Last year we hived our first two packages of bees. After catching and buying several swarms, we went into winter with five hives. Three hives made it back out into spring. Of those, two have had dysentery. One case was mild and seems to be over, but our littlest hive, a feral swarm thrown last August, has had a pretty bad case. The book remedy is Fumidil, but our natural beekeeper mentors recommended just nursing the hive to health with Honey B Healthy, a mixture of lecithin and essential oils, and pollen patties – the bee equivalent of tea and toast. The worst seems to be over. I am so fond of that hive, I sure hope it pulls through!
We’ve acquired another piece of equipment, this one a form of Langstroth called a western, smaller than the regular sized hives. The frames are foundationless so it’s also a natural beekeeping box. Actually it completes the set, we have Kenyan top bar, Warre, and now foundationless Langstroth in our apiary.