 12, 2002).]