Monthly Archives: October 2016

October 29 2016


Working away at cleaning and repairing excluders .  We simply rinse them in hot water through the wax melter.  I use to hire this job out for 30 cents per excluder and only cleaned them once every few years. Now I use the job to fill in the later part of the work season to help recapture late season labour costs. It’s a treat putting clean excluders on during the production season. It’s one of those hated BLAH jobs but apparently a step up from rinsing feed pails, lol.

October 26 2016

Our farm wire winder. Hydraulic controlled, 2 men on separate switches for safety reasons. The wire guide loads the home built 2×4 spool evenly across. We are pulling 1 mile of wire with a counter weight on the end to keep the tension.


October 24 2016

It was a painful task but I opened up a couple brood chamber for inspection. Sure enough, they are still hatching out brood.


This sporadic brood hatch is why my test counts have been all over the map. Some yards are still hatching out, some yards had already shut down.  And I blame those beautiful little darling queens we spent so much time raising …8 – 9 frame winter clusters in each of those babies for good reason.


This next treatment, which is now planned early next week, should have the entire apiary In their winter broodless state, and as theory has it, this next treatment should get the rest of those bastard mites.


Test weights consistently between 95-110lbs per single


Thymol Sept 1st, OXalic Acid vaporize Oct 18th, 4% counts before OA, zero counts today

But this yard has consistently smaller wintering clusters than the rest of the apiary. 4-6 in the thymol yard, 6-8/9 in the rest of the apiary.

My thinking is the thymol shut the yard down, so that the OA had perfect broodless kill conditions. Thinking the Thymol might of also sickened the mites to a degree to help the OA treatment kill

September 22 2016


1st round Oxalic Acid treat finished. I’ve done some washes and my mite counts have held static. I’m seeing mite drop but as for my hives overall mite load, it stays unchanged. I’m going to inspect a few hive to see if late brood is still present and hatching out.
We are conducting a second round treatment in a week. Then we move them in first week if November. I’ll get wash samples back before I move them inside.

September 20 2016


We have only been working during the heat of the day, afternoons, because of the cold nights. Carrie has been working by herself through 6-8 yards roughly half hour per yard. She is just about through the apiary with the Oxalic Acid treatment. Minor glitches has caused a few delays. A compressor failure due to over use halted treatment.  I am now using a larger capacity compressor unit.  The device has its annoyances. Cold windy yards take longer to treat as the burner has trouble achieving consistent temperature.  Working alone is a bit more time consuming.  The hives need to be smoked back from the entrances before treatment.  IF not, the bees exposed to the sudden blast of vapour at the entrance cause a stir and those few bees die.  Simply smoking the hive back eliminates the issue.  Carrie has been smoking the hives ahead which would finish a single douse, 10-12 hives.  With two guys we were treating practically as fast as the hives were smoked.
When buying a respirator, be sure to advice the store clerk that organic vapour/Acid Vapour filters are required.

October 19 2016


Endless fence reconstruction, a familiar late fall job. A sprawling cattle yard requires continual maintenance and repair. one if my contributions to the farm is working at the corners. As the bulk of our farm work moves forward, I like to complement the work by focusing attention around the edges.

October 18 2016


It’s one thing to blindly buy into an alternative idea, it’s another to prove the idea actually works. I sent Carrie out to the yards to treat with Oxalic by herself this afternoon, six more yards done. She will be at this every afternoon now until through with the treatments. This allows me to attend other pressing duties around the farm. After work I stopped by and tipped back a hive. 24 hours after treatment, this one hive previously identified with mites, now hundreds of mites dead on the bottom board. Nice to see the drops to help motivate our continued work. Next week washes will be done to monitor the treatment’s overall efficacy.


October 17 2016


The VM vaporizer worked masterfully, we treated 5 yards in 2 hours. Approximately 1.75-2gram in a ten second Oxalic vapour treatment per hive. The bees hardly stirred. I’ll check back in a week to confirm a mite kill.  Carrie will be treating every afternoon this week during the warmth of the day.


The wax queen