07917 677667 beesatbobs@btinternet.com RJ beekeeping, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands

With the temperature just above freezing this morning my colleague and friend Martin, and I set out and treated all our colonies (except 4 of mine) with Oxalic solution; part of our IPM against varroa. It was great to get out and do some beekeeping, and also to see all our colonies alive and well. Some colonies were tightly clustered and some low down in their boxes, others were chomping away at their fondant as we “cracked” open the crown boards.
The turn of the year gives a more positive aspect and there is a light in the distance at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. However the next couple of months are the “classic” period for colony losses so we have to remain vigilant. Working together we were able to treat every colony and check their fondant, and ensure that the entrances were clear all in a matter of seconds at every hive (and doing over 50 hives between us).
There was a mystery at one site where two of my nuceus hives had been “chewed” at the entrance by some creature. The bees inside seemed fine but what attcked the entrance hole is a mystery ; bird/woodpecker/mouse/rat/mole/badger?