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A wintery tale of two colonies

IMG_0090Here is the debris contrasting drop of two colonies in two neighbouring, but different apiaries in southern England after six days in January. Why the difference?

The first picture is from a colony obviously munching through its stores in an apiary exposed to winds.

The second picture shows a much less active colony in a more sheltered location with plenty of stores onboard.

Quantity of debris aside, there is one subtle, but significant and somewhat alarming difference: in amongst the second colony’s debris there were six dead varroa — and none in the first. I’m not happy to see a drop of six dead varroa in six days in winter. That is most unusual for my colonies.

I don’t like opening up colonies in winter, but the second will be inspected as soon as warmer conditions prevail! Varroa treatments will be at the ready!

IMG_0091There are a number of possible explanations of the differences in the debris fall – who would like to speculate?

(The debris is collected in a standard varroa screen.)

Turlough, Vita’s Guest Beekeeper Blogger
Views expressed in this blog are not necessarily those of Vita (Europe) Ltd.


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