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Fanning entrance, in September?

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BlipiBee 

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This morning I observed my bees fanning at the entrance of their hive.

Abdomen down rear facing out.

Looks like they are cooling the hive, which seems strange considering it is overcast and in September.

Could it be something to do with the sugar syrup, are they attempting to reduce water content or something?

Would they be sending out an alert? Oddly, there is also a dead bee on the landing board.

There are and have been wasps about, the entrance has been restricted.

Any advice or comments appreciated.

Thanks!
 

madasafish 

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Mine do the same - being fed.. Normal it would appear.

Giving them any verroa treatment as well?
 

Heather 

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Trying to flush the smell of thymol out of the hive!- they dont like it up 'em.
 

BlipiBee 

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I've not treated yet as they still had brood. Hope to treat this weekend.

So at least it sounds normal! I'm lucky my bees are in the garden so I can check daily what's going on. On the other hand, my inexperience and protectiveness of my girls makes me get concerned over things I don't understand!

I'll rest my mind for now.

Thanks!
 

oliver90owner 

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I've not treated yet as they still had brood.

So they should - and probably up until the new year and perhaps beyond, provided they are not starved, the thymol does not put her off-lay for more than 3 weeks, or the winter weather arrives with a vengeance.

I hope you are not planning on trickling with oxalic acid at this time of the year.

Regards, RAB
 

BlipiBee 

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There is a local beekeeper who is helping me, I'm not totally sure what he has to treat them with, but I know we need to take action now.

What concern do you have with the oxalic acid?
 

Heather 

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Ignore dead bee- housekeeping- it happens.

You are a tiny bit late for thymol treatment, IMO- as weather cooling fast. Do asap, close all top vents, put sliding board under, end keep entrance reduced, but wasps easing so not tooooo small so they can get out to breathe fresh air .


Then feed again till your hive is difficult to lift (heft) from one side (not literally off the ground!), but dont overfeed or queen limited in laying space and now is an important breeding time for winter bees. A balancing act!

Oxalic Dec/Jan on a sunny day-NO wind, when brood minimal- it may never be nil in our climate, though last winter was exceptional-

Treatment- Bayvarol strips are no longer used
Use Apiguard, Apilife Var, Miteaway, etc depending on your own thoughts about what you put into your hive. All treatments are done after every scrap of honey which you wish to eat has been removed or it will be ruined.
 
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Stiffy 

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Ignore dead bee- housekeeping- it happens.

You are a tiny bit late for thymol treatment, IMO- as weather cooling fast.


Many local beeks are just starting to take honey off in this part of the world so please dont panic about treating and do it when you feel its appropriate.

I am just starting to treat the majority of mine but also have three hives which have very recently been re-queened that wont be treated for at least another two weeks to allow time for the queens to settle.

Temperatures have started to fall but the average night time last October in this part of the UK (SW) was 12c and although not ideal I could have been treating into November when the average night time was 11c. Daytime temps averaged 15c during October and dropped by a degree a month later.
I believe that patience is the greatest gift my bees have passed onto me.
Cheers
S
 

oliver90owner 

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What concern do you have with the oxalic acid?

Rather a wide ranging question for a specific case, but the following, taken from one of the many studies of the effects of oxalic acid on brooding colonies, may give you the impetus to search out these reports.

A high percentage of young (12.6% and 9.5%) and old honey bee larvae (10.6% and 5.6%) were removed from their cells after the first and second oxalic acid applications, respectively. The surface of the open brood area was also reduced by 17.5% after the two oxalic acid applications and stayed low for about two months. For the same period of time the open brood area in 10 control colonies increased by 34.5%. The two oxalic acid applications removed 60 ′ 12% of varroa mites adhering to adult honey bees, while the natural fall of mites measured in control colonies (for a period of 40 days) was 32 ′ 4%. Combining the detrimental effect on brood development with the low relative effectiveness on varroa removal, oxalic acid application by the trickling method when open brood is present is not as safe as has been regarded in the past

This one, which is five years old (and did include two treatments in fairly short order), is likely dated, but does indicate the problems likely to be associated with oxalic acid effects on brooding. it was obviously not carid out in the autumn when healthy winter bee production is at a premium.

Further, mites in capped brood are not affected by oxalic acid trickling, so efficacy will be substantially lowered.

RAB
 
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Oxalic Acid should only be used when the colony is broodless, or as near broodless as possible. The early works quoted were trials to see how it worked when there was brood present - the results were death of some brood and low efficiency as the treatment did not touch the mites in sealed brood.

As I have said before on this forum, I know a beekeeper in Finland who treats his bees with an oxalic acid trickle every Winter. He has something like 2,000 colonies and wouldn't do this if it harmed them. It is the only treatment for varroa he uses but with our longer summer and shorter winter this regime would not work and a summer treatment is needed.

The only exception to the OA when broodless rule are the treatments which work on very low doses of OA, mainly Hive Clean and Varroa Gard. These are used more or less all year round (slightly different for each product).
 

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