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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Windsor,NC,USA
    Posts
    285

    Default what causes shriveled wings?

    I have been seeing a few bees in the grass with shriveled wings, mostly on one side. I have seen bees with normal wear and tear but this seems different. They seem to have a scale-like skin on the back, like a snake shedding it's skin. What kind of desease is this? What's is the treatment?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Moore County, NC
    Posts
    208

    Default

    Yoyo,
    This is a sign of parasitic mite syndrome, specifically deformed wing virus that is associated with heavy varroa mite infestation. You need to do a mite count to determine your level of infestation which I would guess is high. Then administer an appropriate treatment for varroa mites. Otherwise you are going to lose this hive over the winter, if not sooner. I would suggest that you buy the book "Beekeeping for Dummies". It is an excellent, modern how-to book on beekeeping.
    Last edited by Sherpa1; 08-15-2007 at 05:47 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Windsor,NC,USA
    Posts
    285

    Default mite count

    I have been putting on the sticky board, without anything sticky. I put it under for a 24hr period about every other week. I have in the past , seen a mite or two. I have not seen any lately. I would think if it were high, I would be seeing more mites, or does the sticky stuff really make that much difference. I have some powdered sugar and can do that easily. What is a good sticky substance to use?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,350

    Default

    A nice thin coat of vegetable oil should work very well as the "sticky" surface.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Alpharetta, GA, USA
    Posts
    520

    Default

    In the past I've just sprayed some 'Pam' or something like it on the surface of the board but recently I read someone who said that the spray on wouldn't keep all the mites in place. Anybody see anything wrong with using spray on veg. oil?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    dekalb,alabama,USA
    Posts
    80

    Default elements of varroatosis

    take one quart of mineral oil and mix in 1 tbls of wintergreen oil syn. and fog the bees late in the afternoon through a tube until the colony is fully saturated with fog coming out all cracks in the hive, a handy tube is the handle off a cheap mop or broom, use something to hold it with however as it could get hot, also flatten the end of the tube so it can slide up in the hive entrance slightly. do this once a week for three weeks, once every 5-7 days and this should eliminate the mites and also clear up the varroatosis for the rest of the year. this will work well if the bees have some tolerance already.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Erie, PA
    Posts
    2,030

    Default

    I was having difficulty getting mite counts last year, too, and noticed the same problem. A round of Apiguard did the trick for me. Hive is healthy this year, and produced a whopper round of spring honey.
    “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” -Henry David Thoreau

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    dekalb,alabama,USA
    Posts
    80

    Default apigard

    although i have never used the apigard i have heard of people who had good results with it, personally i believe the essential oils of most types will work, wintergreen, spearmint, peppermint, thymol, and sometimes just feeding them in sugar syrup will work, the main problem is the concentration and the type of delivery system you use. an old beekeeper friend of mine used to sprinkle his bees every time he was in them with sugar syrup and eucalyptus and had good results unless there was a honey flow on.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Danbury,Ct. USA
    Posts
    1,966

    Default

    YOYO,
    Its time for bigger guns than some have mentioned. If you want to avoid the harder chems (Checkmite, Apistan). there are others base on essential oils/organic acids. Mite-away 2, Apiguard and Api-life Var will do the job. Follow directions which are based on the fact that most mites are in the cells.

    Dewey Caron says that veggie oil or Pam is not sticky enough. Use vaseline or Crisco. It may be late.

    dickm

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,136

    Default

    The best I've seen to really knock down the Varroa is Oxalic acid vapor. But I have seen people turn around a hive with just powdered sugar every few days for several weeks.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Windsor,NC,USA
    Posts
    285

    Default

    But why am I not seeing the mites on the non-sticky , sticky board? Are they just crawling away? There are pollen, wax, ants and other debris present, and a occasional mite or two. I do have some apilife-var but was wanting to wait a little while longer before using it , If it were really needed. ( it has been really hot here lately too , over 100 some days). I have been feeding with boardman feeders out on a cement block, not in the hive, since I got the bees in June. Would making the sticky board sticky make the mite count that much different. I'm seeing one or two now, so If I have a mite problem, then the count should be 20 or more in a 24 hour period to indicate a serious mite problem. Is that correct? I have spent alot of time sitting at the entrances and watching the bees, and I have not seen one mite on any bee, even the drones that come and go. Maybe I should open a few drone cells and see whats in there.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Default

    I would do a sugar shake and see how many mites I found. It is my opinion the sugar shake is much more accurate than natural drop counts.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Windsor,NC,USA
    Posts
    285

    Default

    Well I just got in from doing a tear down of the hive for inspection. I must first say that this was the swarm I caught back in July That I put in a deep with plastic cell foundation and a frame or two from the nuc I had bought. The bees took to the wired wax foundation , leaving the plastic cell alone until they HAD to draw it out. It is still only partially drawn, as I had replaced all of it I could with wired wax.There were two frames that they had started to draw out, so I left them. They are in one deep body. They now have drawn all but two wired wax and the two plastic.
    I found a area that had some drone cells on a frame surrounded by nectar and pollen stores. I picked open the cells and found that there are indeed varroa mites present. There were about fifty cells and I opened them all. I found two SHB which I killed. The queen is not laying like I wish and there are some partially open cells and some completely open cells. Some cells partially open with white brood showing. I don't think this is a disease but could be. I did not do a sugar shake after seeing the mites, but I did dust the frame tops and brushed sugar down the frames and then put in the sticky board. I need to go back and put some veg oil on it or something. I had a heck of a time getting the smoker to light and I had to light it several times.ARRRRGGGGGHHH! No stings though, full suit! I think a new queen might be called for. As for my other two hives. I need to add a super on the hive with two deeps. The top deep is now completely drawn and they are building burr. The other hive which I added a super to a couple of weeks ago, now has all but three frames drawn and the new queen has laid on three of the super frames ( old queen killed after I swapped places with the first hive). I saw her down in the bottom deep where there were frame after frame of capped brood. She was laying eggs!
    going back to the first hive, would you treat with apilife-var now or wait or do something else? If they don't get in gear, I'll have to maybe think of a combine. To any NC beeks, how much time is left for honey flow for this area? Cotton is mostly over now.( I haven't learned my plants and blooms yet).

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    dekalb,alabama,USA
    Posts
    80

    Default why few mites and still bad wings

    at some point the mites may have been prevalent enough for the viruses to reach an infection threshold, once reached the mites may be largely gone and yet the infection persists because it no longer needs as many mites for transmission or it is at a level where the vector for disease transmission has changed somewhat.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Danbury,Ct. USA
    Posts
    1,966

    Default

    >>>why few mites and still bad wings <<<<

    If the mites went away without treatment, it would make history. The bees are now at a point where they need to be building winter bees. Lack of health in the colony will result in bees that are not long-lived. These bees will die in the winter and leave a mystery. Since viruses are loose in the colony I would not combine them. By the time you see DWV you don't really need any more tests. The virus lives happily in the adult bee but is sucked out of them and when that mite enters a cell it is injected into the helpless larvae which has no immunity.
    I too have heard of powdered sugar turning things around. Using a non-sticky board is like wearing glasses without lenses.

    dickm

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Windsor,NC,USA
    Posts
    285

    Default

    Well I'm treating with apilife-var now and there don't seem to be many mites there. But I guess if it spreads disease, then it doesn't matter how many. You can read the mite counts over on the Bee keeping forum under the heading " starting treatment with apilife-var today". I will keep a running mite count.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Default

    yoyo,
    Its very easy to have DWV with fewer mites then what one traditionally may expect. Much depends on timing. Stay with me on this.

    Every now and then, someone will say that broodless breaks in the bees production is a great way to lower or keep mites in check. Normally, someone always mentions that the mites are still there, regardless of whether the bees stop brood production or not. So how can this lower or keep mtes in check?

    When a colony swarms, supercedes, hits a dearth, or for other reasons stops brood production, this stops the mite reproduction cycle also. So what happens to the mites that are hatching out with the new bees? Nothing. They are waiting for a cell just prior to capping.

    So as example, your bees swarm. The old queen flies off. The new queen does not get mated and start laying for 7 days. You now have 7 days worth of mites that have not been able to enter cells. (Normally they would be distributed over the 7 days as cells are capped.) So what happens when the queen now starts laying? All the mites overload the first few hundred of bee cells being capped. This is usually enough to cause the first newly emerged bees to have DWV, PMS, and other problems.

    What this allows is the bees to concentrate in removing the infected larvae/pupae/bees prior to hatching, if you have bees with VHS/SMR traits. Certainly mites counts of the bees making it through to emeging stage(some always do) can then be seen with DWV.

    The variables of mite timing, whether you have VHS traits in your bees, how many bees make it to emerging, and other factors all make the conversation very broad.

    The key point I want to make is that there are times due to brood breaks that allow for mite overload to happen. Overall, your mite counts could look somewhat low. But the start up of brood production after such a break can cause signs of things like DWV that normally would not be seen.

    Did I make any sense?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Windsor,NC,USA
    Posts
    285

    Default

    Too many variables I guess. I do understand your point, and it seems very likely. The Nuc hive, which had a count of 40 mites yesterday, Also has a new queen and she has laid eggs like crazy. There were LOTS of capped brood in that hive, so I would expect to see mite numbers even rise as the brood emerges. The swarm hive is carrying out dead brood and the laying is spotty. A new queen would ceratinly help here. This hive has about 6 frames of bees as is not growing.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,770

    Default

    BjornBee,

    Good points. I think it just explained why I thought I was overrun earlier this year on one of my hives that had been queenless for a long while only to have it return to a "normal" mite count condition later.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Erie, PA
    Posts
    2,030

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BjornBee View Post
    So as example, your bees swarm. The old queen flies off. The new queen does not get mated and start laying for 7 days. You now have 7 days worth of mites that have not been able to enter cells.
    As evidence of this, I had a hive swarm twice in June. Missed the first one (old queen, I assume) , caught the 2nd. The inspector came about 1 week later. Parent hive mite count was "4." Swarm hive count was "20." I thought this was odd until this was explained.
    Last edited by Hobie; 08-23-2007 at 11:12 AM.
    “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” -Henry David Thoreau

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