When I pulled frames two weeks ago, I caught sight of a few mites. I try to limit any use of pesticides on my property so as to protect my bees. I use Andro against fire ants – because fire ants are a vicious, non-native species with no predator except ME. But otherwise, I don’t use fertilizers or pesticides on the yard most especially Round-Up which is deadly for bee larvae. So, at the suggestion of my fellow beekeeper who lends me his centrifuge to sling the honey out of my frames, I sifted my hive today. You have to open the hive up to the lowest level and then dust the frames (and the bees) with 40X powdered sugar. The bees then set about cleaning off the sugar and also removing and KILLING any mites. The mites then are dropped onto the bottom of the hive for the cleaner-bees to remove. The honey I’ve most recently pulled was lighter in color than the last robbing. And today as I sat and watched the hypnotic movement of the bees in and out of the hive, the returning scouts were loaded with a pale orange pollen. I am not sure where they are foraging but the honey in the spring should be quite light.
The honey that got flung out of five small frames last Sunday resulted in 6+ QUARTS of honey. It looked quite dark until I filled decorative Kilner bottles. It is a beautiful color. Here is the video of the hive while I had it open. The bees were very active.