|Frogs have been busy|
|Couple of Newts, my ponds are full of life.|
The winter was very mild, Spring too. Unfortunately out of my eight colonies three didn't make it through Spring. My money is on Varroa as the mild Winter probably meant the bees were raising brood through most of Winter allowing the Varroa to continue reproducing when there's normally a break. The mild winter also delayed Oxalic Acid treatment till February, I'm pretty sure the bees will have had some brood when I did that too which will have reduced the effectiveness of the treatment - it only affects adult mites living on the bees, mites in the comb with developing bees are affected. I started the season treating the remaining hives with Apiguard but mite drop was so low I discontinued it after giving the first treatment two weeks.
|Adult Female Varroa Destructor.|
She's been in an alcohol bath in my fridge for a few years.
|Capped Queen Cell|
I also remarked a couple of Queens who's marks had worn away making them harder to spot. Those Posca Paint Pens are easier to use than paint and a brush but doesn't seem as durable. Last year the official colour for Queen marking was white, it doesn't stand out too well against comb and brood though so I used a metallic pink instead. This year's colour is yellow which will stand out even less against wax, bees and pollen so I've decided to go my own way again and use a bright orange paint pen.
|One of last years Queens being remarked.|