In January it is important to supplementary feed the bees.
Please only open your hive if it is 55 F or above. For any cool temperature open the hive only as briefly as needed.
The sugar syrup should be 50% sugar and 50% water by volume. Please use only white sugar. Brown sugar will plug up the bees' intestines.
Once you begin feeding, also include pollen patties. Be aware that all pollen patties are not the same. The best ones have a complete protein profile which means they have ten different proteins. Adding bee gathered pollen which insures the full range of all proteins.
Large commercial beekeepers as well as queen breeders include as much as 25% natural bee gathered pollen in their feeding program. We use and sell pollen gathered pollen from the High Mountain Desert in Arizona and Colorado, away from agricultural areas. The pollen has as many as seven different floral sources which insures a complete protein profile as each floral source has different levels of the ten proteins.
Remember to use sugar as well as pollen patties. The sugar is the carbohydrate and the pollen is the protein. Together they provide complete nutrition.
We have also started using and selling probiotic products which helps the bees digest and matabolize their food.
When you check for mites, make sure the weather is above 55 F, so the brood won't chill and die when you open the hive.
You can test for mites in the following manner:
- Gather 2//3 of a measuring cup full of bees, which represents about 300 bees. It is important that you gather the bees off of brood, not off the top of the hive, near the lid or the entrance.
- You will need a glass mason jar with a screw on rim in which you put a screen with 7 wires per inch. You fill half the jar with rubbing alcohol and put the bees in the alcohol. Shake the bees gently in the alcohol and any mites attaching to the bees will be dislodged.
- Then simply turn the jar upside down and pour the alcohol slowly on a paper plate.
- If you have mites they are readily seen as reddish brown dots on the paper plates. Count the number of mites on the paper plate and divide the numer by 3 to get a 100% tile percentage. For example, if you see 3 mites on the plate you have a 1 percentile of mites.
- I treat whenever I see any mite. You should treat for sure if you have a 3%tile of mites or more.
- Any infestation over 5%tile is a serious infestation. Still, try to treat, but the viruses and pathogens which the mites carry, would probably got established in the hive to the extend that treatment will usually not be effective, and the hive will die on its own. If the hive dies the mites die out as well. so you can use the frames and boxes to start a new beehive.
There are several methods of treatments, one being formic acid, essential oil pads, which we sell, and other more chemical treatments, which we suggest you research and make your own decision about them.
Thank you for keeping bees! Enjoy!