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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, VA
    Posts
    49

    Post

    Total of five hives. Using apiguard on three. Killed queens on two and let them raise new queens. One week after killing queens I put built out drone foundation in other hives to get larva. Transferred to broodless hives after two weeks from killing queens - noticed several queen cells that were being torn down (good news). One of the drone frames had a lot more drone brood than the other. Pulled the two drone frames today. One has capped brood on both side completely covering it. The other has only about 1/2 of one side capped. New brood and larva found in both hives. Hope i got the little buggers.

    Next year I think I will simply try to cage the queen.

    Any comments?

    Eric

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,917

    Post

    Killing her will get you a new queen. Caging her won't. Caging her skips a lot of the risk that they might fail at raising the new queen. Of course, putting her in a two frame nuc to bank her will get you both a new queen and the insurance of an old queen if they fail.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Edgefield County, South Carolina
    Posts
    648

    Post

    Good point MB!!!
    sc-bee

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, VA
    Posts
    49

    Post

    Michael,

    Will caging her for say three weeks hurt her? Should I use a regular small queen cage (like queens are shipped in) or would one of those cages (like 2 inch square) you push into the comb work (maybe give her a little more room)?

    On the two frame nuc idea, won't the bees on those frames still carry the mites? Then when I put them back into the hive the mites will just explode again? Or do I just put the quuen with a few bees on an empty two frames in a nuc?

    As always, thanks,

    Eric

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

    Post

    Eric,
    there is a method of using Drone traps to practically rid a hive of varroa which won't have you killing or caging the queen. Instead, a split is made which gets drone comb. Before the drone comb is capped, it is put in the queenless parent hive which is also broodless. As they cap the drone, they trap the varroa. There are of course subsequent steps in order to varroa-free the split. it is well written about here, just realize that it IS labor intensive....

    http://www.xs4all.nl/~jtemp/dronemethod.html

    Waya
    WayaCoyote

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,917

    Post

    >Will caging her for say three weeks hurt her?

    No.

    >Should I use a regular small queen cage (like queens are shipped in) or would one of those cages (like 2 inch square) you push into the comb work (maybe give her a little more room)?

    The push in will give her some room, but the bees will tunnel under it. Just use a shipping cage or make a cage out of #8 hardware cloth.

    >On the two frame nuc idea, won't the bees on those frames still carry the mites?

    How many mites will be on two frames of bees?

    >Then when I put them back into the hive the mites will just explode again?

    You'll never get all the mites.

    > Or do I just put the quuen with a few bees on an empty two frames in a nuc?

    I'd put a frame of open brood and a frame of honey in the nuc with the queen.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, VA
    Posts
    49

    Post

    Michael,

    I am thinking maybe to introduce some small-cell into my brood boxes next year. I have two hives that were from feral swarms (the bees look small to me) this year and they are building wax hanging off of medium frames I put into deep boxes (on a "temporary" basis). My question is next year would I be better just putting a few empty frames in with nothing on them or should I buy some foundation this winter and rig up the frames. Right now I have plastic everywhere in my hives. I am hoping that if I let them build out small cell next year, I will preserve the natural small-cell tendency and not have to go through "regressions" - not that I understand what regressions are.

    Thanks,

    Eric

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,917

    Post

    >My question is next year would I be better just putting a few empty frames in with nothing on them or should I buy some foundation this winter and rig up the frames.

    I never put foundation in until just before I put the frames in the hive. Wax tends to sag.

    It doesn't really matter if you use small cell foundation or foundationless frames. The end result is still natural sized comb and the result of that is less Varroa. I think it's more a philisophical thing. If you like to have control, use the foundation. If you like the bees to have control, use the foundationless frames or starter strips.

    >I am hoping that if I let them build out small cell next year, I will preserve the natural small-cell tendency and not have to go through "regressions" - not that I understand what regressions are.

    If you have large cell comb in it now they will be large bees by the time you start feeding small cell in. Regression is just that large bees aren't quite ready to build small cells. But a turnover of bees and combs (regression) will get your there.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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