Hi. I know it's been awhile since my last post.  It is a very warm February 17th, with possible record highs around 70.  Unusual winter weather is now the new normal.  It has been well above normal for a week and will continue well into next week.  Bees have been flying like crazy looking for anything.  I did put some pollen substitute out in the feeder, with some reluctance since it is a bit early. Then again, a couple years ago when I checked in February queens had been busy laying so it probably is time.  Unfortunately that year, we had a very late (early March) sub-zero temperature overnight and the hive, totally out of cluster, froze out.  So, fingers are crossed.
I have 3 hives currently, two of which for sure went into the winter with queens.  The third either was queenless or she just stopped laying.  Hoping for the latter.  We will see.  I still have the winter wraps on and will continue to do that until March for sure.
We made winter patties and the bees have hardly touched them. Hives all feel pretty heavy so I think food is not going to be a problem.  We have a recipe for both winter patties and spring feed, with pollen substitute, and I'd like to make the latter but since they haven't hardly touched the others and I have the pollen feeder out, I'm not too concerned at this point.
Today I did a mite treatment.  I ordered an oxalic vaporizer from ebay (Blue Ridge Bee Company) at a great price, under $80, made in West Virginia and free shipping.  Can't beat that.  I gave it a test, found the first battery I tried was less than fully charged, then did a successful trial and proceeded to treat all three hives.  I made a little video which you can see here. Or you can use the link at the bottom of the page called Oxalic Acid Vapor Treatment.
Enjoy and may the rest of the winter be kind.


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