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Lye Preparation
The preparation of lye is simple and acceptable to all beekeepers. The lye is prepared from ash of fresh firewood. It is better to use the ash of birch firewood.

The ash is sifted through a fine grid. Then it is mixed with cold water and left to draw no less than three days, periodically stirring it. Usually beekeepers use one part of sifted ash to 10 parts of water. After brewing it is necessary to remove the ash foam and to siphon the lye through a small pipe into glass crockery. The closed container of lye should be stored in a dark, cool place. The storage time of lye is unlimited. Ash itself loses its alkaline qualities in 6 months or so.

One can fill a container again with ash and water, and after brewing, boil the lye. This yields technical lye which could be used to wash hives or other stock, but it is not suitable as a component of bee food.


from the decidedly Russian website: http://kulikoff.com/russianbees/page_1.html

It's like a goddamn advertisement for Russian Bees, rife with all sorts of opinion errors but I do pay attention to the fanatics; there is a reason they believe the things they believe. I love my Russian bees!

Pests

Aug. 22nd, 2009 12:41 pm
doodlemaier: (Default)
[personal profile] doodlemaier
Small hive beetles

Since last week I've been discovering small hive beetles in my top feeder. First one, now three. What next? These eat brood, wax and honey, in addition to shitting in honey causing it ferment and ooze out of the cells. How do they get in to a hive? A small hive beetle trap should keep populations of these things in check but an infestation may require medication with coumaphos, sold under the band CheckMite+. They seem to be more prevalent in southern states. Yay! The South.

Tracheal Mites

Here's a recipe for grease sugar patties that inhibit the growth of tracheal mites:

• 1½ lbs of solid vegetable shortening (such as Crisco™)
• 4 lbs granulated sugar
• ½ lb honey
• Optional: add ⅓ cup of mineral salt sold at Southern States or farm supply store.
• Also a 1½ oz shot of wintergreen oil may be added for patties that are not to be used while honey supers in use.

Mix all ingredients together until smooth and form into a dozen or so hamburger-size patties. Keep frozen until ready for use.

Varroa Mites

http://www.wvu.edu/~agexten/Varroa

Sugar shake test: Prepare a wide mouth pint canning jar by removing the lid and adding a tablespoon of confectioners sugar. Replace lid with a small piece of screen keeping the metal tightening ring handy. Using a makeshift paper funnel inserted into the mouth of the open jar shake about a ½ cup of sample bees from a couple frames from the brood nest into the jar, tighten the lid over the screen. Away from the hive vigorously shake the sugar, along with the mite sample, onto a piece of clean white paper. Use the count to determine the level of infestation (<12 mites per 200-300 bees requires immediate action.) Dowda method is a treatment to control the mite population.

The Dowda Method: Give the bees on each frame a light dusting of confectioners sugar, through a sifter or an adapted baby powder bottle. Sprinkle a rather heavier dusting on the top bars of the brood box which will allow the bees to sprinkle themselves as they move about in the hive. The dusting of sugar triggers grooming behavior which causes the mites to fall off. A screened bottom board prevents the mites from climbing back into the brood nest, although there is some speculation that mites are unable to climb back into the nest on their own. Repeat this process once a week, using a sticky board beneath the screen to hold mites for counting and determining that the mites infestations is dropping to an "acceptable" level (<12 mites per 200-300 bees.)

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