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  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    michigan
    Posts
    393

    Post

    Hey Bjorn

    A good question to try and figure out is the long term winter loss/survival rate. It gives a much clearer picture of what is happening.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    West Harrison, NY, USA
    Posts
    261

    Post

    I went into winer with 3 hives in the proces of regression. Last year the produced VERY little surplus but I fed them in the fall so they went in with enough food.
    One hive was very strong and wintered in 3 deeps; one hive was a combine and also wintered in 3 deeps; the 3rd wintered in 2 deeps.
    Last year I fogged weekly throughout the summer and used emulsion cords. I saw very few mites until september, when the v. mite counts started mounting to close to one hundred per day in Novmebre [I recently discovered that a neighbohr with 6 hives did not treat at all and lost 4 of them to the mites; I think that may be the reason for the lack of effect of my fogging in the fall].
    I December I treated all the hives with oxalic acid once.
    I lost 2 of the 3. Interstingly (and surprisingly!) I lost the one that had regressed the best (to nearly 4.9mm cells in the brood box).
    In mid February I treated again with oxalic acid, and then again 2 weeks later and one more time one week after that. I have counts of fallen mites in the hundreds after each OA treatment. Now I think the numbers are finally really low, but I need to treat again in a week or 2 to check [I find that OA treatment is ineffective when temperatures are below 50oF, probably because the acid does not penetrate the cluster].

    I reversed the boxes 2 weeks ago, they have plenty of food and, on warm days, they have already been bringing pollen in for almost 2 weeks.
    Jorge

  3. #23
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    michigan
    Posts
    393

    Post

    Jorge

    Any idea what your natural mite fall is running?

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    West Harrison, NY, USA
    Posts
    261

    Post

    WineMan,

    right now it is 1 and 4 (in my 2 hives) as counted a couple of minutes ago (one week after my last oxalic acid application). However, I have noticed that the number depends on the temperature of the day: when they are flying it is higher than when they are clustered (as today since the temps did not go above 45oF). I am keeping track of mite fall as a function of average temp. I don't have enough numbers yet, but I am almost certain that it has an effect. I will report when I have a better sample.

    Jorge

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    michigan
    Posts
    393

    Post

    Temp has a huge impact on my autumn natural fall numbers. Cold clusters keep them mites from hitting the bottom.

    Even with the cold, those natural fall numbers are still fairly low numbers. Id guess the treatment had a big impact if you had a number of 100 going into the fall. To see a couple hundred after treatment this spring isnt all that much.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Lynnville, Ia, USA
    Posts
    165

    Post

    We took 400 colonies into winter. Our normal winter loss is 15 to 20%. Our loss so far this winter is 5%. It's still pretty early but I have really big clusters of bees. We probably average 6 to 7 frames on 300 of the colonies and a lot of them have a box full. We have carniolan and Russian bees but the winter loss was about the same for the two types. The Russians ahve slightly smaller clusters. This is the first good thing I have had to say about the Russians. We treated half our yards with a single strip of Checkmite last fall. The other half had a mite load(Varroa) of 5% or less. I gave them a strip this spring. We sampled for tracheal mites last fall and found less than 1%. The fall here was good. We had pollen coming in until mid November. We fed heavily. I would guess we averaged 4 gallons per colony. Our bees were all wrapped and had insulation boards under the inner covers.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    82

    Post

    A newbie here myself, but i had 2 hives going into the winter...one had fewer stores than the other, and always seemed to do less. I use SBB on both, closed. I also have the small foundation, and these are brand new hives (from last spring...had a hard summer with no rain, and not much flowering). I fogged a little bit, but I was only dropping maybe 20 mites last fall, so I quit.

    The better hive is doing great, the other less stores hive is doing okay, but not near the number of bees. I put protein/food patties on 2 weekends ago. I may start feeding the small colony sugarwater to get them ramped up.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Kennebunk, Maine
    Posts
    202

    Post

    I started 2 hives from packages last year. One Italian in a DE Hive and one Starline in a Langstroth. I used apistan in both in the fall.
    So far both hives have survived and I can already see some bees returning with pollen. I started feeding sugar syrup at the beginning of March just to be sure they didn't run out of stores due to the severe cold in January.
    The Starline colony in the Langstroth seems to have many more bees than the Italians in the DE Hive.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    portland
    Posts
    85

    Post

    5 hives going into winter. Two of them in a deep and medium super, the rest in two deeps. Lost two hives (the ones in a deep and medium) and the most apparent reason would be heavy amounts of moisture although the two weak colonies died so quickly about 3 weeks ago that I suspected tracheal mites (which I never treated for). I started last spring with 2 hives but essentially only one produced enough bees for good splits. I went through hell with the other hive -- Failing queen, replaced with rejected queen, then laying workers, another rejected queen and finally I got things sorted out by introducing a queen to a nuc, shaking all the laying worker hive bees in the middle of the bee yard, and putting the nuc into the laying worker hive (with the nuc bees saturated with sugarsyrup and essential oil mist) before they all made it back. I learned quite a bit, but hopefully I won’t have to use all that knowledge in the near future. J

    The three hives are doing very well right now with about 8 frames of bees and 5 frames of brood. SBB on all hives, closed for now, open in the summer. Crisco patties with wintergreen oil, TM, and 1:1 feed with lemongrass and spearmint oils (HBH home brew).

    One thing that is interesting is that the hive that was hit with AFB and treated by burning the bad frames,scorching, and treating with TM is doing very well with no signs of the disease despite the fact that the hive is a bit small at this stage.

    Its sunny today but the forecast is for 10 days of rain in 2 weeks so I will be quick to put some more syrup and oil in the millers.

    In a nutshell, that’s all.


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