Beekeeping Information Centre

Bee Craft Timely Reminder – 21st March 2018

Remove mouse guards from the entrance of the hive and at the same visit, either clean the floor boards or swap over-wintered ones for fresh ones.

Some beekeepers use a solid floorboard in the winter so that cold winds do not blow up into the colony from underneath. If this is the case, then there will probably be a lot of debris covering it, so without disturbing the bees (and two of you doing this), one lifts up the brood chamber and the other swaps the floorboard to a clean open- mesh floor. If you have over-wintered them on an open-mesh floor with an insert in to keep out the drafts, then this all will need to be replaced or cleaned up too. It may be worth checking the debris with a magnifying glass and counting the fallen Varroa mites, pollen mites, moulds and anything else that may be there!

If you have a daily mite drop of more than about 4 at this time of year, you should consider treating. Read more about varroa treatment.

If you’re not sure how much varroa is too much, the National Bee Unit has an online varroa calculator.

Image – You can learn a lot from the debris on a varroa board. (Varroa mites are circled). Photo Margaret Cowley

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