Re: Newbie needs guidance about pests
Well, I think you have a lot of things going on. Here's some thoughts:
- Foundation won't attract wax moths. Comb does. But I agree with you taking the super off....it's not necessary at this time.
- I'm pretty sure the instructions for Apistan would have suggested more strips for your hive than you have in there right now. To me, you have a couple of boxes of brood and I think you might be under treating, even assuming that the Apistan will be effective at all. I believe there is a danger to under treating in that you aren't solving the problem, you're helping to increase the mites resistance to a weak chemical influence and you're introducing hard chemicals into your hive without the intended effect from doing it.
- Your honey supers should be off the hive if you're treating, assuming you'll be harvesting at some point. You may be leaving it for the bees.
- Deformed wings = mites. Yes, you're seeing mites and the result of the deformed wing virus that has manifested itself in your colony and yes, you're treating but I think it's not enough treatment and probably a little too late.
All that being said, I've had colonies that look to be in terrible shape when I went into the winter. I treated with despair but in the Spring, things were a lot better. Of course, we all have the hives that seem to be fine and then crash because we looked the other way too long, assuming all was well.
I would pull the honey if I was going to harvest it. Leave it on of course if it's for the bees. I would consolidate the hive and then treat according to the specific instructions for your control method. I would probably even consider some sugar dusting, more because it's quick and easy and can only help the situation.
Sounds like you have the beetle situation covered although I'm not as familiar with SHB as I am with mites. Others may have some good ideas.
Finally, yellow jackets are always a problem this time of year. They do carry off bees. Too many can hurt a hive and they are a terrible distraction when the bees are trying to gather for the winter as well as stay healthy. I sometimes put traps out. I don't know if the traps make a material difference but they can't hurt. In your case, they seem to have plenty to do right outside the hive but things may change so keep an eye on it.
Best of luck!
"My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"