“Deep in the heart of winter,

When nothing seems to be alive, 

The bees are clustered, safe and sound,

Deep in the heart of the hive.”

A Winter Apiary, Liz Westcott

Jobs To Do

Check your hives regularly for any external damage by weather or animals.  Try not to disturb your bees.  Doing this will cause them to expend more energy and will require more food stores.  Far too many colonies are easily lost due to starvation.  Best to leave bees uninterrupted throughout the winter months. Whilst long evenings are with us there is plenty of time to read beekeeping related books and articles.  

In December there is very little to do in the apiary.  Your bees will be staying together in a cluster to keep warm and the queen will not be laying eggs.

Enjoy a poem written by Devon beekeeper Liz Westcott – The Poetry of Bees.


National Bee Supplies are now selling VarroMed, an organic varroa treatment containing oxalic and formic acid.  Best used during broodless periods(December, January time) however can also be used any time when there are no supers for honey on the hive.

We have tried this treatment at the NBS apiary and are really pleased with the ease of use and results. 

Comes in a 555ml bottle of pre mixed solution.  Measuring scale is provided on the side of the bottle.

Instructions for use:

  1. Gently lift the roof and the cover board of your hive.
  2. Use a bit of smoke to keep the bees down.
  3. Depending on how big the cluster of your colony is, use between 15-45 ml of the product per hive. Drizzle VarroMed over the bees between the topbars of the brood chamber.
  4. Close the hive.
  5. Check your varroa floor tray for mites after one and seven days.

Product Of The Month

Organic varroa treatment for use on honey bees apis mellifera only. VarroMed contains; formic acid 5mg/ml + oxalic acid dihydrate 44mg/ml. Do not use during honey flow. VarroMed is an in-hive use. To be trickled onto the bees in occupied bee-spaces of the brood box. We would recommend using a syringe for applying the product in bee-spaces.

Varromed should be used at times when bees have low activity (evening). Before use, treatment should be at room temperature and well shaken. It is recommended to remove the wax bridges between the top bars of the frames before application of the product. All hives in one apiary should be treated at the same time to minimize the risk of reinfestation.