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Thread: IPM Strategies

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
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    98

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    I have been reading an awful lot on Bee-L about the collapsing hive populations from last winter, and the Varroa. I did not, however, experience any decline due to Varroa, and have never had outrageous hive loss which I would completely attribute to Varroa. However, in the ever present purpose of protecting myself and my bees, I have been thinking about IPM. I already have a few Screened Bottom Boards in place, but I haven't noticed a huge effect (good or bad). What are some IPM strategies? I assume I have to have more in place than just Screened Bottom Boards. What are some other strategies that I can use? I don't like the concept of chemical treatment, and have used it somewhat as a last resort only.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    43,492

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    I have found small cell to be the most effective way to avoid the Varroa mites. The shorter capping and post-capping times cut the Varroa reproduction drastically.

    I have not found SBB that useful for getting rid of Varroa, but they are helpful for monitoring mites and for giving more ventilation. I like them.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Delta, British Colombia, Canada
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    44

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    My only thought on other IPM strategies is that of drone brood method or small cell. With the screened bottom board it would seem to be much improved by more hygienic bees that actually clean the mites from the cells/bees. To me the improved ventilation, less mites and a way to tell how many I have are enough for me to justify it. The breed of the bees is also a good thing to incorporate, cull/re-queen the colonies that are easy taken by Varroa and re-queen with a breed/feral that shows promise of resistance. Beyond that I canÂ’t really think of much else but hope it helps in some way.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Warren County, Kentucky
    Posts
    113

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    CrazyBeeMan:

    I have recently understood the research at Ky State University to show MUCH reduced varroa populations with SBBs. Of course, they are not using small cell, so their varroa populations would be higher than those of someone like Michael who does use small cell. I have the sense that they help, but your mite populations have to be at a fairly high level (read large-cell level) to see the difference. This is pure conjecture on my part as I am new and am just putting together the observations and information that I've heard from different sources.

    Some folks in my bee club are using FGMO as one of their IPM strategies. I plan to use this and/or oxalic acid in the fall as necessary in combination with mite monitoring as part of my IPM program. I'm assuming that since these are large cell packages I've started on small cell foundation that I will need to treat with SOMETHING before winter as the bees are not fully regressed.

    Also, the simple rotation of chemicals so you don't use the same one constantly would technically be considered part of IPM, but I, like you, want to avoid the chemicals if I can. Especially coumaphos.

    The term "integrated pest management" is used in a lot of different ways by different people, and I think some folks assume it has to be all "organic," but this was not the original definition for this strategy. I think any management strategy that incorporates an overall year-round, big picture, long-term approach to the health of your hive in the steps you take, rather than a "stick the strips in and forget about it" or "spray and forget about it" is legitimately IPM.

    Feeding throughout the fall to ensure a strong, healthy hive would be part of an IPM program in my view. At least, that's what the definition was when I was studying and practicing IPM in greenhouse management.

    I think I'm rambling. Am I making any sense at all?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Warren County, Kentucky
    Posts
    113

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    Hey, I'm a field bee! When did that happen?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,072

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    What are some other strategies that I can use? I don't like the concept of chemical treatment,

    Colonies that have a congested broodnest will often experience high mite pressure in July and August. I have found that if you open the broodnest in the bottom deep to give the queen laying room in late June or early July. This can aid in the colonies ability to out brood the mites during this high mite pressure period.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
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    2,072

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    Hey, I'm a field bee! When did that happen?

    You will often see more field bees in the spring due to the early build up. [img]smile.gif[/img]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    222

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    After your 31st post you become a field bee. Kinda funny to get a field bee title when I still have so much to learn.

    APK
    Andrew<br /><br /> <a href=\"http://orsba.proboards27.com/index.cgi\" target=\"_blank\">http://orsba.proboards27.com/index.cgi</a>

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    915

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    The first order of business in implimentind an effective IPM strategy is to learn about the pest; THOROUGHLY!!
    Remember all of the time you spent as a beginning beekeeper looking at the charts of the honeybee lifecycle? It took interest and time for you to absorb it all.
    We have to invest time into learning everything we can about pests and diseases.
    The more you delve into all of the details, the easier effective management becomes.
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

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