During this week’s inspection we discovered an upturn in the number of Pests in our hives. After enjoying very low numbers of Varroa mites all year, we saw that we have reached about a 1% infection rate in two of our hives (our threshold for beginning treatment). We will apply oxallic acid vapor to the hives at 3 day intervals for two weeks and will retest after we are done to measure the effectiveness.
Also on our pest list are small hive beetles. These pests are managed using capture and removal methods including “Beetle Blaster” style vegetable oil traps and sections of “Swiffer” sheets laid on top of the frames. The oil traps work by drowning the beetles in oil. The beetles are chased by the bees into the narrow opening in the top of the trap when they fall into the oil. The Swiffer sheets work by ensnaring the beetles’ legs in the fibers of the swiffer sheets where they are held fast until we remove them.