What We Expected
We expected to see the hived in the same state as we left them, preparing for winter with two hives more affected by mites than the others.
What We Saw
Before we performed the treatment (November 3rd), we looked over the hives to assess their starting health. Sadly, it looks as though the Wood Hive had all but died off, with not more than handful of bees left behind. Green Hive, too, looked to be trending downward, with a living queen but a depleting population.
The Swarm hive was doing alright, considering its rough start. Witch Hive, of course, was strong and steady and ready to be treated.
What We Did
Given that Wood Hive died, Swarm Hive was small, and Green Hive was showing signs of failure, we decided to combine Green and Swarm Hive. Seeing how the Swarm Queen proved to be produce more mite resistant bees, we took a real gamble when we combined: we killed off the Green Queen. With her gone, the combined colony would accept her as their new queen, leaving two potentially mite resistant queens heading into winter.
After this was put together, we fired up the vaporizer and followed the standard oxalic acid treatment protocol with the necessary protections.
What We’ll Do
With treatment completed, all we can really do now is keep our fingers crossed for a successful mite die-off and colony combination. Our next visit will begin winterization and the end to the season.