Following our Timely Reminder last week we received an email asking whether my drawn comb with wax moth trail could have been treated with acetic acid. Having never used acetic acid, I asked one of my experienced colleagues for information and felt that it would be sensible to print her response here. It is:

“In essence, yes they could have been treated with acetic acid. However, I would rather use it later in the year when it is warmer than now, particularly if the combs are needed in the near future.  The acetic acid needs to evaporate in order to fumigate the comb and hive, and at this time of year this takes rather a long time as it is relatively cool AND, once they have been fumigated, the combs and  equipment must be ventilated to allow all traces of AA to dissipate.”

We will cover the ‘how to’ in a reminder at a more appropriate time in the autumn. In the meantime, if you want good advice on how to use acetic acid safely for sterilising combs, Celia Davis illustrates the process very nicely in "Honey Bee Around and About"

If your apiary is on someone else’s land, don’t forget that you must keep your area tidy out of respect for your bees’ landlord. This will ensure good relations and the likelihood that they will keep a closer eye on your bees. Don’t forget, always ask their permission to take anyone else into your apiary on a specific day, for example a friend to help you or possibly a bee inspector.  It is his/her land after all and by extending this courtesy it ensures that if they do see someone strange in the vicinity, it will arouse suspicion and could prevent a possible theft. They will also be keen to let you know if they see a swarm, all of which is worth some extra honey after extraction in the autumn or at Christmas!

Lastly, check out our photographic competition through the link below. There is a fabulous prize on offer, so get snapping!

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