Time to sublime

From Simon's beekeeping blog. Comments are welcome via email.


It was sunny and bright this afternoon, as well as being a bit cooler than it has been lately. Most beekeepers get their oxalic acid treatments done in late December, and it was high time that we got ours done. I made quite a few notes in December about this, so today I'll just summarise what happened.

It turns out that the vapouriser we bought had a 125W element, so the 7Ah battery we used could go for about forty minutes on a full charge. I'd measured the entrances to check the vapouriser would fit, but only horizontally. It didn't fit into my hive's entrance vertically, so we had to remove the entrance block. About thirty sleepy bees went into attack mode, resting on our veils as we replaced the block with some foam that Dave had brought. The vapouriser got 3g of pre-dosed oxalic acid dihydrate, and we pushed it into the hive so it would be at the centre of the bees' cluster.

About a minute after we connected the battery, vapour started to escape from the hive, so things seemed to be working. After the three minutes, we disconnected the battery and waiting fifteen minutes before removing the vapouriser and seeing a nice empty tray. The thirty bees had found their way back into the hive during the treatment, and there was no complaint about the replacement of the entrance block.

Dave's bees were characteristically relaxed and busy during the whole procedure, and were similarly quiet afterwards. I thought they were a bit too quiet, but when I listened to the bottom of the hive I could hear a low buzz. Reassuring, and a lot less of a response than any of the colonies in the demonstration session.

It was good to lean back on the gate with nothing to do for fifteen minutes but chat, and while we did, we saw a man out working with his falcon.

I will check on the bees next week when we get good weather for it.

Temper / docilityTreatment givenWeather
C173g oxalic acid dihydrate8°C ☀ clear