As if there aren’t enough obstacles for bees and their keepers, there are the silent killers: foulbrood and mites. These come as disease and pests do: seemingly out of nowhere. But when they arrive, they wreak havoc and leave a dead hive and a sad beekeeper. Treatment of foulbrood and mite control is an essential step in the beekeeper’s routine.
BUT it doesn’t have to end this way if we work together with the bees to keep them healthy. In keeping disease and pests at bay, health is just as important in bees as it is for you and me. A healthy bee is a healthy hive. A healthy hive can work together and keep these pests under control.
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This is why I took the approach I did when treating my bees this spring. I’ll be honest, it started with me lagging at getting Checkmite ordered and when I finally did try to find it online, I just couldn’t bring myself to pay the $15 for shipping. But during this time, I was doing a lot of research and asking a lot of questions. The treatments for disease and mites generally use some harsh chemicals.
With the research I’ve done, it seems like it boils down to:
- Don’t treat your bees, and they get diseases, mites and the hives die or are terminated.
- Or use harsh chemicals, maybe lose some brood and bees, but the hive as a whole is saved.
I’d rather save my hive.
I purchased delicious, heavenly-smelling essential oil patties from the beekeepers I bought my nuc from. (Watch the installation here: “How to Install a Nucleus Colony”) . I will be “treating” my bees to these patties all through the summer. Again, the idea is that when our bees are healthy they will be able to fight off the pestilence that will come along. When fall comes, around September, I will treat for mites with Apiguard.
As far as mites, remember this: it’s not if you will get them, it’s when you get them. Your bees will get mites. Treat for mites.
I tried to get the recipe for the patties, but it must be a secret recipe. It has 10 essential oils and for the price of them, for now, it seems a good deal for me to just purchase the patties from this supplier.
During this check as shown in the video below, I treated my bees with Tylan, to keep foul-brood away. I was reading through comments on a YouTube video: “I don’t treat for foulbrood, I like natural beekeeping. But my bees got foul-brood and I had to burn every last bit of them.”
This broke my heart. Not only is there a ton of money tied up in the hives and frames that were burned, but the bees themselves were lost. And it could have been prevented. I’m all for natural beekeeping but I’m also for keeping bees alive.
Beekeeping requires us to be hands-on in our ownership of them. If you plan on owning bees, plan on interacting and helping them quite a bit.
Remember my philosophy: you don’t need to know everything about bees, you just need to know someone else who knows everything. I am a new beekeeper, possibly just like you. I am proof that it is very doable for someone with little or no experience with bees to be successful in keeping bees. The key? Ask questions and keep learning.
Tag along and watch as I open up my hive and treat for foul-brood and mite control in the video on this page.
I hope this video has helped you and I would love to hear from you. Please leave me a comment below! What did you like most from this video? What did you learn? What do you do differently?
Did you get value from this video?
Thank you so much for watching. I look forward to continuing this journey together in the next video.
PS I would love to hear what your biggest aha and takeaway was, and what was most valuable to you. Please leave me your comment below.
Thank you in advance.
Follow along for more of my beekeeping journey and keep updated on my posts: Montana Bees
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