I sent some samples from my colonies to MAAREC a few weeks ago and got the results back the other day. Their site says to send between 50-100 per sample, however I sent about 200+ per sample. I haven't treated for anything for a few years now and wanted to see what they had to say about the health of some of my colonies. They did not find any nosema in any of my samples. 44% of the samples detected no mites. 44% had low counts of varroa, <2 varroa per sample. I had one sample, 11%, come back with tracheal mites and no varroa. Seeing how none of the other samples had TM, should I move this colony away from the apiary in order to quarantine the TM from the other hives? I was thinking of doing this then giving the hive some menthol crystals next spring (if it survives the winter) and then requeen it.
I wouldn't move it, and I wouldn't treat it either. I think the TM is low enough that the hive should survive the winter, it may end up with a smaller cluster in the spring, but should bounce back by the honey flow. To me, it seems that your apiary has TM resistance, and a real good start to varroa resistance, I would continue what you are doing. Continue monitoring everything using Maarec, and taking VM counts yourself.
The technician who came up with the diagnosis on all my samples said that in the sample that had TM, 1 in 16 bees are infected. I think this is a really high number, 6.25% infected. I captured this colony as an Easter week swarm two springs ago when I was working near Bristol, VA. The colony performed well last year starting out (2 supers of surplus) and this year (same), though I am sure that the late freeze combined with a bear attack did not help any this year. I used to treat for TM with menthol crystals every August, but I haven't for five years. I'd hate to think that I had eliminated the TM from my stock only to reintroduce them from a free swarm that I hauled in from miles away. I've never bought a package of bees, and seeing how easily I brought TM into my own yard, I don't think I'll ever get any packages unless it is an absolute last resort. It makes me wonder what good a field inspection would be for identifying TM, diseases, and other pests that are less than obvious. I looked in the gentleman's colonies, he had three, where I got the swarm and they looked good. He said he had never treated for mites. Since there will be no brood in the hives about in another month, hopefully the infected bees will die off before there are any young bees to transfer the TM to. Just some wishful thinking. The colony does show resistance to varroa, but is keeping them around when they are susceptible to TM worth it?
Last edited by WVbeekeeper; 11-07-2007 at 12:36 AM.
wva bee keep what is maarec?
Mid-Atlantic Apiculture Research and Extension Consortium
Why would you not want to treat them? It may be a bit late in the season, but it's so easy to do. You have nothing to lose except a few minutes work.
There is an oil/menthol treatment from West Virginia University that works when temps are above 45 degrees.
If you don't want to deal with the menthol, use one part vegetable shortening to 2 parts white granulated sugar. Make a patty and put it on the top of the frames. Leave it on all winter, or replace it if they use it all.
Requeen next year from your mite free stock.
It doesn't fit into my IPM to keep bees that require treating. When I sell someone a nuc or hive i want to know for sure that they didn't get some bees that are susceptible to TM. I don't want to sell an inferior product that dies out in the winter while having plenty of stores. I don't think this person would come back wanting more bees. However, I have decided to move the hive about 10 miles to my uncle's place so if they make it through the winter I won't have their drones around next spring. If it makes it, I'll requeen it and test it again to see if the TM clears up.
Originally Posted by Walliebee
I must of been half asleep this morning when i started this thread. It's not MAAREC that is sent the samples to. I don't know why that was stuck in my head, but it was the Beltsville Bee Lab. DUH, I'm so dumb sometimes
Your addidtional information helps make more sense of your situation. I would think it is late in the year to infect other hives. So I still wouldn't treat, if the hive makes it, I would then requeen from your resistant hives. Also if you are going to still collect swarms/cutouts, then I find another yard to put them into. That way they are quarintined until your have evaluated, and tested them.