Here is what is happening as of Sept 22/2012 in my Hives. I decided to treat my hives going into the winter with Mite Away II Strips. These are Formic Acid soaked pads that release the vapor and kills the dreaded varroa mite. There is supposed to be a slight kill of the bees but this 7 day treatment is supposed to kill the mite in the capped cell. I opened up the 2 hives in the Garden and put the pads in with no problems. I was wearing a vapor mask and using heavy duty protective gloves as the formic is very toxic (what do the bees think!!!) I treated 2 of the 3 hives at home but when i opened the last hive there were no bees! I did find the queen wandering around with a few attendants. Fearing that my hive might have succumbed to AFB i quickly closed the hive up and sealed it to prevent robbing. I have called the regional inspector but am still waiting on a call back.I hope it is not AFB as that could be devastating to the other colonys if it has infected them.
I check the mite boards below the screened bottom boards on the hives in the garden and this is what i saw on the 2nd day from what I think is one of the strongest colonies of them all
Here are all the boards after 1 week of treatment
So you can notice that each hive has quite a difference in the amount of mite drop. I was quite worried that the treatment was going to affect the bees but by the last day of treatment when i removed the dry formic pads the bees were coming and going like before.
All in all I think that the treatment is successful. This week I will be checking in to see if the queen has started laying again as the weather here as been amazing! Monday October 8th it was 20 Celcius, hot enough for shorts and t-shirts outside. Still no word on when the bee inspector will be coming so I still don’t know what to do with the empty hive.
On another totally side note, I grew quinoa this year and from one 11 foot row in the garden I managed to harvest about 1 kilo of quinoa! At close to 9 feet tall these plants were beautiful and easy to care for. Give them a try if you can