Today was the day to do the final sugar shake of Honey 1. We purchased a coffee grinder from the local hardware store. This helped us produce our own icing sugar without the cornflour that is usually included in icing sugar.
We did the sugar shake with the ground sugar, and noticed again a large number of dislodged mites. I have also filmed this for YouTube. The video is located HERE.
So we have competed the hives treatment, so now we need to wait ten days and then redo a mite drop count. We hope this has reduced the count. So we don't need to do further treatments.
Some thoughts about organic versus chemicals. Doing the sugar shake does involve doing five treatments over five weeks. Which is more labour intensive than sticking in chemicals.
You can treat a hive in around fifteen minutes once you get your technique down. You also need a method to create your own icing sugar. Buying a grinder is an expense, if you don't already have one. But to be fair it was cheaper than buying enough Apistan strips to treat all our hives, and we can use the grinder next year.
The grinder will also be useful for breaking up dried herbs and any tea we grow.
I might try to make some tea from the tea trees at KiwiMana HQ. It was named “tea tree” by Captain Cooks crew for this very reason.
Mokoroa 1 feeding
I also sugar shook the Mokoroa 1 hive, that has a low mite count and noticed that the mite fall was also very small after the sugar shake.
I also added a feeder and added some white sugar (1 cup). Will see if the bees take this feed.
I am concerned about the number of German wasps in the bee garden. We have reduced the hive entrances on all hives. So hopefully the bees will be fine. Spotted a couple of wasps eating a bee (see PHOTO below).
If you live in New Zealand this is the time of year to reduce your entrances to around 75 mm. This gives the bees a smaller entrance to defend from wasp attacks.
Thanks for reading…Gary
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