Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Bee King Cautions Patience

Tonight Mark talked to Harry Fulton, who recently retired from MSU-ES and is our local bee expert.  He said:
  • the bees won't start eating the honey in earnest until they start making brood in earnest, which likely won't happen for another week or two at least.
  • no need to add hives until April -- they'll make room for the brood by eating up the honey stores we currently think are extra (but apparently aren't really)
  • order some "green-friendly," soon-to-be-approved treatment for Varroa mites
  • that he's not going to gather swarms this year as he's working having certified Russians, so he'll steer any swarm calls to Mark. He also suggested notifying local Extension offices and police departments, so I may do a small poster or something for him to take around.
  • now is the time to treat for American Foul Brood and to work on integrated pest management.  We haven't had any problems so far, so I'm leery of doing a lot of chemical treatments.  We'll have to do some more research and discussing.
I'm sure there was more to the conversation, but I was making sloppy joes so I didn't hear everything.

So for now we wait and watch.  We have bee tea and one candy patty left so as long as we're paying attention, none of them should go without food.

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