The highest concentration of varroa in the drop tray were in the area directly below the brood. Even though the strips were placed in the four corners of the hive away from the brood. This indicates the highest concentration of varroa in the hive is in the brood. Otherwise varroa were fairly evenly distributed on the drop tray.
Close up of the varroa on the drop tray highlighted by black circles
Images taken at the Limerick City bee hive on Sunday 19th of September. The hive is thriving and the warm weather has brought on lots of activity.
The bees are being treated for the varroa mite. Generally I would prefer to use more ecologically sensitive treatments but that will require a long term integrated solution ...and a lot more research. For now, - rather reluctantly - we are treating the bees with bayvarol strips as we don't want to take any chances of losing the hive to varroa over the winter months.
A wasp trying to enter a small and crowded hive entrance. The bees had no problem flying in and out but the wasps were put off by the crowded entrance.
Himalayan Balsam pollan
Applying smoke to calm bees before lifting off glass section. The glass was completely sealed tight
with propolis and when I eventually wedged the glass open I was hit by a waft of warm air. Propolis may have many functions and I would prefer to design a hive that requires no hive destruction when checking bees. One clear choice for the future is the top bar hive. I have heard both poaitive and negative reviews of this type of hive for Irish weather but Bee Limerick will test one ourselves.