Friday, September 2, 2011

A Spoonful of Sugar...

...keeps the mites away!
While my mom was away on vacation this summer, our beehive swarmed at least month decreasing the population of our colony be half.  It's very sad to come home to a nearly empty hive, with mostly empty frames of wax, and just a few girls buzzing around the entrance.  
On inspecting the hive, to make sure we still had a queen, my mom found evidence of mites.  While some mites can be devastating to a hive, it can be prevented if treated early. 
The safest way to exterminate mites from the hive is to dust the supers with powdered sugar.  Sugar is non toxic, so it will not affect your yield of honey, and is safest for the bees.  When the bees clean the powdered sugar off their bodies, the mites that ride on their backs are dusted off too.  
Several cycles of dusting and our bees will be back in business!
Can you see the mite? It's very tiny.
One of several queen cells, evidence that our hive still has a queen.
No mites on the larvae, this is a good sign.
These tall cells are the drone cells, male bees hatch from here.
Dusting the hive with powdered sugar.
Sugary ghost bees!