All areas of Florida should continue monitoring their varroa infestation levels. The cooler temperatures and the accompanying natural reduction in brood during this time of year affords a great opportunity to alternate your treatment for mites by using Apiguard. Though if you have any stored Hopguard 3 or Apivar, these options can also be used this time of year.
Small Hive Beetles should also be monitored and in-hive traps or ground drench treatments should be applied if needed. Consider reducing the amount of space your bees need to defend as their numbers naturally reduce during the cooler months of the year. The reduction in bee numbers combined with extra space that can no longer be sufficiently defended could result in a quickly increasing beetle population. If you are caught of guard, the beetles may overrun your colonies.
All areas of Florida should also be feeding their bees if they are light. As recommended to North Florida beekeepers in November, Central and South Florida beekeepers, if you are using pollen substitute patties here in December, be careful not to apply more patty than the bees can eat within just a few days. Pollen patties are a favorite treat for the pesky Small Hive Beetle.
Central and South Florida, should have completed extracting the Brazillian Pepper / Golden Rain Tree honey harvest and should be working to store their drawn comb. Storing your drawn comb on Para-Moth crystals is a great way to keep the moths from damaging your precious drawn frames. If you are looking for a less chemical approach to protecting your frames you can use the product Certan. Certan is a biological formulation containing Bacillus thuringiensis which you mix and then spray onto your frames, this bacteria will shut down the the digestion system of any moth larva that comes in contact with it all without harming humans or your honey bees.
What’s in Bloom
North / Central
Bush Aster, Goldenrod, Large Flower Pusley, AKA Florida Snow (Richardia grandiflora), Mexican Clover AKA (Richardia brasiliensis & Richardia scabra), Primrose Willow, Smartweed, Spanish Needle, Spotted Mint, Vine Aster
Large Flower Pusley, AKA Florida Snow (Richardia grandiflora), Melaleuca, Mexican Clover AKA (Richardia brasiliensis & Richardia scabra), Primrose Willow, Red Maple, Smartweed, Spanish Needle, Willow