I am new to beekeeping and started out on all new equipment, with foudation, and package bees from Beeweaver. Because of this, I felt it would be unnecessary to use any meds this past Spring. I am against the use of medications whenever possible. I am aware that it seems to be the accepted approach to use terramycin as a preventative to foulbrood but was wondering if it would be at all advisable to not use the antibiotic this fall and just monitor the hives- would this be bad practice for a beekeeper? I like to keep things as natural as possible. Any thoughts on TM or miticides would be appreciated. Thanks for your time,
I would medicate for mites, just because you cannot see them, doesn't mean that your bees do not have mites. The tracheal mite cannot be seen because it lives inside the bee. The varroa can be seen, but you may overlook it. This could and probably would kill your hive over the winter months, when the hive is at its weakest. These are just my thoughts, hope it helps.
Hi Craig, You might want to check out the FGMO on this board. It works very well.
I'm going to experiment with the small cell as soon as I can get all my bees retrogressed, but in the meantime this is my experience:
I was trying to get away from the medication also. Two winters ago I had four hives. All from packages from B Weaver, all in new boxes. Three of they were wiped out over winter with plenty of honey left and a lot of dead bees and varroa mites on the bottom board.
Now I use FGMO on the top bars. I use wintergreen syrup in the spring and I use the Apistan strips in the fall. I haven't lost one with this combination. I'm going to try the screened bottom board, but I don't think I'll trust it going into this winter without the Apistan. I haven't been using the terimyacin. I probably should, but I hate using medications. If I get AFB I'm sure I'll wish I had. After I get retrogressed to 4.9mm I will try ceasing all the medication and essential oils and see what happens then.
I'm new at beekeeping also, and have placed screened bottom boards. What I plan to do is a mite drop test with an Apistan strip overnight, and if the count is high, will medicate. Otherwise, I'm currently using some essential oils for feeding (I got a late start in the season and am feeding to build their food stores up adequately for winter), and will use the FGMO if needed. I plan to eventually go totally organic if my hives do well- if not, I guess I'll go for the chemicals.