Sunday, February 10, 2013

Take Your Medicine, Bees.

Yesterday I had my husband drive me out to Sunny Bee Honey Farm in Auburn to pick up some Fumagilin B. It is a medication used to treat Nosema. I am not one to over medicate my bees but when we humans are sick we take an antibiotic. I feel the same way about this. For some reason this particular hive's immune systems were compromised and they are succumbing to Nosema. In case they are weekend by a mite infestation I also made up some yummy grease patties. Here is what's on the menu for today:

1 cup of 2:1 sugar syrup to which I've added 1/16th teaspoon of Fumagilin B. Each hive will also get 3 grease patties added on top of the cluster and one grease roll placed inside their door. Grease up, ladies. Mites can't hold on to greasy bees. Kind of like trying to catch a greased pig.

My spur of the moment grease patty recipe:
1 lb. sugar
6 oz. vegetable shortening
2 Tbs. honey (from my bees)

I haven't been into the hives since the fall. I don't like to open the hives during cold weather. It just stresses the bees too much. But this is an emergency. Sorry girls, mama's coming in. I knew they wouldn't be overly pleased....and they weren't. I went into the sick hive first. I take my bees into the winter with 5 boxes. I know, you aren't supposed to. But it works for me. The top box was pretty much empty. I removed that. The next box didn't have much going on, either, so I removed that. The next box held the top of the cluster. I took out my syrup bottle and began squirting medicated syrup down the seams. It was slow going so I eventually just removed the lid and poured it in. I placed 3 patties on top of the frames, replaced the 2 boxes and closed the hive. I then placed 3 patties on top of the cluster in the strong hive. I did not pull any frames. I didn't want to disturb the bees any more than necessary. I then threw caution to the wind and removed the entrance reducers, placed a roll inside each hive and replaced the reducers. Much to the annoyance of the bees. Again, my apologies, ladies. It is for your own good. The good news is there seem to be quite a few live bees still kicking inside the sick hive. These ladies are quite PO'd that I disturbed them.

My fingers are crossed that the medicine will help and this hive will recover. As soon as I can I will put a gallon of medicated syrup onto each hive. I will also be hunting down some essential oils to add.

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