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  1. #21
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    Jun 2000
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    Post

    Good to know God gets it right sometimes...maybe it's directly linked to the fervour of prayer?

    Do not ever worry about sounding stupid...it's when you think you sound clever that it's time to worry!

    I'm now triple gobsmacked. Refer me to some more good stuff and I will broadcast it around, quite loudly too. I'll digest that, it's age is both good and bad, but if the acaracides don't work why are they getting away with it? Proof of the sort in that research is surely grounds for lawsuits by farmers with mitey spray bills and mitier mites?

    The varroa mite is well written up, follow links or try search under bee disease. Temperature is a biggy...as is general colony health, which is very dependent on ventilation.

    Regards
    John
    (Had some fun on Hobie cat...no more than 30miles a stretch tho!)

  2. #22
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    Jun 2000
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    Exclamation



    Journal of Economic Entomology, volume 84, Number 4, August 1991, published by the Entomological Society of America, paper titled:Effect of Fenvalerate on Control of European Red Mite (Acari: Tetranychidae) on Peaches with Acaricides, by Fred C. Swift

    Abstract: The effect of fenvalerate on acaricidal control of European red mite,

    Well all

    I am still stunned. But now confused (again)What is Fenvalerate anyway?
    Perhaps the Penman and Chapman papers have more? Varroa in my hives was
    reduced to an undetectable level by Apistan. An Acaricide. £4 per hive. A
    fraction of the cost of organic control. Prohibitive cost to the Earth? I
    certainly should be planning to use it next year again. (I'm not for 5 hives)

    I am sure it is a different Acaricide, or a different mite. Something will
    be "unscientific" about those facts I'm sure. The question is survival
    without chemicals,
    which I suppose implies survival without chemists. Which means the chemists'
    figures will skew. I guess beekeepers in the UK should thank their isolation
    and
    climate for ensuring relatively strong, unpampered bees. Less profit to tap
    into here too.

    Please straighten me out here, is Fenvalerate an acaricide?


    John.



  3. #23
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    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
    Posts
    397

    Post

    This is written in reply to John Sewell's post of 11-17-2000 08:52 AM

    John wrote:

    Please straighten me out here, is Fenvalerate an acaricide? What is Fenvalerate anyway?

    Reply:

    Well John, just like fluvalinate is known as mavrik, fenvalerate is known as pydrin and both have been used on mites.

    Both chemicals are in the family of chemicals called pyrethroids and both as synthetic-pyrethroid compounds are used as selective contact and stomach-poison insecticides, which means they kill by contact like we have been told, but also poison the stomach at the same time which we have not all been told, and as you know the stomach is important to bees in food gathering and processing honey ( and this is another story that hurts the bees to have damaged, with its beneficial bacteria, etc for digestion of food).

    Now John, there are type I and type II pyrethroids. Type II pyrethroids kill to the negative as the weather gets colder, and wetter tends to make it worse.

    As one hops onto what is called the pesticide treadmill using chemicals the killing action is good at first for a few short years, then selective resistance sets in and the insect pests come back with the survivors breeding and gaining numbers for you can never have a 100 % kill of anything.

    For more info on the Chemical Treadmill see: http://www.beesource.com/pov/lusby/chemdata.htm


    By both chemicals belonging to the family of pyrethroids, when you gain resistance to one chemical you automatically gain resistance to all generally within the same family, so as resistance grows one to the other and in agricultural crops, crop transfer of pests one to the other is common place, and thus you can readily spread pests around, not only by moving bees, but by moving the various crops they are also associated with from field to harvest, to processing, etc to market.Mites have been found on decaying fruits in markets.

    One more thing to mention about pyrethroids is that they are never to be used both before or after use of the chemical coumaphos.

    So to answer your question fenvalerate is an acaricide and it is also a pyrethroid just like its sister chemical fluvalinate.

    More questions, comments, anyone?

    Dee A. Lusby


  4. #24
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    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
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    Post

    Forrest, writing as sailingcat on 16 Nov 2000 09:30 AM wrote:

    A few questions. Has anyone placed mites in the frig to see how long they live? Better still, place live bees with mites in the frig. Will the mites live or drip off? At what temperature? In the winter, has anyone checked a brood nest to see if there are mites on the outside bees or are they on bees at the center of the ball where the temperature is higher?

    Reply:

    Well, Forrest, to answer your question I will have to use some imformation written by Dr Ingemar Fries, Bee Division, swedish Univ of Agric Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden written as Varroa in Cold Climates in the book Living with Varroa, edited by Andrew Matheson from the Proceeding of an IBRA Symposium in London, 21 November 1992.

    From Dr Fries we learn that,in spite of the limited time for reproduction in temperate climates varroa has proved to build up population levels that are detrimental to bee colonies; and that varroa may stay as phoretic mites on the adult bees for months and still be ready to reproduce later.

    I have been told by friends visiting from Sweden that this period can be sometimes 5-6 months long, so you might have the bees and mites in there a long time, with the mites probably outliving the bees.

    This fact is further brought home by Dr Fries in the same paper when he stated that, the sealed drone combs can be burnt or frozen to kill the mites. If the combs are frozen they can be reused as the bees will clean out dead frozen brood, especially if the brood is uncapped with a knife before the combs are returned to the hive. He further stated that however, the drone cocoon is thcker than the worker cocoon, so some of the mites may survive the treatment recommended for worker brood combs.

    In other words before the mites freeze and die the bees and any larvae or pupae are dead. Such is the survivalability of mites.

    However, if you were to look closely at your bees in the winter clustered you will find mites throughout the cluster. The reason for this is the mites are in a phoretic state and to survive so long without brood cells, they need an alternate food source, and so they lodge themselves between the tergits, on the abdomen of the worker bees, so they can have nourishment by sucking bee blood.

    As bees have to continually rotate from within to without in the cluster to survive for heat regeneration, you will find therefore find them dispersed as the bees rotate.

    Forrest also further wrote:

    I think Juan stated, he noticed an increase in mites during the increase of brood rearing. Is this because of the increase in outside temperature and also the increased metabolism of the bees, causing a heat and moisture buildup in the hive? Is the hive ventilation in question? If we were able to keep the hive cooler, will that help.

    Reply:

    No. It is because of the increase and start of fresh nectar and pollen stimulating the bees to begin rearing of new brood and thus giving the mites a place to transfer to for reproduction and continuance of species.

    If you were to keep the hive cooler and shut down or slow down brood rearing, I now ask you, how long would you have a viable colony?
    and would you make a decent crop to be happy?

    If we are to do these things, would they be natural? I think not and the bees would react in kind by not responding.

    The best long term solution will be to do what is natural, forget the artificial treatments not natural to a colony and let the bees overcome their own problem, by giving them the proper tools with which to work: namely, proper cell size within the natural range, proper natural diet of honey and pollen, natural propolis collection for disease control and enough commen sense to let the bees be happy.

    Comments and more questions, continuing thoughts.....Anyone?

    Dee A. Lusby



  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Reading England
    Posts
    32

    Post

    Dee said:


    "The best long term solution will be to do what is natural, forget the artificial treatments not natural to a colony and let the bees overcome their own problem, by giving them the proper tools with which to work: namely, proper cell size within the natural range, proper natural diet of honey and pollen, natural propolis collection for disease control and enough commen sense to let the bees be happy.

    Comments and more questions, continuing thoughts.....Anyone?

    Dee A. Lusby"

    Well Dee you've kind of summed it up...ain't nuthin left to it but to do it...Anyone in Europe/UK who has problems obtaining 4.9 foundation can mail me on

    lucindajohn@sewellhome.freeserve.co.uk.

    I'll trade for almost anything bee related...
    I'm now acheiving reasonable to good results from Dees plates, which more experienced beekeepers than I assure me the bees will utilise happily.

    It sounds like Thornes will be stocking Dadant's 4.9 foundation too, so that hurdle should be well and truly jumped.

    I'm making 5 nucleus hives with one small comb each and 4 frames with 4.9 foundation. Each entrance will be a Queen includer. Come Spring 01 I shake the strongest dark colonies I have left into those boxes. I'll feed them (maybe even honey),paint their covers black and double insulate walls to give them the best chance of drawing new comb. I'll build 1/2 size supers for those nucs, ones which do well will get supers of foundation which I'll steal as they draw it. The Canola/Oilseed flowers in April. The best comb drawers to size and health criteria will provide grubs to be reared as queens over another (dedicated) colony.

    Small mating hives will be made with combs of small cell. I'm not even going to attempt to get crop from them, just queens from 'cookers' and plenty (10+) nucleii for 2002. And of course proof of the system. I'm going to give all salvaged brood to my other stocks, which I will drug to the hilt, pour sugar syrup into and mercilessly exploit for my financial gain.

    I figure it will be an interesting comparison...both of time inputs and bee rewards. Over about 5 years....

    Some of the arguments those (copy theiving) vegans raise are perfectly legitamate...modern beekeepers use some fairly hard hearted management techniques. Even shakedown seems fairly brutal.

    It's only a matter of time until the health conscious public turn the spotlight on honey, and they're going to want similar guarantees of humane husbandry and lack of chemical inputs as, for example, free range poultry farmers have.

    Thanks to everyone who has given me answers to my often stupid questions...You'll get to hear the results !

    John Sewell.


  6. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
    Posts
    397

    Post

    Hey BARRY...


    What's the latest update on your bees?

    Anyone else with an update on bees surviving mites while trying to wean them from chemical treatments?

    Juandefuca?, Loggermike?, Paul B?, others???

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eolia, Mo., USA
    Posts
    5

    Question

    I am Brand new at beekeeping and very interested in the idea of downsized comb, but I have a question. If downsizing will cause bees to be able to deal with mites and wild bees make small cells, how come the wild German bees here in Missouri have been wiped out by the mites?
    Gene

  8. #28
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    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
    Posts
    397

    Post

    Gene, this is in reply to your post of 12-04-2000, 04:02 PM

    Gene, you wrote:

    If downsizing will cause bees to be able to deal with mites and wild bees make small cells, how come the wild German bees here in Missouri have been wiped out by the mites?

    Reply:

    Well, want quantitative evidence do you have that clearly shows the wild German bees in Missouri have been totally wiped out by the mites?

    Even in Arizona where I live, the domestic bees and even the feral bees were reported to have been killed off, but yet beekeepers never stopped picking up swarms.

    So my reply to you is, there are probably still feral bees left in uninhabited areas or less populated areas of the state still waiting to be located. I HAVE NEVER SEEN IN ANY ONE AREA, TOTAL WIPEOUT OF FERAL BEES.

    Those communicating with me when told to call RV parks, firestations, cities, towns and municipalities to put the word out they would pick up free swarms, have always called back saying they had all the work they could do and where therefore, mistaken in their notions the bees had disappeared.

    Try putting the word out all next year 2001 and then tell me if you get no swarm calls or cannot find your bees, in a given county or portion of the state.

    I think you will find bees are locatable for those willing to retrieve them for agricultural purposes.

    Comments??

    Best regards to you

    Dee

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Reading England
    Posts
    32

    Post

    Hiya Gene,
    John Speaking, welcome to bees! I'm only in year 2, and my advice is get as many colonies as you can even if only for a year or 2, you can always combine them and the gear will be useful. You need many colonies to really see what the books/screens show. They are individuals...

    Dee, here in UKgh most swarms are accepted to be from beekeepers. Woodsmen (foresters?) I've quizzed say there were colonies in trees, but not many nowadays. Are the swarms you refer to big? Surely if the feral colonies are surviving on their own then beekeepers shouldn't be shutting up shop? Or are financial forces bigger bloodsuckers than varroamites?

    John


  10. #30
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    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
    Posts
    397

    Post

    This post is in response to Johnsewell's post of 12-04-2000, 05:43 PM

    Besides welcoming Gene aboard to beekeeping Johnsewell wrote:

    Dee, here in UKgh most swarms are accepted to be from beekeepers. Woodsmen (foresters?) I've quizzed say there were colonies in trees, but not many nowadays. Are the swarms you refer to big?

    Reply:

    Yes, for the most part beekeepers are locating big swarms when the word is put out, but not necessarily to be found in trees. Quite a few beekeepers are finding them in old abandoned buildings, and old vehicles/equipment laying around from past bygone years setting idle that the bees have come into. Other places are in natural crevices and yes, old tree trunks or hanging out in the open. Hanging up under eaves of old houses is more common.

    Johnsewell then wrote:

    Surely if the feral colonies are surviving on their own then beekeepers shouldn't be shutting up shop? Or are financial forces bigger bloodsuckers than varroamites?

    Reply:

    Well, John economics does seem to be playing a big part in the process here in the USA and also beekeepers today seem to want the quick easy way of doing things more than in past days.

    Few are willing to work a sideline up into a profitable business of beekeeping anymore, especially with all the stories of gloom and doom, rather then saying here to them you can do it, and then show them how. Even after offering to show them how the old ways to keep bees, unless you have a gov union card many do not believe it is possible to keep bees anymore because so many say it can't be done.

    What we need is more dialogue that yes, it can be done, here is how you start and do it, now let's get going.

    You must believe that all things are possible if you believe in yourself and are willing to put the effort into it. Nothing comes at once in life, even keeping bees has a start in life, a workup period, and then success after you have done your time, through hard work in a realworld scenario.

    Keep us posted John on your progress.

    Hear you are making foundation now, getting a honey house ready besides lots of equipment to work bees.

    Why not explain it here since you will be working on it, so others can see also how to proceed.

    Looking forward to your progress reports and I am sure others will also. Keep going and others will too!

    Very best regards,

    Dee


  11. #31
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eolia, Mo., USA
    Posts
    5

    Big Grin

    Thanks for those replies on the absence of wild bees. Being a new comer to bee keeping I was just going by what I had been told locally.

    I started last year with one hive and have already bought new equipment for two new hives in the spring. (man, are there a lot of nails to drive) I want to keep these hives free of chemicals from the start and plan to use down sizing of cells to do it. I would appreciate input on my thoughts. I will be using 3lb. packages of bees and would like to know:

    1. Is one breed better than another for down sizing?
    2. Can bees that have already been down sized be purchased?

    My plan for each hive is as follows

    1. Start with 4 frames of 5.2 foundation
    and 6 frames with 4.9 starter strips.
    2. After these are filled, add second brood
    filled with 4.9 foundation.

    Question. Is it very likely that the bees will fill out the second box properly, or am I rushing it.

    I just found this website a couple of days ago and I really am thankful to be able to tap into all of the bee knowledge you folks have. If I say or ask anything stupid please forgive me or ignore me or something. I'm just glad to bee here. ha ha

    Very sincerely,
    Gene

  12. #32
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    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
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    Post

    This is in reply to Gene Nothaker's post of 12-05-2000, 03:39 PM

    Gene wrote:

    1. Is one breed better than another for down sizing?

    Reply:

    Try to find small caucasian breeders. Even the Russian bees being sold for varroa tolerance are a small black causacian strain. Purchasing from a small caucasian breeder your packages would be a whole lot cheaper than buying expensive patented Russian stock.

    Further, most bee breeders in the Gulf
    Port states are in an already naturally small cell size area by archival files, on the size of their bees, so even bees purchased from there, if on the right cell size, when shook down into packages, would be to the smaller tendancy, even if of the Italian type, as this type too, is originally from latitudes of naturally smaller broodcomb cell size.

    The Caucasian bees originally from what was called Eur-Asia territory, just Northeast of
    Turkey; and Italian bees from the Mediterranean area of the country of
    Italy.

    Gene wrote:

    2. Can bees that have already been down sized be purchased?

    Reply:

    Yes. A few commercial breeders has already downsized down onto the 900 series foundation sold by Dadants back around 1991 or so.

    A few have already even converted to 4.9 foundation along with us for the past four years or so and their bees are doing quite nicely, i.e. Bolling Bee in Greenville, Ala.

    Gene then wrote:

    My plan for each hive is as follows:

    1. Start with 4 frames of 5.2 foundation
    and 6 frames with 4.9 starter strips.
    2. After these are filled, add second brood
    filled with 4.9 foundation.

    Question. Is it very likely that the bees will fill out the second box properly, or am I rushing it?

    Reply:

    First Gene, forget the 5.2 and go to 4.9 foundation and starter strips. 5.2
    will only serve the purpose of being a crutch to keep the package bees sized
    larger and if ordered early enough in the spring, the bees will naturally draw smaller foundation, if purchased from a breeder with bees already on smaller combs from the Gulf Port state area.

    We have already had Amish hobbists do this, this past year, and it worked well for them up in the Ohio state area.

    Then, when the combs are drawn and the brood has emerged for a 60 day period, reshake the starter stip combs down and let the bees redraw out new combs of 4.9 foundation from Dadant.

    For advise and help on shaking down/culling badly drawnout combs, you can reference a lot of information from Barry Birkey's posts of retrogression of cell downsizing, he has already done with his bees this past year.

    See: http://www.beesource.com/eob/4dot9/index.htm

    Lastly, Gene

    Never be afraid to ask questions! That is how we all learn! Keep the thoughts and comments coming, then as you learn, and see it works, you can help others........

    Very best regards,

    Dee



  13. #33
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eolia, Mo., USA
    Posts
    5

    Smile

    Dee,
    Thanks so much for the info,it is a great help. I am really having a blast with my bees.
    I would appreciate a name and phone number of a breeder who has downsized if you or someone else could come up with it.
    If I used small bees should I still start them on strips, or can I start out on full sheets of 4.9 foundation?

    Greatfully
    Gene

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
    Posts
    397

    Post

    This is in reply to Gene Nothaker's post of 12--5-2000, 10:21 PM

    Gene wrote:

    I would appreciate a name and phone number of a breeder who has downsized if you or someone else could come up with it.

    Reply:

    Gene I will list Caucasian, as these breeders are harder to locate (Italian breeders can be found readily in both ABJ and Bee Culture & Speedy Bee):

    Bolling Bee Co, 334-382-6878
    Farris Homan Bee Farms, 601-767-3960
    Holder Homan Apiaries, 601-767-3880/3855
    Smokey Mountain Bee Co, 423-787-0574

    Gene also wrote:


    If I used small bees should I still start them on strips, or can I start out on full sheets of 4.9 foundation?

    Reply:

    Your option, but the hobbyst purchasing packages last year in Ohio (Amish beekeeper)
    used full sheets of 4.9 foundation and ended up culling very few frames, but that's not saying it couldn't be different with you.

    But, the odds are still in your favor that the majority of the combs will be drawn fairly well and if culled out and replaced 60 days later in the active season, could still be used to restart other colonies on, to give a queen an immediate drawn comb in which to lay eggs, for a faster/stronger start (ketching a swarm maybe? Shaking down a hive currently on big oversized combs?)

    Best regards,

    Dee

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eolia, Mo., USA
    Posts
    5

    Post

    Dee,

    Thanks so much for all your help. I got started with my hive by an Amish man in our cummunity who has around 50 hives and is still expanding. I told him about the down sizing and have printed off a great deal of the information from this web site for him. He is very interested and wants to get the chemicals out of his hives also. So, by helping me with my 3 little hives you are also helping a very fine young Amish man.
    ( who of cource does not have a computor)
    Now, just a couple more Questions.

    1. Should I also use 4.9 foundation in my new supers, or can I use 5.4?

    2. Last year I was told to store my supers with a type of chemical cristals to keep moths out, wich I did. Having fought cancer over the last 4 years I don't like using chemicals period. Is this really needed. I don't have a large freezer, but could put a couple of supers at a time in the freezer for a day. I store them in my basement. Any advice?

    Greatfully,
    Gene

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Reading England
    Posts
    32

    Post

    Having fought cancer over the last 4 years I don't like using chemicals period. Is this really needed. I don't have a large freezer, but could put a couple of supers at a time in the freezer for a day. I store them in my basement. Any advice?

    Greatfully,
    Gene[/B][/QUOTE]

    Hi Gene.
    If your winters are cold you can store supers outside and the waxmoth will die. I have read of storing supers on the colony too. Place a sheet of newspaper over stores, with a smallish hole for ventilation. The colony heat is conserved by the honey(what a good plan) and if you don't remember they'll eat the paper away to use the supers in spring. I haven't tried that, but have left supers with drawn comb under a hiveroof outside. No moth.
    John


  17. #37
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Post

    Here in my part of Birmingham UK, it's very noticeable that honeybees are only found in the vicinity of beekeepers. Last year, I visited Oxford, where I grew up, and where I remember thriving populations of honeybees back in the 60's. I looked in a large area of unimproved flood plain, with numerous old, hollow willows, which should have been ideal for feral bees. No honeybees, only large numbers of bumblebees. If there are still feral populations here, I'd like to know where, and what the evidence is.

    Regards,

    Robert Brenchley

    RSBrenchley@aol.com

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