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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    35

    Default Medication for winter and honey after medication

    I am a new beekeeper and I am trying to get my hives ready for winter in Seattle. I am planning to feed syrup with Fumagilian B and place Api Life on the brood box. I have not seen mites on bees yet but I think it is better to be proactive than reactive. Is this what I need to do before winter comes? Are there any other medication I need to give?

    Another question is - I am leaving honey for my bees this year and I was thinking to harvest whatever is left in the spring. But I realized that the honey may contain all these mediation in it. But in spring, I am supposed to medicate my bees... when do I get medication free honey? How do I know which honey is chemical free??? When I start to think about what I feed my bees, I am afraid to harvest honey.... Am I thinking too much or am I missing a critical step ? HELP!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    736

    Default Re: Medication for winter and honey after medication

    Fumagilan B is good insurance to mitigate Nosema over winter. Is Api Life for varroa? If so, only use if mites are a problem. May not need in a first year hive.
    You will be killing a cycle or two of brood off if applied for 42 days and not real desireable for a first year hive.

    Again treat for varroa, if needed in early spring, but again slows spring population build up if you're treating for 42 days.

    Don't harvest frames of honey from supers/frames that were on/exposed to treatment. Typically, brood is contained in two deeps.

    Harvest honey from supers you will need to add prior to nectar flow in your area. Would guess this is late May-early June for your area. You will typically be removing these supers come fall and prior to fall treatment.
    If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,963

    Default Re: Medication for winter and honey after medication

    I presume you are talking about "Api Life Var" which is a thymol treatment. It is not something that should be left on a hive for the winter - that would be a quick and easy way to help the mites develop resistance to thymol. Check out the label for usage directions. From memory, it kills phoretic mites (those on bees) and not the mites that are inside capped brood cells. Multiple applications are required to get maximum efficacy.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Medication for winter and honey after medication

    Thank you everyone. I will leave honey I have now untouched. I am still learning the timing of when to place honey super and when to medicate them. I need to somehow mark honey frame they made this year (honey with medication) from new honey they will make next year so I won't harvest it for consumption. Do people mark frames for this kind of purpose? If you do mark frames or box, please let me know what is the best way to do it. Thanks!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tsawwassen, BC, Canada
    Posts
    280

    Default Re: Medication for winter and honey after medication

    EmiKami, leave the honey for the bees for now. Next spring, before our big nectar flows here on the coast, which begin in June and peak in July, put a queen excluder on the top of your hive (which is likely equal in size to two or three large deeps by then), and start putting on medium boxes with frames dedicated to honey gathering. Spritz them with honey water or sugar water to get the workers up into them. Pull these off as they fill and extract. That will be your clean, treatment free honey and wax. By the middle of August, you are done putting up honey for harvest: check to see the bees have lots in the hive and begin reducing hive size for winter, down to 2 deeps, and assess whether you need to treat for anything at this time.

    Do you have just the one hive? That puts extra pressure on you to treat to ensure the colony survives. Maybe expand to 2 or 3 next year so that at least one colony should make it through the worst winter. And over the space of a couple of years you can build up your equipment so that you have enough to handle population booms and honey flows. If, like me, you have trouble moving the big deeps later in the year when they are full of stores and bees, you can run all medium boxes.

    Are there bee clubs in your area? They can be a great source of local mentoring.

    Regards,
    Janet
    (3 hours north of your location)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Medication for winter and honey after medication

    Thank you. What do you mean by "split them with honey water or sugar water to get the workers up into them"? Do you put a frame feeder in the same box? I have two hives and I would like to a few more next spring after tax return

    As far as becoming a part of bee club, it is more convenient to use this forum than attending a meeting which often conflict with my work schedule and being a mother....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tsawwassen, BC, Canada
    Posts
    280

    Default Re: Medication for winter and honey after medication

    I said spritz them...spray them with tasty stuff to tempt the worker bees upstairs. Mine did not need encouragement but I hear some do.

    Regards,
    Janet

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Eugene, Or
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Medication for winter and honey after medication

    Not to sound negative but I think you just summed up the crux between treaters and non-treaters. If you are so scared about the medication and it contaminating your honey, Do you really want to use it on your bees? Do you take antibiotics before you are sick (proactive rather than reactive)...I would hope not! Why not just try to make them healthy so they have a great chance at fighting these things on their own? Treating for mites before you have a problem might create super mites that are immune to the poisons. Not sure about the other medication but your bees are wild animals and I am a strong proponent of ‘survival of the fittest’ ...give them a good, dry home, lots of winter feed, water etc. and then let them do what they have been doing for millions of years! Im sure you will get a myriad of opinions...this is just mine so don't take it wrong. Im in the Pacific Northwest as well and am facing my second winter so I really dont have much expertise!

    Good Luck!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    JACKSON OHIO
    Posts
    486

    Default Re: Medication for winter and honey after medication

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelbor View Post
    Not to sound negative but I think you just summed up the crux between treaters and non-treaters. If you are so scared about the medication and it contaminating your honey, Do you really want to use it on your bees? Do you take antibiotics before you are sick (proactive rather than reactive)...I would hope not! Why not just try to make them healthy so they have a great chance at fighting these things on their own? Treating for mites before you have a problem might create super mites that are immune to the poisons. Not sure about the other medication but your bees are wild animals and I am a strong proponent of ‘survival of the fittest’ ...give them a good, dry home, lots of winter feed, water etc. and then let them do what they have been doing for millions of years! Im sure you will get a myriad of opinions...this is just mine so don't take it wrong. Im in the Pacific Northwest as well and am facing my second winter so I really dont have much expertise!

    Good Luck!
    Well said good sound advice that is what i follow.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,179

    Default Re: Medication for winter and honey after medication

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelbor View Post
    Not to sound negative but I think you just summed up the crux between treaters and non-treaters. If you are so scared about the medication and it contaminating your honey, Do you really want to use it on your bees?
    Emikami, you are from Seattle, WA and you want to douse your bees?? If you don't it is much easier to take the honey that you seek. Think about this, if the bees all dies the honey is still good. It usually takes about three years for the bees to all die. So every three years get some more bees. Meanwhile enjoy the honey that you seek.
    I need more time to steal the honey from my hives and my wife just found two full time jobs for us to pull our hair out. Just when I was about to enjoy the good life. Be careful for what you wish for, success can be a curse.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tsawwassen, BC, Canada
    Posts
    280

    Default Re: Medication for winter and honey after medication

    I understand how EmiKami feels about medicating her hive...lots of beekeeping mentors were trained up by commercial beekeepers and, like hobbyists with only one precious hive, they do not tolerate winter losses, so they medicate preventively. If EmiKami has a mite load, and leaves her bees to survive, they might not, and a new package next spring will set her back $150 and another season of honey production. She does not, this year at least, have other hives to draw from next spring.

    Given that first year beekeepers may not have been taught how to reduce mite loads by doing things like sugar shakes, brood interruptions, small cell, drone trapping, using essential oils etc., I can totally get how they might want to medicate their first winter, and plan differently for next season. And be able to spend their bee budget next spring on another hive setup so they can run extra hives!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,963

    Default Re: Medication for winter and honey after medication

    An easy way to keep track of treated and untreated boxes is to make it a practice to leave whatever honey the bees put in the brood box for the bees and to never add any treatment while you have honey supers on. My brood boxes and honey supers are different sizes (deeps for brood chambers, shallows for supers) so I do not have an issue getting frames confused.

    If you are using this forum in place of a local bee club, make sure to look at the locations of the posters. Advice from Texas (or Maine) may be of little use in Washington. Beekeeping is really local!
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

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