Give me your thoughts on when to remove supers from hives in the later part of the summer and still leave enough stores for Winter. What do you consider in making this decision?
When I have time and the weather is not so hot that I will not faint from heat stroke. Also, how long will they end up on my kitchen floor and how long before my wife complains about it? How long before I have time to extract it? Basically the bees will take care of it as long as it's on the hive. After I remove them they are MY responsibility. I have to keep the ants and the wax moths and the mice out and I have to do something with them before too long.
It won't really matter to the bees.
In the past I left them on until it was time to install the Apistan or Checkmite. This year I will not use those treatments, I am opting to use the oxalic strips instead.
I consider myself as growing bees/colonys this year, not particulary honey. So I will still wait until about that time so I can even out the stores for the weaker hives.
To answer your question, early October.
Requeening in early September.
Flint Hills Bee Farmer
Flint hills is very beautiful. My brother lives near them from the Topeka side......
Oh and I took my share in July. Then started helping them to build up in numbers and ready to winter....
If I don't get a lot of honey next year, I'll be sore.
If I was seeing a lot of mites I would get them off as quickly as possible to save the bees.This year our bees look strong and healthy(so far)so I feel no urgency.Plus the fact that it was a poor year here and there are lots of empty supers.When the honey is ripe and it is still warm enough for fume boards to work are other considerations.I guess I will start when I feel no more surplus nectar is going into the supers.Right now the bees are still too strong for me to want to crowd them into just 2 boxes.
MY PROBLEM: have a two story brood chamber hive very strong , loaded with bees. for the past few weeks I have noticed young bees being thrown out with crinkeled wings, which i believe is a sign of mites . but the bees are still super strong. they have 3 medium supers on two are 3/4 full uncapped one I just put on about 4 days ago , a wet super. the golden rod and fall flowers are just about to begin. WHAT SHALL I DO ????? Without a doubt they will be able to fill them but this mite thing has me worried . thanks Walt
I'd say the mites are about to come after you. My screened bottom boards have gone all summer with 0-1 mites per week but in the last 2 weeks the number has jumped to 5-7 per week. I am expecting to see that number more than double each week going forward.
>MY PROBLEM: have a two story brood chamber hive very strong , loaded with bees. for the past few weeks I have noticed young bees being thrown out with crinkeled wings, which i believe is a sign of mites .
Could be a signe of mites. Have you done a drop test? How do you know that they are "young bees" and not old worn out field bees? Both are possible, but I would definitely do a drop test to see if there are mites.
>but the bees are still super strong. they have 3 medium supers on two are 3/4 full uncapped one I just put on about 4 days ago , a wet super. the golden rod and fall flowers are just about to begin. WHAT SHALL I DO ?????
Do a drop test. If you get 100 mites or more in 24 hours you have SERIOUS problems. If you have a few (10 or so) then you're probably ok for now. If you decide it's the mites and the deformed wing virus then you need to treat for the mites and maybe for the virus too.
Essential oils seem to be good for the virus. In fact, I don't know of anything else that is effective. If you pull all the supers off and put some new empty ones on (since there is a flow going on). You can figure whatever they put away while you treat is bee food for winter stores or you can extract it and feed it later. If you put on boxes that are the same size as your brood chambers you can use frames out of there to replace emtpy frames in the brood chamber before the cold sets in for winter stores later. You always need bee food anyway.
Anyway, you can feed wintergreen syrup and wintergreen grease patties for the virus. Antibiotics don't work on viruses anyway, so don't bother with any.
Are you using anything now for the mites? Do you have some plan on what you want to use? If you are of the "biological" or "organic" camp, then you need to use FGMO fog and cords and/or whatever else you think you want to try. Some drone comb and freezing it right after it's capped could pull a lot of mites out of a hive.
If you are of the "better living through chemistry" camp, use the Apistan or Check Mite.
Either way, do another drop test during treatment (except for the drone comb method because they won't fall, they will go into the capped cells) and another a week or so after. The one during will tell you if your treatment is getting mites off. The one after will tell you if the population has dropped much. I've seen Apistan fail totally and I've seen Mite Check poison all the bees, especially te queen. So don't assume that your treatment is working without evidence.
>Without a doubt they will be able to fill them but this mite thing has me worried .
It should have you worried, but you should try to find out if that is the problem and deal with it.
The other possibility is that they are actually worn out field bees with their wings worn to a frazzle from working. But I would find out. Don't assume.
If your bees have deformed wings and they're being kicked out of the hive, you'll see them crawling around on the ground constantly cleaning themselves and can't fly and trying to get back into the hive........
I had this problem a while back and began using the brood spray on the brood area and I gave them feeding of wintergreen syrup that is (like Micheal said) to feed to the brood before it's capped, killing the mite eggs that are being put into the cells by the adult female.
* 5 quarts water
* 10 lbs sugar of your choice
* 1 teaspoon- Wintergreen essential oil
* 1/2 teaspoon lecithin (we use granules)
Makes approximately 2 gallons
1. Heat water to near boil and add lecithin
2. Stir in lecithin until dissolved
3. Take water off burner and add sugar. Stir well until dissolved.
4. Add the Wintergreen oil and stir until well mixed.
Note: Make certain the heat is not on the pan before the sugar is added.
A pinch of salt should be added to unrefined (or brown) sugars.
5-10% apple cider vinegar to syrups is healthful to the bees.
When Honey or natural syrups are used, 5-10% water (or vinegar or a mixture of the two) should be added before feeding.
Improved Wintergreen syrup (as 1:1 Water:Sugar ratio) proportions for Spring Feeding
Syrup ratio is a 1:1 sugar/water mixture.
Syrup ratio is 1:1 as above and the Wintergreen essential oil may be doubled.
When drones are being reared, the mite population will suddenly increase. Delivering the essential oil/syrup directly to the brood area offers significant inhibition of mite propagation.
Syrup ratio is a 2:1 sugar/water mixture. (i.e. 2 parts sugar to 1 part water)
Essential oils need not be limited to wintergreen, but may include many mints and other aromatics...........
Like Micheal said, you should take the honey and treat asap.
I sprayed the brood at least weekly, (you can do it more often) I fed them syrup, I used the wintergreen in my patties to place on top of brood nest, ( i use olive oil ) etc.
I use a very fine mist sprayer on the bottle.
I never smoke them because they're weakened as it is, in this condition and I think smoking adds to the stress and weakens them even more. I use the spray as anyone else would use smoke.
Mites aren't just on their backs, I've seen the mite attach itself on their sides under the wing area. So, with this information I began spraying them on my porch where I sat out sugar water for them to "forage" (because of the drought and they have no nectar flow). I sprayed into the air to get it hopefully under the wings and in direct contact with the mite. It causes the mites to drop off of them.
>Are you using anything now for the mites? Do you have some plan on what you want to use? If you are of the "biological" or "organic" camp, then you need to use FGMO fog and cords and/or whatever else you think you want to try. Some drone comb and freezing it right after it's capped could pull a lot of mites out of a hive.
If you are of the "better living through chemistry" camp, use the Apistan or Check Mite.
Or Oxalic strips that some of us are trying now.
Ozzy in Oz
I *THINK* the oxalic acid strips may work well. Unfortunately there isn't that much data available on the strips.
Also, oxalic acid is kind of in the middle on the "chemical" issue. It's a caustic chemical, but not so much a complex chemical that had systemic effects on the mites and the bees, but an organic acid that does exist in the honey already (in smaller amounts).
Of course technically, water is a chemical. So is the air we breath (which is made up of quite a few chemicals). But in common terms, a chemical is usually something that is not commonly, naturally occuring that was engineered by humans for some specific purpose and has a chemical reaction of some kind.
Lots of good info.What you are facing has been a problem since varroa arrived:Should I remove the supers and treat and lose honey,or take a chance and go for the late crop.It is especially tempting to take a chance with honey prices so high.The other problem with taking supers off is if there is a strong flow,the bees may jam up the brood nest too much and restrict the queens egg laying.Some might think thats a good thing,but not me.It all depends on where you are,and what you can expect in the way of a fall flow.MB's advice on leaving a super on for later feeding is a good compromise.If it were me I wouldnt hesitate to pull the supers and treat any hive that was showing DWV.Around here they will crash pretty quickly if not treated immediately,so you dont get any honey,plus you lose the bees.
I haven't use any of the essential oil's yet,but am thinking about using them.Could someone tell me what is lecithin,am not familiar with that term,and where can it be purchased?
No i haven't treated them for mites or etc. It is a new package this year . strong as any i seen as far as the wings go one can tell there young bees because of the real light yellow of the cordovans and the furry middle the wings look like ceophine(spelled that wrong im sure) I have a screen bottom board on them all year. where do i get this spearmint and lech. oil? It seems like Im damned if I do and damned if I don't
I've noticed that in a bad mite year,the cordovans were always the first to crash from DWV.I assumed this was because they were raising more brood but that might not be right.In any case I look them over pretty carefully for mites.They sure stand out on the cordovans.
I go to a chain store called Whole Foods. It is basicly a health food store. Just about any health food store worth it's salt will sell essential oils. Lechitin can be bought there too, I recomend the granuals, they dissoved better for me.
Healthy in the Heartland
>Could someone tell me what is lecithin,am not familiar with that term
Lecithin is a plant derivitive, most often it's extracted from Soy Beans. Chemically it is a glyceride. Meaning it is made up of carbon chains that are both disolvable in water and in oil. Glycerine it similar substance that is derived from animal fat and has the same properties. The purpose in essention oils is to get them to disolve. I use honey for that purpose and have very good luck with it. Just dissolve the oils in the honey first. Stir them well and let them set for a few days and they will be well distributed in the honey. Then you can mix the honey with syrup and the oils will disolve in the syrup. Lecithin accomplishes the same thing without the honey.
My advice, you need to start a mite treatment program in your hives and have the mite problem managable before your honeyflow. Use the chem strips for a solid treatment and get the mite pop under control, then it is safer to chance it with all the "biological" or "organic" treatments if thats your fancy.
Right now I think you should leave the supers on and collect your honey, and do a fall hive treatment with chem strips, monitor your mite drop and learn from your experience. If your hives are sick enough that a fall treatment is too late, treating them a month earlier might not save the colony anyway.