Bee Illness and Treatments

bee-illness-and-treatmentsGetting good quality honey is heavily dependent on having healthy and disease-free bees in a clean natural environment. This requires keeping a close watch on the hives all through the year. Some of the things to watch out for include:

Checking for adequate food sources. Sometimes even a lush swathe of countryside will have a sudden decrease in nectar. A drop in nectar and pollen also usually occurs during the winter.

Every hive must have a healthy and well-mated queen. There is scientific evidence that a well mated queen results in a more productive colony and lesser outbreaks of disease. The best quality queens are usually the does raised by each individual beekeeper.

Always monitor the hive for disease and pets. These factors can easily compromise te bees and result in a wipeout. Treatments must also be carefully chosen so as not to harm the quality of honey.

A solution of oxalic acid mixed with sugar water can be dripped directly onto the bees with a syringe. This treatmentis best done either in the late autumn or early spring when there are none or very few of a new brood in the hive. Honey supers must be removed first. Any honey supers that come in contact with oxalic acid cannot be used in any way. Along with oxalic acid, Apistan and Miteaway Quick Strips are quite effective against varroa mites.

Small Hive Beetle can be treated with Checkmite. A half strip of it can be stapled to a sheet of plastic and placed strip down on the bottom board. This can be done at a time when the bees are able to fly around the hive but not during a honey flow. Supers must be removed and can be reinstalled only 2 weeks after the treatment is completed. Tracheal mites can be treated by applying menthol over the bees for 28 days.