Saturday, March 15, 2008 – Shaking the bees

The temperature was steadily climbing all week and by the time Saturday came around it was peaking at 17 degrees so I decided to take the opportunity to do some Varroa control on the Queen’s Park hive.

I prepared a new floor, brood box, new brood foundation, a new cover board and some feed (sugar water). Once I had moved the hive away from its spot I put the new hive in its place and let the returning bees find their way into the new home.

Looking through the older hive I found the queen and caged her while I shook off all the bees from the old frames into the new hive. When that was done I closed up the new hive, marked the queen and let her find her way into her new home via the hole in the cover board.

Of course this drastic action kills off the brood that was in the old hive but what we gain in losses to the colony can be outweighed by the advantages of Varroa control, new clean comb and possible reduction of the swarming instinct.

I’ll see how this method compares with the other methods I plan to try out on the other hives.

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