This is the time of year when having done all the hard work in Autumn preparing their bees for winter, beekeepers have to rely on the bees to look after themselves... it can be worrying from time to time but we just remind ourselves that bees have been around for a long time and done just fine without us! It is now the time of year when I usually give them a Varroa treatment. Varroa are nasty little mites that attach themselves to bees and drink their blood as well as spreading viruses. Once temperatures get colder I'll be out using oxalic acid either in liquid form or as a vapour in order to kill off about 95% of the mites in the hive. The impact on the bees is minimal and in the long run beneficial to the strength of the colony in Spring. Until Spring I'll just be keeping an eye on hive weight for stores and checking they are well secured in case of storms.