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  1. #1

    Default outbreeding mites article

    http://www.mdasplitter.com/article.htm

    OUTBREEDING MITES AND OVERWINTERING HONEYBEE NUCS

    Did someone actually tested this idea and generally what do you think about it in practical life. Is it doable,realistic?

    Thank you.
    "Do nothing. Time is too precious to waste." Buddha

  2. #2
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    I've found in my own experiences that late spring/early summer queens seem to make it thru the winter and spring better. As far as the numbers and timing of the article, I think it depends on location, weather, and nectar flows. If you're in the middle of blooming farmland then sure, the numbers can be acheived. If you're experiencing long nectar droughts, then no, I don't believe the numbers can be achieved. In my location, I think queens that are mated and start laying from May 1 thru July 1 are the best performing queens.

  3. #3
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    I made splits and raised queens to do that this year. So far I have varied results. When making the splits and giving the queen cells, I've found that 20% will go queenless, but can usually be saved by giving them an extra frame of brood, and a new queen cell.

    After the queens have been mated, started laying, there are almost no mites remaining. The nucs then have to build for winter. So I fed some of them, and did not feed others to see if they could build for winter. The nucs that I fed are now a deep full, and some of the non-fed nucs are lagging a little, which may be due to the fact that we have been in a drought for a while. However, even the nucs that have not been fed are still almost a deep full and should be ready for winter before Oct.

    When using this method, you have to give them pollen for spring buildup, and a candyboard for the winter. My plan is use an empty shallow with sugar on newspaper. We'll see what happens.

  4. #4
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    I read this article and was planning on doing the spring splits at least. I got a late swarm in late July and have seen almost no mites on the sticky boards so I suspect it is accurate.
    I have been feeding my bees and they have almost completely filled a deep and a medium. I just went through my hive this weekend and was thinking that they are awefully full now.

  5. #5
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    Sasha,
    This is nothing new. I have been talking about summer splits for nucs and hives for years now. I have told of the tremendous overwintering difference that these summer splits can give with survival rates. I'm not going back to dig out all the comments, but here is one I came across from 2006. Scan to my comments (post 11)

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...requeen&page=2

    Here is another where I mention summer splits and survivability (post 9)...

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ght=requeening

    I have taken splits with new queens introduced, and from this procedure alone, you can drastically cut your winter loss, based on new splits vs. old hives.

    I do not buy into the notion that you must do this after a certain date, and consider that opinion nothing more than an attempt to "claim" some detail, and add filler that was not mentioned before. Its the act of splitting, a brood break, overwintering with a queen going through winter for the first time, and a host of other reason that allow for summer splits to overwinter at a higher level.

    I have seen the same result whether it be nucs or full size hives split in mid-summer.

    What the article does is use a basic procedure that most bee breeders know about, and use to make claims of non-treatments, etc., and add some details such as dates to do this or that, and makes it seem that it all a new twist. The article does give credit that much was gleaned from conversations from others. So I'll give credit for that.

    But you can read about this type "cutting edge" information by just reading Beesource...
    Last edited by BjornBee; 09-08-2008 at 06:49 PM.

  6. #6
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    I'm not sure that Mel (the writer) claimed to be the first one to do it. He just simply brought more attention to this method, and gave the less experienced beeks a easy to follow guide, and easy time frame to follow. For that we have to give him credit.

    From talking to him, I don't think he was stating that a queen mated earlier can't make it through winter. Just that when making splits in July, if you use a queen mated before summer, she will slow down in the fall and not build up as strong before winter. As opposed to a summer mated queen that will not slow down in the fall, and go into winter with a larger cluster. Either way, if a summer split is given a queen that was mated in the spring, you won't be braking the brood pattern anyway, so mite treatments would be needed. That's just what he said. But I do agree with you Bjorn, I don't think a queen mated in spring will slow down any more than a summer mated queen. Its not the queen that determines when she lays anyway, the workers control that through how much they feed her. Personally, I'd rather switch to small cell and give my summer splits a mated queen, they will will have another brood cycle to take advantage of that way.

    Bjorn, I'd like to ask your opinion of something. I know that breaking the brood pattern works as a good mite treatment for splits. Will this also work for full sized hives?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndianaHoney View Post
    I'm not sure that Mel (the writer) claimed to be the first one to do it. He just simply brought more attention to this method, and gave the less experienced beeks a easy to follow guide, and easy time frame to follow. For that we have to give him credit.
    Who mentioned he was the first? I know I mentioned that much of his information was gleaned, as was mentioned by article, from others. Of course he was not the first. Sasha asked if anyone tested what was being suggested. I merely commented that this stuff is nothing new. (Just the article wrapped in some nice marketing ) I used my examples as I knew I had talked about this stuff numerous times.

    As for brood breaks on full size hives, yes it works. But some things must be taken into account. First, mites in a full size hive are more numerous. And so, many times, when the new queen starts to lay, and if your not treating, (like me), that the mites do build up somewhat, even with good hygienic bees, so you have all these mites that are literally bum-rushing into the first series of cells being capped. This does have an overload situation that can be seen with a scattered brood pattern as the bees clean back out the cells. Also, you may see a few DWV bees as some will hatch out. But let the bees cycle through a week or two of brood and the mite numbers, the hygienic behavior, and DWV, will all level off.

    I also do my summer splits with nucs and hives in conjuction with new queens. Its the fact that you are using a queen not being through their first winter yet that makes all the difference. The new queen, although being directed and controlled by the bees more than being an individual dictator, just wants to lay as she has not been effected by seasonal pressures.

    I'm not going to debate timing of the new queens. I just had thought this was the article that stated a date of the summer equinox as being key. But perhaps I am thinking of another article. It's that date I have a problem with that I think is B.S.

    I'm not going to rehash what was already stated in the two links above. Everything that Mel mentions is true, just incomplete in my opinion, as I think there is more reasons than what he mentions.

    Someone let me know when you hit that easily achievable level of $900 per hive. Mel may have been able to write a nice article on the matter. But Mel is a salesman and this article is closely tied to marketing MDA splitter nucs in my opinion. Just something to keep in mind.

  8. #8
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    I thought that 900 was a bit overstated as well. How many people actually buy summer nucs?

    Thanks for the answer on the full sized hives.

    As for him being the first, I thought that was what you were getting at. Sorry if I misunderstood what you were saying.

  9. #9
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    Here in Ca, I bet you could sell Strong 5 frame NUCS in the late fall thru winter for $75 each, since Almond Pollination starts 2nd week in Feb. Peeps will purchase the 5 framer, transfer the frames to 10 framer and lease to almonds for $150 or better. Could get $1200 for 16 nucs.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    Here in Ca, I bet you could sell Strong 5 frame NUCS in the late fall thru winter for $75 each, since Almond Pollination starts 2nd week in Feb. Peeps will purchase the 5 framer, transfer the frames to 10 framer and lease to almonds for $150 or better. Could get $1200 for 16 nucs.

    Ok, I assume from your comments including "I bet" and "could", and your lack of acknowledgement of doing it yourself, coupled with not one mention of another actually doing this....that this still resides somewhere in the realm of speculation and marketing. So now were up to $1200...do I hear 1500 dollars? And to think that the last thread asking about building a bee business was filled with nothing but negative comments about being broke after all the hard work. But now, it sounds as easy as baking a pie, just take a strong hive, split, split and split some more....and bingo!.....1200 dollars is to be made! Suuuurrrrre!

    First step for anyone trying.....buy lots of MDA splitter nuc boxes....Good Luck! Of course if your going to follow Ray's advice, perhaps you need to go with 5 frame nuc boxes (as Ray mentioned and I agree they are more of the industry standard) and NOT 4 frame boxes...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndianaHoney View Post
    When using this method, you have to give them pollen for spring buildup, and a candyboard for the winter. My plan is use an empty shallow with sugar on newspaper. We'll see what happens.
    It's true that sometimes nucs don't store enough pollen for early spring brood rearing. It depends on how much brood they had during the fall pollen flow, and if there was a flow at all. But, I don't understand the bit about having to winter with candy boards or granulated sugat on newspaper.

    Whether your wintering nucs have 4/5 combs, or 8/9 combs, you can feed them enough 3;1 to make up any lack of winter feed. Feeding the syrup they need early, so they can ripen it, will eliminate the need for radical feeding procedures like candy boards and granulated sugar feeding. Having the winter feed in the combs, and where the bees need/want it, is in my opinion a better plan.

    I guess if you like slogging through the snow to add sugar to the nucs, or worrying about them all winter.......

  12. #12
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    Default Re: outbreeding mites article

    I really hate to bring up this thread, after it's a year and a half old, but I'm reading up on this MDA Splitter article, and it seems interesting, to say the least.

    I'm not concerned with 'outbreeding mites' so much as increasing hive optimization and brood production, in combination with increasing overwintering rates.

    After reading the article, I know one thing for sure is different. I'm in the south. Check, dates are all screwed up for me. But whatever, not hard to figure out.

    The one thing that I can't figure out, is how he is able to take one hive, split it into 16 over the course of three months (or claim to split it into 16), and build up the hives enough to have all 16 get enough reserves to make it through winter?

    As for this area, brood production starts (usually) around now (end of Feb, beginning of March, earlier if you feed), first swarm exists around the first week of April, last nectar is brought in around July 30th, and anything after that involves you feeding. How can you possibly split four hives four ways each in the middle of July and have them still get enough stores to winter? Is that why the candy boards are so necessary?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: outbreeding mites article

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    How can you possibly split four hives four ways each in the middle of July and have them still get enough stores to winter? Is that why the candy boards are so necessary?
    I split up my non-productive hives in July. I average 4 nucs per. So that's 16 from 4. We have a good flow after July from Loosestrife and Goldenrod. Even so, I still have to feed quite a bit. I can split the nucs about 1 month to 5 weeks after setting them up. The latest I would split them is about first week of August.

    I'd have to do the math for 1 to 16.

    If I had queens I could nuc strong colony on Dandelion into 4 nucs. May 15.
    Split nucs in half on June 22 makes 8
    Split nucs in half July 29 makes 16

    So I guess you could here in Vermont provided optimal weather conditions and flows. I'd figure on feeding 1-2 gallons of 2:1 per.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: outbreeding mites article

    "Someone let me know when you hit that easily achievable level of $900 per hive. Mel may have been able to write a nice article on the matter. But Mel is a salesman and this article is closely tied to marketing MDA splitter nucs in my opinion. Just something to keep in mind."

    I actually caught a seminar with Mel last winter and my impression is that he wasnt trying to "sell" anything. As a matter of fact after listening to the guy for about 4 hours he never even mentioned that he made the splitter boxes.I didnt even know what they were until I got on his website to read about splitting hives.He said that he built a lot of his own equipment.He also claimed that he didnt come up with this plan,He credited all of the old beekeeping books and their authors with the idea and said that the only thing he tweaked was the dates that he made the splits.He also said that those dates would vary according to your location on the globe.The one thing he stressed the most was that everything he knew would be posted on his website absolutely free for the taking.He was a very passionate beekeeper and seemed genuinely concerned about the plight of the honeybee.I sat next to another guy at that seminar who claimed that he had been quite successful using this technique.Another thing to remember is that Mel was in the business of selling bees and not producing honey. I plan on trying his technique this spring.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: outbreeding mites article

    When I kept bees during the late 70s thru the late 80s, I used midnite queens and routinely requeened all my colonies end of August/early September. From my experience, next spring they would build up much faster and more vigorously than a queen who had already been producing through a nectar flow. You might also see some of my comments in the my thread "Bee Experiments", where I touch on the why I think that the mdasplitter's timing won't work for me. http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ht=experiments

    Before one partakes in this split you might consider the 'bee math'. Raising queens is only one part of the equation, You also, must have mature drones to do the mating.

    Kindest Regards
    Danny
    "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." Nathan Hale, 1776

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