Welcome to Caging your Honey Bee Queen to cause a brood break for varroa mite treatment.
Click Here to see my preferred queen isolation cage design.
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Many backyard beekeepers like myself may find colonies gaining too much ground in too short a period of time, and/or you may find that mites are beginning to increase in numbers.
A queen cage is a method of isolating your queen on a deep frame of brood so that she may continue producing eggs and produce enough queen mandibular pheromone to keep the colony productive and queen-rite.
You will have to locate your queen on a frame and depending on your style of cage, move that frame to the side/end of your brood box, or cage the frame in the middle of the brood area.
This procedure assumes that you've not permitted any drone larvae on the other brood frames, or that the drone larvae is already capped.
The goal is to have all varroa destructor mites in their phoretic phase so that Oxalic Acid Vaporization will have its maximum efficacy. The varroa mite drop may be as high as 96% with a single treatment.
Isolate the queen and remove any drone cells that have larvae in them. Use a queen cage similar to this one or another design with a proven performance record.
All eggs produced by the queen before being caged will now be capped and in their pupa stage.
You may now remove the Queen Isolation Cage and allow her full access to the rest of the hive frames. Remove the frame the queen was on and put that in the freezer for 24 hours, or present it to your chickens for consumption. After freezing 24 hours, you may restore that frame and the bees will clean the cells again.
Day TWENTY TWO
Clean any bottom board insert, tray, or IPM system you have on the bottom of your hive.
Deliver an appropriate dose of Oxalic Acid Vaporization, following all label instructions. Use only OA that is labeled as a miticide.
That's it! You've delivered a tough blow to the varroa destructor mites and slowed your honey bee reproduction which may go a long way in reducing their mid-summer swarming instinct.
If you have concerns regarding how to perform an OAV treatment, or you wonder what the bees do when vapor is introduced, I have made a video for you:
Watch the video below.