Checking New Queen & Powder Sugar Dusting

Yesterday I performed an inspection on the newest hive (split) that received a queen from the club, to see if she was laying eggs.
Last Wednesday I saw she was released from her cage, but I didn't want to go any further and disrupt her.

I pulled two frames and saw they were completely filled with eggs and larva. Woo Hoo! She's laying, and doing a great job so far. In another week we'll see her pattern more clearly as the bees cap the brood cells.

For now, I took the opportunity to dust them with powder sugar, a chemical free attempt to control varroa mites. The theory is that as the bees clean each other off, they clean off the mites that are stuck to them, the mites fall through the screened bottom board to the ground, and do not repopulate inside the hive.

Last year, I took out each individual frame and coated the heck out of them. This year I was a little lazier, and just shook it on the tops bars, and down between frames.  I pulled one frame out to judge the effectiveness, and found that the bees on the frames were sufficiently covered, and put it back.

When the bees came out to shake themselves off, they looked like little white ghosts.

It really is a lot of fun!

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