My experiment started with one hive on the 10th September 2015. I wanted to see if a two stage shook swarm done in September when the mite load was high would be a viable way of controling the mite levels in a colony so that the colony could go through the autumn and winter without any chemical treatments. So far colony one has gone though it's first winter, first complete year and a second winter without any chemicals being used to control the mite population. In the second year 2016 I did quite a lot of brood removal.
Hive one is now about to go through it's third winter. It has a new 2017 queen - daughter of the old queen - and still hasn't had any chemical treatment. Now my plan is to take it through to next August/September and give it another shook swarm treatment then. 2018 will be a year to maximise honey production from this hive.
In 2017 I started hive two giving it a Varroa shook swarm on the 28th August 2017.
Copyright © Patrick Laslett 2016