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Arob wrote: If you have more than twelve beehives in your apiary, then you probably feed some form of antibiotics or take some precautions against mites. Lately I have been helping a beekeeper near Niagara Falls Ontario Canada as he works to unwrap his beehives from winter hibernation. They are covered in black garbage bags.
I watch as this veteran apiarist feeds each hive small amounts of medicine in three successive visits - three doses each spring. He keeps Oxysol 62.5 mixed with white cane sugar about 20:1 in a vacuum sealed glass container in the truck, and we sprinkle one tablespoon full on the top bars of every beehive we inspect and find alive in the month of April. This will protect the hive from American Foulbrood and European Foulbrood, otherwise known as Chalk Brood. These are bacterial infections - both are diseases that decompose or otherwise transform the Queen's eggs into smelly brown gravy.
I am researching an article on natural ways to protect beehives from disease and I could use all of your knowledge... how do you winter your bees? What medicines do you feed them? to keep them healthy and help them resist American Foulbrood?