New beekeeper woes
About 4 months into beekeeping and I’m learning some hard lessons.
Washed for the first time about 2 months ago (first mistake was not washing right away). Thought I had a good mite count on the 8 frame hive (I’m convinced the count was wrong). The other 10 frame hive had north of 10% mite count. Treated that hive with apivar and didn’t treat the other hive. Got to my wash date on the 8 frame one month later and for the first time since I had the hives I started noticing mites on the backs of the bees and a few DWV victims. It was my stronger hive, they had a two supers in place with one full and a couple frames drawn partially out in the other. I went with MAQS, two treatment method. Today was the first day I could inspect after treatment and the first wash date since apivar was removed from the 10 frame. The 8 frame bees have done well with the honey and capped most of the lower super, but the top super hadn’t seen much progress. As I got into the hive I noticed mites on backs almost immediately, a lack of drones where there had been an abundance before and many more DWV cases. I was ready to put a super on the ten frame, so last minute I changed plans from adding blank foundation frames to the 10 frame and instead pulled all 8 honey frames from the lower super on the 8 frame hive and two of the ones they had been drawing and filling in the top box to fill up the first super on the 10 frame hive. I left one out so they could rob it out since there was a little honey in it. I got some apivar strips and put them in the 8 frame hive. The queen on the 8 frame hive has been very strong. I can see a lot of eggs in the empty cells still, but the population was way down. I need to add an entrance reducer back in. I’m afraid it’s too little too late for this hive. I’m pretty bummed out about this.
Besides the rookie mistakes early on, are there any other rookie mistakes I’m making now? I think the 10 frame hive is in good shape. Just finished my count and I got only 4 mites on the first rinse, 3 on the second and 0 on the third. A total of 7 out of 427 bees equaling 1.64%(repeated of course /s). So for now that hive appears safe. I’ll do another wash in a month and see if a Formic acid or hopguard is warranted, and prepare for an OA dribble later in the year.
Does this sound good? Or am I looking at starting all over next year? I hate failing. This is a disappointing situation, but hopefully one hive will survive. TIA