I was wondering if it is a feasable for a commercial beekeeper with say a thousand colonies to apply this method. I suppose that the fogging doesn't represent a lot of work since it takes only a few seconds by colony, but the replacement of the cords on each brood box and honey super must be difficult ?
I'd like your opinions on that
I have not tried it, but I have contemplated how it could be done in a practical manner. If you could come up with a way to insert the cords without moving supers off, I think it could be practical. I don't think it's very practical if you have to dig all the way to the brood chamber, but it's still more practical than the drone magnet method, which would require more exact timing and still require you to dig all the way to the brood chamber.
What if you had a hole on one corner of the brood box, big enough to push a cord in with a wire, a stiff wire, or welding rod with a hook designed to push the cord in but let go when you pull out (just a "u" shape on the end to catch the cord) and a hole in top of the brood box to let you push it in. Then you could put the "u" in the middle of the cord and shove it to the far corner. It wouldn't help you remove them, but you could put them in. If you left the end hanging out a little, maybe you could pull them back out? I have not tried this, but it does seem like a possibility.
Or, how about this. You remember the cloth towel dispensers in the restrooms with a loop on them? What if you had a holes at both ends of the top of the bottom brood nest and evertime you wanted to put new cords you tied them to the old ones and used the old ones to pull the new ones through? I think this might be practical. As long as you replace them before they get chewed through.
Placement of the cords directly on the brood chamber frames is the most effective way to apply the FGMO emulsion-soaked cords. However, should you wish to save time, placing the cords on the honey frames is okay. You will need more cords in order for the bees to have enough FGMO distributed down into the area where the nurse bees )those carrying most of the bred varroa.
It will depend on the strength of your colonies. The bottom line is that you have to have the bees bearing varroa come in contact with FGMO for it to work. I will soon publish this years work intoducing a very promising variant to FGMO application may offer a solution to the location of the cords. FGMO marches on.
Hi Dr Rodriguez,
Thank you for your reply. But I am a little bit confused after reading almost all of this FGMO forum: I had the impression that you had to place cords on EACH box, brood or honey. I was wrong ? That would make sense after all, because placing cords everywhere would be very much work to do.
As you increase the number of hives, you begin to inspect frame by frame alot less. Perhaps once in the spring when doing splits/manipulations and once in the fall. Reading the hive activity at the entrance and through the inner cover is almost as important as ripping the entire hive apart.
I have not been an advocate of the fogger as it seems to do little in the long range plans to overcome the mite problem. Short term I think it can "bridge" the gap until another procedure can be found. To follow the procedure can be daunting when applied to hundreds of hives. I am hoping that new chemicals and other research such as genetics will help the long range plans for a simpler approach.
Fogging now, until another approach is better than dead hives.
Commercial beekeepers are usually experienced and perhaps better at managing the colonies. They certainly can absorbe losses better with many colonies to do splits from. If your willing to knock the mites down in the fall, most healthy hives will make it to spring.
I am also a big believer that mites are blamed for every hive death. And this is simply not true.
Our colonies are now getting fairly strong. We have been waiting until now since they were all new packages this spring.
We mixed up the recipe you provided and soaked up the cords from a dismantled industrial cotton mop head. We placed 3 cords of about 30" each on the top of frames in each box. We will start fogging now also. We plan on doing a sticky board test.
Just 2 comments about this.
1. We noted that just after a couple of days the bees were busy tearing apart the cords and some were caught in them.
2. The mixture seemed to be somewhat watery, maybe a little less water would have helped to make the cords, how should I say, stiffer or more consentrated with the oil?
We have yet to see any bees with mites on them, I will update after our sticky board tests.
Stephen & Lori -in Michigan
Abeille, I have been experementing for the last few weeks with a frame made from 2"x1", the same dimensions as the Brood Chamber, it is placed on top of the Queen excluder, under the supers.
It has two 7/8" holes 6" apart on opposite sides. The top is rebated to take 1" slats 3/8" apart. The slats prevent the Bees extending the comb in the lowest super downwards
The 36" long cords are tied in a loop and pulled across through the holes, leaving enough of the loop protruding for a grip to remove two weeks later.
One or two small problems have arisen! The bees build wild comb in the frame which can make it difficult locating the hole on the opposite side. They also get a bit Irate with the wire in bad weather otherwise it is working fine and I am getting a steady mite fall. Give it a try? Best Of Luck.
>One or two small problems have arisen! The bees build wild comb in the frame which can make it difficult locating the hole on the opposite side. They also get a bit Irate with the wire in bad weather otherwise it is working fine and I am getting a steady mite fall.
The idea is sound. Where are they building the comb? Can you reduce the space where they are building it to a beespaces (not less than 1/4" (6.4mm)and not more than 3/8"(9.5mm))or does it cause other problems if you do?
Sounds like a good design.
The comb is being built in the void created by the frame, which is the space between the excluder and the underside of the slats. Im sure it could be made smaller, but it might make it more difficult getting the cords across.