Saturday, November 17, 2012

powdered sugar & bee cozy

On a 40°F November morning, I opened the hive top and applied/dusted one cup of powdered sugar onto the hive by tapping a flour sifter with a hive tool.  The rarely used bee brush found a purpose - this time to brush off powdered sugar resting on the top bar of the frames.  I left the boxes stacked as one unit and carefully let the powdered sugar fall straight downwards onto adult bees and not into cells.  After five hours I inspected the debris on the counting board - it's mostly powdered sugar with a trace of tiny light colored phoretic varroa mites and a dozen or so small hive beetles (SHB).   This is the first year that powdered sugar dusting knocked down SHB.  Past years knocked down many larger dark colored phoretic varroa mites .

I added the bee cozy and made bungee cord adjustments to keep the top vent and bottom entrance open. The cozy fits best on my eight frame hives when stacking one deep box and two medium supers.  Hives with two deep boxes requires that I curl over the top of the bee cozy to make things fit.  Like last year, I am going into winter with a screened bottom board and no counting board.

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