Out, damned mites

Sublimox vaporiser

Sublimox vaporiser …

Today was very mild, slightly damp and breezy after a prolonged cold spell (at least here in Scotland). The long, cold spell means that colonies are broodless. Now is an ideal time to apply your midwinter Varroa treatment. Don’t wait until the Christmas holidays, don’t wait until the weekend after next … colonies will probably have sealed brood again by then. For maximum effect treat while the colony is broodless and decimate the phoretic mite population.

I treated all my colonies late this afternoon and evening. I finished the last using a headtorch for illumination and tidied up under bright moonlight. The bees looked good and it was great to be doing some beekeeping again, if only briefly.

 A longer post justifying why the colonies were considered broodless and why it is so important to treat when they are broodless will appear this Friday.

The rather weak title is a variant of Shakespeare’s “Out, damned spot” from the play Macbeth. The words are spoken by the sleepwalking Lady Macbeth who is going insane with guilt after her husband killed Duncan (the King of Scotland). The spot refers to Duncan’s blood. Mites on the Varroa tray look like tiny spots of blood …


4 thoughts on “Out, damned mites

  1. Chris

    We had a few cold days and hard frosts last week but no prolonged cold spell, meanwhile the mild weather has returned and the bees are flying again. Very little chance of a brood break to date. Most of my hives produced brood throughout last winter.

    1. David Post author

      Hi Chris
      It’s certainly variable around the country. Last winter was very mild and I suspect mine weren’t broodless at any point either. I see on the forums that LASI scientists in Sussex are also suggesting it’s a good time to treat due to low levels of brood. Not absent, but very low.

  2. Edward

    Looking forward to Fridays post as to why you think they are broodless, our bees are still flying and were bringing in pollen yesterday, very mild here in Ireland still.

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