On Wednesday 19th December, Winstanley College welcomed Eddie Farrell from Ormskirk and Croston Beekeepers Association who showed our student beekeepers how to protect bees against Varroa mites using oxalic acid via sublimation.
Varroa mites are recognised as the biggest pest to Honey bees worldwide due to their ability to transmit harmful diseases such as deformed wing virus. Furthermore, if they are left untreated during the winter months, Varroa mites multiply and weaken bees by feeding off their blood and body fat.
Sublimation involves vaporising the acid within the hive thus making bees less tasty to the mites who will then drop off and fall through the hive floor. After administering the process, Eddie was also on hand to present our Finance Director Conor Edwards with his ‘Certificate of Proficiency in Apiculture’ from the British Beekeeping Association and answer any questions.
The students then returned to our Winter Wonderland event where sales of honey candles and some very experimental bath bombs raised £124 which will be used to buy new hive spares for the spring.
Going forward, we will be keeping a close eye on the hives to ensure that our bees have everything they need while they hibernate during the cold weather.