Things That Can Go Wrong
As with farming or raising livestock, there are pests and diseases that can affect your hive’s health. Researchers are learning more about bee health every day. Please invest some time in studying about bee health and treatment options. Always follow approved treatment techniques for you and your bee’s health and safety.
Hives attract ants, particularly if you are feeding your bees syrup.
- Use hive stands that have physical barriers like grease cups.
- Terro ant bait – nontoxic to humans and bees can’t get into the bait stations.
You will have varroa mites. A large mite population is very detrimental to bee larvae. There are many different options for controlling mites, with varying levels of effort and toxicity.
Some folks choose not to treat, leaving the bees to manage on their own and develop resistance through natural selection. Perhaps a noble goal in the long run, but odds are your hive will be severely impacted by a growing mite infestation, leading it to develop other diseases, and spreading mites and other pathogens to other bees in the neighborhood. If you choose not to treat, you might want to at least monitor the mite levels using periodic bee washes or sugar shakes, and keep an eye out for signs of other issues (deformed wings, dead gooey, stinky larva, etc).
The following is a list of some of the common treatments. For your health and safety, it is critical that you follow approved application methods and use proper PPE – e.g. for OAV, you will need to wear a chemical vapor respirator, eye, and hand protection, etc.
As with any pest control, it is best to use a minimal amount of multiple control methods to minimize the development of resistance. See Integrated Pest Management for more info.