Hi, we have two hives, we call them the blue and the red team. We had three medium supers on red that is installed this year and took twenty frames of honey off that were 100% capped and ready. The third medium has 30% and was left on. We found a large number of varroa although we fog FGMO weekly. The blue team that is from last year has been lazy all summer and had two mediums with foundation in the spring and still some honey in the bottom two deeps. Blue also has very few Varroa although it is within three feet of Red. This morning I found some deformed winged bees in front of Red and am planning to use Oxalic as shown by Dennis. Blue has the lower honey super totally untouched! No cells drawn, nothing. The medium on the very top has about 10% capped honey and the deep super is full of honey.
Questions: 1. Can there be something wrong with the foundation that I was given from a friend, was old, somewhat dark but still in the original package? 2. Can I use Oxalic on Red with a honey super on but separated by the triangular escape board? 3. Should I feed both hives, particularly Red who has little honey stored in the deeps? By the way all of the foundations were sprayed with Cewrtan and the wax moths have gone way down.
Thanks for your help.
>Questions: 1. Can there be something wrong with the foundation that I was given from a friend, was old, somewhat dark but still in the original package?
Doubtful. I've never noticed any difference because of the age or darknes of the foundation. But there could be some cell size issues. What size are the cells on each of them?
The most likely difference with two hives next to each other is the queen, or the timing of a requeening. If a hive finds itself queenless in early spring then they don't build up well for the harvest. If a hive finds itself queenless just before or during the flow, it usually makes MORE honey that it would have if it was raising a lot of brood during the flow because there are more workers available for field work because there is no brood to feed. Also brood uses a lot of other resources. Bees raising brood go through a lot of stores. Bees not raising brood don't use much stores at all.
>2. Can I use Oxalic on Red with a honey super on but separated by the triangular escape board?
There is no real "approved way" of doing the Oxalic. I've always waited until brood rearing stopped and the supers were off.
>3. Should I feed both hives, particularly Red who has little honey stored in the deeps?
If the other hive has plenty, why not do the Robin Hood method? Steal from the rich and give to the poor.
>By the way all of the foundations were sprayed with Cewrtan and the wax moths have gone way down.
Certan does help a lot.
MB, thanks for the fast reply. Well, there is a whole bunch going on today. I had the solar wax melter out for two days without the cover as the bees were really interested and so I thought to let them rob. I did the same thing with the frames that were extracted. Well, all of this started a robbing frenzy. The hive with the escape was also suddently covered with bees and I assumed that the robbing had spread. I put on the suit etc. and checked and when I took the outside cover off the honey super the bees came boiling, literally, out of the slot in the inner cover. The honey super was full of bees and they came boiling out. Took the escape board off and it was full of live and dead bees. I thought they would settle down but it did not happen. Took the escape board off, put the honey super back on, put an inner cover on with a screen over the vent slot and put the oute cover on. I also put an entrance reducer on and watched. It became a frenzy with bees building tear drops on the bottom edge of the outer cover, they actually fell off on their own weight. The blue team was also covered with bees, but not that much. They also got an entrance reducer. Did nothing with the wax melter and the frames that I wanted them to rob. Now things seem to settle down some and so I will wait a few days before doing anything with the oxalic. I will not worry too much now with the honey supers as there will not be enough for any more harvest, but will worry to contain the varroa before winter. All in all it is an amazing experience.