Re: dying hives
donna, i totally understand and i look forward to hearing about how your bees make out with the arrival of mites to your island. hopefully you can get the upper hand on them.
are you going to monitor for mites somehow, as jbj suggests?
i have been lucky here, and have lost only one hive to mites in the three seasons i have had bees.
i haven't been checking for them, except to pull a drone larva here and there.
starting next year, i want to check more often, so that i can tell which ones are handling the mites better, and see how mite count compares to colony strength and honey production. i'm hoping that it will also help me choose which colonies to graft from, and which ones to requeen.
i got an alcohol wash set up. it has two jars with a screen in between. i just found a website that showed how i could use one of the jars with powdered sugar, and how to test the bees without killing any of them.
journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives