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feeding and treating advice please

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warts 

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Hi
I am really after some advice please (so thanks in advance)...I will try and be concise

1. Last tray of apiguard is now on the bees...and am going to start feeding the bees for winter in ernest shortly, and I am thinking of putting some fumidil B in the feed...is this OK / is there any value in this / have I bought this stuff out of ignorance?

2. I have a fairly high mite count in one of my hives (450 in first 7 days, same again in second 7 days, and no idea how much may have blown off without my knowledge), I know this may sound like a daft question, but what are the key pros and cons of oxalic acid in winter? Psychologically, the idea of dripping 'acid' on 'bees' seems extreme...but then vinegar is acid and I do enjoy this on my chips...though actually I wouldn't fancy it being poured all over me, and there is a damn big orange skull and cross-bones on the packet I have seen...and I have never seen this on my malt vinegar!

3. Finally, I will top off their final feed with some leftover honey of theirs (please don't raise your eyebrows...again, a psychological thing, and madness does run in the family, so please bear with me)...the honey is already extracted, just sitting waiting...should I feed it back in its original state or should it be diluted, and if so to what degree?

Thanks in advance (and sorry for the long post)

Sally
 

Midland Beek 

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1/ Feed Fumidil B and bees will generally survive winter. Simple. Nosema is a very common disease and I would suggest that any bee colony is the UK is perhaps as much likely to be infected as not-infected.

2/ When oxalic acid is used to treat bees in winter it has been much diluted. Still stronger than malt vinegar, but I doubt not by much.

3/ Well, whenever you feed honey be aware of the potential for robbing. I would be inclined to dilute it a little with warm water and feed in a conventional feeder. I would put it on in the evening, and giving it to the bees during a rainy period and when the bees might be confined to their hives for a couple of days sounds a good idea.
 

warts 

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Thank you Midland Beek. Very informative feedback! Can I ask you one more question (sorry if it is a daft one), on point 3 you say feed back the honey in a conventional feeder, what is deemed a conventional feeder?

And thank you again for your response

S
 

Rosti 

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MB is on the money but actually the acetic acid concentration as a crude percentage in vinegar is around 5-8% depending on type. Pickling vinegar can be over 15%. Your 3.2 w/v% in an oxalic treatment is puny compared to your fish and chips condiment of choice!

If you are going to give fumidl (and I am this year) can I suggest a small rapid feeder so you know they have had it as a controlled dose rather than giving it in a larger volume in say a miller and it not all beingtaken for some reason.
 

warts 

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Thank you Rosti

I will indeed give it them in a small rapid feeder if it is likely to help proceedings...much appreciated (and interesting info re the acid!).

Sally
 

Midland Beek 

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Any feeder as long as it is inside the hive. Don't spill any about. I dislike contact feeders because they can loose their suction on a cold night and the contents can glug out.

I have never fed honey, water down a little or neat, but I would be cautious. You don't want a robbing frenzy.
 

warts 

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Thank you Midland Beek...I learnt last year re spillage...never again!
 

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