Winterizing Bee Hives and Miticide
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Covington, Washington, USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Winterizing Bee Hives and Miticide

    I live in the Pacific Northwest and it gets colder here faster. What is the nighttime threshold temperature that you should start to winterize?

    Also, I had a professional beekeeper and business man said that he applies miticide (basically pesticide for mites with formic acid) during the mid to end August just to be sure that his bees are covered because here we have a huge mite problem. Is this a good measure to do? Any thoughts? How much should I purchase for only two hives?

    Thanks!
    -Jack

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lexington, VA, USA
    Posts
    465

    Default Re: Winterizing Bee Hives and Miticide

    Sounds like he is using Mite Away Quick Strips. It is a good measure to use if you have mites. Have you tested- maybe a sugar roll. "Is this a good measure to do?" Like so many questions in beekeeping-it depends. How big are your hives, how many brood boxes, frames of bees etc. What is your mite count? Mite away uses 2 strips and 2 treatments which is 4 per hive or you can do a 1/2 treatment of 1 strip 2 treatments.
    What are you intending to do to "winterize"? I would get some advice from some local experienced beekeepers. Perhaps a club. All beekeeping is local.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Orchard Park, NY
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Winterizing Bee Hives and Miticide

    Hey JBritton. I'm in Western NY and it too starts to cool down faster here. But after this summer who knows.... Once the fall flow is done the first thing I do is remove the supers and put the mouse guards on to keep them from being able to access the hives. I will do a mite check using the varrora tray I use. If I see 10 or more mites in a 24 hour period in the tray then I treat for mites using the Mite away strips. Some beekeepers will treat 100% of the time but my feeling is that you have a chance of killing some bees from the treatment and the queen is a bee and thats the last thing you need especially at that time of year. Once I finish with the treatment I put the beemax hivetop feeder on with the ultimate hive cover, using a 2:1 ratio until the bees stop taking the feed which usually happens when the daily temperature no longer gets to be above 50*. That's when I dump whatever syrup is remaining, give the bees 3 winter patties on the top brood box,install the insulated blanket around the hive, install an upper hive shim under the feeder which I leave both on the entire winter. My thought is that the styrofoam feeder gives the top of the hive some insulation but with it having the area for the feed any moist warm air over the winter will condensate under the plastic outer cover and collect in the feeder, instead of falling onto the bees in the hive.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Covington, Washington, USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Winterizing Bee Hives and Miticide

    Quote Originally Posted by billabell View Post
    Sounds like he is using Mite Away Quick Strips. It is a good measure to use if you have mites. Have you tested- maybe a sugar roll. "Is this a good measure to do?" Like so many questions in beekeeping-it depends. How big are your hives, how many brood boxes, frames of bees etc. What is your mite count? Mite away uses 2 strips and 2 treatments which is 4 per hive or you can do a 1/2 treatment of 1 strip 2 treatments.
    What are you intending to do to "winterize"? I would get some advice from some local experienced beekeepers. Perhaps a club. All beekeeping is local.
    Thank you for your reply. I was told by my local beekeeping shop owner is that he always treats with the miticide (formic acid) at the end of August. I have not seen any evidence of mites but he said that the varroa mite is definitely prolific in the PNW.

    I winterize by usually using a installation sheet (made by 3M) inside the top cover with a wooden frame to help it breath without producing condensation. Also, I put my mouse guard on and cover my hives with a special made black plastic cover on the sides (we have long cold winters here in the PNW). Looks like I need to put in about three winter patties as well for each hive.

    Hope that answers your questions.

    Thanks again,
    Jack

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Covington, Washington, USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Winterizing Bee Hives and Miticide

    Jdt0517:

    Thanks for your reply. I do mostly the same thing (mouse guard, winter patties, inside insulation (3M), and outer plastic insulation). However, I haven't heard about feeding them in the fall (before winterization) because it looks like they have enough honey stores to last them. Also, they will start dying off naturally. Also, I heard that the temperature to winterize them is based on night temperatures and not day temperatures. Is that true?

    Why do you feed them patties when it is time to winterize because you will have to start feeding them sugar water anyway when the spring is going to start?

    Thanks,
    Jack

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    washington, vermont, USA
    Posts
    375

    Default Re: Winterizing Bee Hives and Miticide

    The patties are for an emergency food supply for them in late winter.

  8. #7

    Default Re: Winterizing Bee Hives and Miticide

    Quote Originally Posted by jbritton View Post
    I have not seen any evidence of mites but he said that the varroa mite is definitely prolific in the PNW.
    There are mites in every hive. If you wait until you see symptoms it is often too late to treat. Your mentor is giving you good advice.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Lake Forest Park, WA
    Posts
    613

    Default Re: Winterizing Bee Hives and Miticide

    I live near Seattle, WA. I started with two packages in Apr 2015 and never saw mites until late June, but both hives had 2-3% infestation by September. I eventually treated Hive#1 in mid September and Hive#2 in early October using Mite away quick strips (Formic acid). Numbers of killed mites were terrifying, and Hive#2 had K-winged bees. I treated them again with oxalic acid vaporization (OAV) in winter. Both hives made through winter but the queen of Hive# 2 stopped laying in early March. This year I treated all my hives with OAV in mid August, and will treat them again in December. Lesson learned.

    The chance is that your hives have mites now and many more next week. If not treated they may be lost. Mites multiply explosively during this time of the year and it is important to keep bees healthy while they raise wintering worker bees. I guess your mentor sticks to his seasonal treatment schedule regardless of mite count, and I did pretty much the same this summer.

    I only experienced one mild winter. I put a mouse guard, a feeder shim with a top entrance hole (sugar blocks within) and a quilt box in early November. I took them off in mid March. I'll do the same this coming winter. I did not feed pollen. Bees were seen collecting pollen from hazel in late January.

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •