January is a time to check bees for feed, you can not give them syrup but you can give them a cup or two of dry sugar on a coffee filter placed on the top bars of the hive, or, if you have some, place a frame or two of capped honey next to the cluster – remember to scratch the honey so the bee will find it quickly.
Clean and sanitize your hive tools and smoker. Use a drill with a little wire brush attachment to clean up the smoker and the hive tool and a blow torch to sanitize the tool.
Check your stored boxes and frames. Damaged equipment should be repaired or discarded. Unless there is an easy fix for the damage it is better just to get rid of it. Frames with any sign of disease or old frames with black small honey comb should be burned.
If you are going to Iotron equipment, January is a good time to bag it up – check each box to make certain it has ten frames. If you have some pollen frames that you want to give the bees in the spring, they can go in the centre, one frame of honey can go on each side of the box. Grungy or diseased frames should be discarded not Iotroned.
The following was taken from the Canadian Honey Council Website www.honeycouncil.ca
Early January is the time for using Oxalic acid dehydrate 99.65% as a Varroa mite control.
DIRECTIONS FOR USE
CAUTION: Oxalic Acid Dihydrate might damage bee brood. Oxalic Acid will not control Varroa mites in capped brood. Use only in late fall or early spring when little or no brood is present. Do not use when honey supers are in place to prevent contamination of marketable honey.
Apply only when monitoring indicates treatment is required. Consult provincial guidelines and local extension experts for monitoring protocols and thresholds for treatment. SOLUTION METHOD: NOTE: To completely dissolve Oxalic Acid Dihydrate, use warm syrup.Dissolve 35 g of Oxalic Acid Dihydrate in 1 liter of 1:1 sugar:water (weight:volume). Smoke bees down from the top bars. With a syringe or an applicator, trickle 5 ml of this solution directly onto the bees in each occupied bee space in each brood box. The maximum dose is 50 ml per colony whether bees are in nucs,single, or multiple brood chambers. Under certain unfavorable conditions (e.g. weak colonies, unfavorable overwintering conditions), this application method may cause some bee mortality or overwintering bee loss.
It comes as a powder that looks much like salt and might seem benign BUT READ THE LABEL BEFORE USING
DANGER – POISON
DANGER – CORROSIVE TO EYES
DANGER – SKIN IRRITANT
DANGER – KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN
DANGER – Fatal or Poisonous if swallowed.
DANGER – Avoid inhaling/breathing dust or fumes.
DANGER – CORROSIVE to the eyes.
DANGER – Corrosive to skin.
DO NOT get on skin or clothing.
Oxalic Acid Dihydrate should only be handled in a well ventilated area.
The application of Oxalic Acid Dihydrate should be limited to outdoor use only.
DO NOT use in enclosed overwintering areas.
- Wear protective goggles, dust/mist filter, chemically resistant gloves, long-sleeved shirt, pants, shoes, and socks whenever handling, mixing, and using Oxalic Acid.
- Keep away from food and drink.
- Wash skin thoroughly with soap and water after handling.
- Remove clothing immediately if contaminated by splash or spill.
- Store and wash contaminated clothing separately from household laundry.
If swallowed: Call a poison control centre or doctor immediately for treatment advice. Have person sip a glass of water if able to swallow. Do not induce vomiting unless told to do so by a poison control centre or doctor. Do not give anything by mouth to an unconscious person.
If on skin or clothing: Take off contaminated clothing. Rinse skin immediately with plenty of water for 15-20 minutes. Call a poison control centre or doctor for treatment advice.
If inhaled: Move person to fresh air. If person is not breathing, call 911 or an ambulance, then give artificial respiration, preferably by mouth-to-mouth, if possible. Call a poison control centre or doctor for further treatment advice.
If in eyes: Hold eye open and rinse slowly and gently with water for 15-20 minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present, after the first 5 minutes, then continue rinsing eye. Call a poison control centre or doctor for treatment advice.
Take container, label or product name and Pest Control Product Registration Number with you when seeking medical attention.
- Do not contaminate irrigation/ drinking water supplies or aquatic habitats by disposal of unused product.
- Dispose of any unused oxalic acid dihydrate-sugar-water solution immediately after application in accordance with provincial requirements.
- Dispose of the container in accordance with provincial requirements.
- For information on disposal of unused, unwanted product, contact the manufacturer or the provincial regulatory agency. Contact the provincial regulatory agency in case of a spill, and for clean-up of spills.