Hydroxymethylfurfural

Excuse me? Hydroxymethylfurfural which, for very obvious reasons is usually abbreviated to HMF, is an organic compound that forms in sugar-containing foods, often as a result of heating. HMF is relevant to bees because, at high levels, it is toxic for them. Since beekeepers often heat (or use ready-made feed that has been heated during […]

Oxalic acid (Api Bioxal) preparation

This post updates and replaces one published three years ago (which has now been archived). The registered readership of this site has increased >200% since then and so it will be new to the majority of visitors. It’s also particularly timely. I will be treating my own colonies with oxalic acid in the next week […]

Trick(le) and treat

This is the third and final post on why, with what, when and how to minimise mite levels in colonies in midwinter. In the first post I explained why midwinter mite treatment makes sense. In the second I described how oxalic acid-containing solutions should be prepared and stored. “Oxalic acid-containing” solutions includes both Api-Bioxal, the VMD […]

Oxalic acid preparation

This is the second of three articles on midwinter treatment of colonies with oxalic acid to minimise Varroa levels. In a recent post I explained why a midwinter treatment was necessary, even if you’d treated three months earlier. Essentially this is because: there will still be some residual Varroa, particularly if you treated in late summer rather than early autumn […]

Making soft set honey

Soft set honey was often called creamed honey before that description was effectively outlawed – at least for labelling purposes – under the trade descriptions act because it ‘contains no cream‘. It’s the stuff that’s spoonable and spreadable, it feels like velvet on the tongue because the crystals are so fine (hence creamy) and it remains looking good […]