Disease and Pests

1 - Bee Health App

2 - Treating for Varroa Mites

3 - Nosema Ceranae in the North

4 - Dealing with Ants

2 - Treating for Varroa Mites:

Learn more about Varroa - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varroa_destructor

Varroa mites can and likely will be a problem for you if they are left un-managed. You will have difficulty overwintering, your bees may abscond, your queen might fail, you might have "angry" bees or you may start noticing deformed bees if left unchecked. Manage early (measure mite levels and treat if required - Alcohol wash/powdered sugar shake) and you will not have any problems up here (low density of honey bees and long brood breaks at 4-6 months) or wait a year when the mite population spikes and you will learn the hard way (I did). The mites are also the main vector for many of the bee viruses. They feed on Fat Body tissue (organ that has 9 main functions). All 9 are negatively impact by varroa.

The Fat Body can be thought of as your liver and having an insect the size of thigh sucking juices out of it. The Fat Body serves many purpose in the bees.

Bee Fat Body serves 9 main functions:

-Growth and Metamorphosis

-Storage & Energy/Nutrient Mobilization

-Pesticide Detoxification

-Water Loss/Osmoregulation

-Immune Function

-Temperature Regulation

-Metabolic Activity

-Protein & Fat Synthesis

-Vitellogenesis (Winter Survival – Early Brood Rearing)

It produces Vitellogenin a protein serves many purposes in keeping the bee healthy and be better able to live longer (essential to winter bees) but it is also used to feed the first generation of spring bees. The Fat Body is also used to help the bee with its thermoregulation (control its internal temperature). These functions are all essential to your colonies survival.

OAV is a very effective organic method of treatment. That I have been using for the past 3 years with very good success.

OAV Oxalic Acid Vapourization - Write up - If you decide to use just follow the instructions (use PPE or be 100% sure of the wind direction). http://beekeepingnaturally.co.uk/varroa-mite-treatment-us…/…

3 - Nosema Ceranae in the North

Nosema by far has been my biggest problem. My only winter losses have been linked to Nosema. What looked to be really good honey crops would come to abrupt slow downs? One hive bringing in very good nectar while the one next to it with a similar population does nothing and the bees just look lost and lethargic.

Here is my Nosema write up of what I have found out so far - Link

4 - Dealing with Ants

•Try cinnamon powder around the hive (soft approach)

•Use ant bait traps (hard approach)

•Use vaseline on your stand legs to prevents from reaching hive