Right, forgot to make a little note here. My colonies (except for the Carniolan) are kicking the drones out left, right and centre. Poor old mature ones, ones in the purple eye stage, even younger. Drones I guess have had their day. And I bet this is one really good form of inadventent varroa mite controls that are helping the bees along a bit.
My mite levels are very low (well, they were a couple of weeks ago), I saw no need to treat the hives at this time with Formic Acid, it would have been unnecessary. I attribute this to the sugar shakes and screened bottomboards that were in place in the summer (SBB are still in place). These two tools were effective in my judgement. Now with so much drone removal, I think that the bees will have even lower mite levels.
Around the beginning of December I will apply oxalic acid (broodless period) to rid the bees of any mites that may be lingering on. We will start the next season with a fresh, young bunch of bees, grown without the blinking mites sucking the very life out of them. Yeah!!!!! Have a wonderful day, enjoy our great life we have to live. Cindi