Last week, the weather was so nice I decided to do a hive check. I combined the hive check with the first varroa-treatment for 2019. My treatment plan to keep my hives low in varroa numbers has been taught to me by my teacher, Corneel Dewindt, who has been a beekeeper for several decades and has a background in chemistry. Once every spring and summer month, when the weather is nice enough, we treat our bees by dripping a sugarwater/oxalic acid solution in between the frames. My mixture is 500g (distilled/decalcified) water, 500g sugar and 33,7mg oxalic acid. I add sublimated oxalic acid on top of this twice a year (sometimes once during summer and twice during fall) and don’t really use much else.
The first real work-day at the apiary made me curious to see what was up with my queens, so I went in search of them. I don’t normally go looking for them every time I do a hive check. If I see eggs or young larvae, I know the queen has passed by there not too long ago. But sometimes it’s nice to go in search of this important member of the hive and look at her.
Look at my beautiful Carniolan queen with her attendants! She’s the darkest and largest queen I have. I sadly couldn’t take pictures of her friends in the other hives. This bigger queen was raised very carefully and inserted in my starter nuke. But I have two more mysterious hives who were separated from their original queen and were forced to raise their own. The queens from my other hives are much smaller, one is dark, the other quite yellowy. Most of all; they will not show themselves! They run around at the bottom of my frames, turning away from the light and dissapearing in groups of other bees.
I do have to commend the two smaller queens for their hives having such strong development now. The hive with the calmer queen is also developing well, but at a slower pace.