The colonies in Denmark have been treated for varroa mites, the main killer of honey bee colonies. We know we did treat well during the season with organic treatments. We finished feeding and the bees have slowly started to have what we call “loose” winter cluster. On sunny days with the sun on the bee boxes, the bees do fly out and we even see them collect pollen during those warmer days. The colonies look very fine and strong and we expect them to come into the new season well.
The collection of the samples from the colonies does not seem to have “hurt” the colonies. In Denmark we had some concerns on the use of the beeholdtubes, where the bees could enter the colony via 2 tubes going into the colony and exit via 2 other tubes. A nice setup to make sure we get all bees passing our sample tubes. On very busy flight days we could see the bees cluster under the tubes. And we were concerned that they would drift to other colonies. And sure, they did, but it does not seem to have any influence on the wintering of the colonies.
Great to have a car. Yes, in Denmark it gets dark around 16.00. So, you need light to get into the bees. And as told earlier, we kept using apistrips and beeholdtubes in one apiary. Somebody did ask why? Answer, because we had some surplus and because we can! And when coming there it was dark. It is nice to open bee boxes during the dark, in the cold. But they behave and we could collect last 13th sampling. So exciting to see the results. Now we know the work is in the hands of our skilled laboratories, analyzing.
Flemming Vejsnæs, Denmark