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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Callifornia Serria\'s
    Posts
    35

    Post

    I have an odd situation. All three of my hive are displaying the same characteristics in brood and hive strength. The hives are week, and the brood is not in a healthy patternl, similar to foulbrood. But i see no sunken in caps and gooey insides. I did just treat for varroa with apistan, but there are still some amount in the hives. Could this be because of the varroa mite, or could it be something else? If it is varroa mite, what other method could i use to rid of them? Im sure everyone has their own method that works for them.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Lima, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    721

    Post

    It could very well be PMS (Parasitic Mite Syndrome) which is caused by Varroa. It looks very much like foulbrood, but won't have the same smell (though it can smell of dead brood), and when tested with a toothpick the dead brood won't be ropey (is that a word?). I've also seen high amounts of chalk brood at the same time and the brood seems to die at any age (from the youngest larvae to pupae half emerged as adults).

    Apistan is not likely to do much to the Varroa mite as there is reportedly widespread resistance (probably doublely true for CA) and the same can be true of CheckMite. Fortunately there are plenty of other treatments now on the market. Api-Life Var, Apigard, Mite-Away II, other formic acid treatments, oxalic acid, sucrocide, powdered sugar treatments etc. You would have to check which ones are registered in your state and are legal for use. You beekeeping supply dealer should know which are legal (at least the ones commercially available). Just do a search on this forum and you'll find lots of advice on the other treatments.

    While I try to use softer treatments myself when necessary (and some may only provide partial control which can be enough under normal conditions), It sounds like you have a pretty advanced infestation and I would recommend one of the alternate commercial treatments this time to try and save them (Mite Away II, ApiLife Var, or ApiGuard). Then when you have times take a closer look at the other treatments.

    -Tim

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    2,837

    Post

    mackles . . .

    What were your mite counts back in June, July and August?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,071

    Post

    I would still susepect foul brood.

    Open some caps, the brood in all stages must be pure white.

    If brood is found that is brown or tan, then you have foulbrood.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Buda, Texas
    Posts
    922

    Post

    Mackles,
    Do you have any pics you could post? If so, that would help greatly. I have a brood problem in one of my hives that may be similar. See this thread that is currently active:
    http://www.beesource.com/cgi-bin/ubb...=007055#000007
    "I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. " John 10:11

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    2,837

    Post

    Pcolar . . .

    >If brood is found that is brown or tan, then you have foulbrood.

    Is this a "fool-proof test"?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Lima, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    721

    Post

    Any dead brood can be brown or tan, hardly a food-proof test. The rope test is better, though the only real test is either in a lab or the recently available home version.

    -Tim

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    1,649

    Post

    >If brood is found that is brown or tan, then you have foulbrood.

    FWIW, decaying brood can turn color from other maladies besides foulbrood.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Callifornia Serria\'s
    Posts
    35

    Post

    Well i found one cell with a little stringyness to it, not much, but was made me a little confused was that the larva was white and alive, i just smashed it by using a piece of wire. I will try to get a pic in, i think it is mites tho. I have had little luck with powdered sugar, thats why i used apistan. I have heard things about formic acid, i will mabye try that. Surocide works almost not at all in CA. Every beekeeper i have talked to which has amounted to about 1000 hives worth say it does little if nothing for mites. Thanks for the advice, i try to get some treatments asap.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,071

    Post

    --Is this a "fool-proof test"?
    --FWIW, decaying brood can turn color from other maladies besides foulbrood.

    Well the first step in any diagnosis is to look at all stages of brood to see that they are white. Any brown larve would usually indicate somthing abnormal and further testing would be warrented.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    1,649

    Post

    not normal and further investigation I think most can agree on, but you wrote:

    "If brood is found that is brown or tan, then you have foulbrood"

    For shame Joe!! You should be stripped naked, tied in front of a known Africanized hive, and then have it kicked over. [img]tongue.gif[/img]

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,071

    Post

    --not normal and further investigation I think most can agree on, but you wrote:

    --"If brood is found that is brown or tan, then you have foulbrood"

    Although, I myself am able to identify foulbrood with a rather high degree of accuracy by its visual aspects, I occasionally forget that it is difficult to convey this same accuracy when writing descriptions over the internet in what to specifically look for to diagnose brood maladies in honeybee colonies.

    One of the first things I look for in every time when I enter a colony is the coloration and all other aspects concerning the health of brood in all stages, because this is the ’furnace’ of the colony and often the first place problems will be able to be detected

    It’s much easier in person, then you can point to some brood and say “see that there? That’s bad” “see that there?,, that’s good” [img]smile.gif[/img]

    I’m am currently assisting a new bee down the road that is much the same as the internet. I say “see that there?” and he says “Joe, remember? I have bad vision, I have difficulty seeing the young larva”. Then I say “Smell that banana smell?, the bees are getting alarmed”. Then he says “Joe, remember? I have no sense of smell, I can’s smell anything.” So I sometimes forget these things.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    2,837

    Post

    Pcolar . . .

    I'll bet you are "good in person" [img]smile.gif[/img] and thanx for conveying that same accuracy here.

    Thank you.

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