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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Buda, Texas
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    922

    Default New mite control . . .

    Found this on an organic gardening website:

    "Tracheal and varroa mites have caused great destruction of honeybee colonies since the 1980s, but painting the hives a dark brown color helps. As the temperature of the hive increases, the bees fan more and their bodies heat up, killing the mites. Tracheal mites are microscopic and responsible for about 10 percent of the mite destruction to honeybees. Varroa mites are much larger and more destructive, causing about 90 percent of the mite damage. Planting lots of flowering plants, especially those rich in essential oils, such as mints or other fragrant herbs, helps to eliminate the mite problem."

    Now how about that?
    "I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. " John 10:11

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Spartanburg South Carolina
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    145

    Default mite control

    I would like to see the name of web site. I would like to do some reading on. and how painting hive a dark color help with mite control if bee have to work harder to keep it cool. has anyone else have a opinion on it
    thanks
    bigboy

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Loganville, GA
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    2,172

    Default

    Sounds like snake oil but would be interesting to see where that's coming from.
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    it seems somewhat plausible. perhaps it is the extreme heat of the texas summer that kills the beekeeper and therefore there is no one to worry, worry, worry over those darn little mites.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
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    196

    Smile

    Just my two cents...

    Painting a hive with dark colour?

    It has been proven, a few years back, that Varroa thrives and seeks cool conditions in the hive.
    It has been proven that those with open SBB are actually creating ideal conditions for Varroa to thrive.
    It is a fact that drone comb/varroa catcher is always located on edge of the nest and not in the centre. It is at/to this edge, (where is cooler) that the Varroa will most likely go...

    There is more, but this will suffice to perhaps shed some light on this 'darker paint job" on your boxes???

    Getting back to SBB.
    For the longest time I argue with beekeepers that SBB is not a "ventilation device" but is a VARROA CONTROL device and the drawer under the screen should always be closed! (If there is no drawer? get one!)
    But, people, especialy beekeepers are slow learners... (perhaps because they develop their own pet-theories and adopt equipment to use for which it was not designed?)

    Well, before the war starts, I will only ad that dark paint and SBB go hand in hand?!

    For more, read the bottom link. . .
    (If 19 pages is too long a read - only summary will tell all...)


    http://www.reineschapleau.wd1.net/ar...OM%20BOARD.pdf

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Algonquin, IL, USA
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    639

    Default

    France, what color do you paint your hive?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by c10250 View Post
    France, what color do you paint your hive?
    Green and yellow.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
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    Default

    France:
    Thank you! I just printed it for some of our club's "respected" members who tell everyone to leave it open all seasons. I leave mine open just an inch because of the moisture problem that seems to exist on the floor of the hive at times even though I leave a rather large opening at the front top. Maybe I should not restrict the entrance openings and just leave it completely wide open with the mouse screen in place and shut the mite board. Charles Mraz (VT) used to advocate a completely open entrance for the winter. Would appreciate your comments on this.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
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    196

    Default

    You are quite welcome, Cedar Hill.

    About your question?
    It is a bit hard for me to advice what to do, cause I have no idea of conditions in the area where your bees are at. But will gladly give general instructions to which most beeks can adapt their own situations to. . .

    I know what you mean, about your clubs "respected" members, for they are not alone in advocating wide open screens. Even those in the know, or those who should know, often think that this is a "cure all - fit all" device and the best thing since the sliced bread.
    As I said many a time, they forgot, or never knew, what SBB were designed for in the first place.

    I keep my screens, bottom drawers, closed year round and in winter I block them with Styrofoam. The only time I open them, about half an inch, is when they, bees, start to beard in the evening while ripening honey, or in the Summer's heat.
    One has to put it in ones mind, that the SBB is under the hive solely as a tool to control Varroa and is NOT a ventilation device!

    About moisture problems on the floor?
    I would not concern myself with moisture or water on the floor. If you, or anybody, pick up any bee-book, one will soon learn that in all those books, all that I know off, writers advise that hives are to be tilted forward, to drain the water out of the hive.
    Modern hives are designed, (made cheaply) that the moisture condenses on the walls and therefore water will run down the sides and out. All this is going on away from the bees and without any harm done to them.
    If mouldy end-combs are bothersome, one can simply remove them from the hive for the Winter?
    This moisture, on the sides and bottom, does not bother them, bees - but bothers us more.
    We have to stop keeping bees to our liking, to our standards?! We must learn again, to keep them the way they ware kept a hundred or more years ago. Keep them in the boxes of our liking, but let them live the way nature intended them to live.

    All this said, one must have a top entrance, for the moisture to escape. One needs proper insulation over the inner cover to prevent moisture from condensing at the contact with this cold surface. If all is arranged, as it should, no harm will come to the bees.


    About wide open bottom entrance?
    Again, bottom board was designed with two rims. One is about 3/4", (summer) and a rim of about 3/8", for winter. Most beeks forgot that too, and don't bother to turn the bottom board around when late Fall arrives.
    Now, SBB are probably designed with the rim of 3/4" - mine are, cause that is the way I made them. In my case, I use an entrance reducer with about 3/8 x about 6 inches wide opening. One must remember that my bees live in winters with down to -50 degree temperatures. So, a wide open entrance would be a bit much? Especialy because the prevailing wind blows right up the driveway to the front of the hives.
    Mice are not a problem, cause 3/8" is too small for them and I never in my 54 years with bees, even once had a mouse in a hive.

    So, I would definitely close the drawer on your SBB and perhaps install the mouse guard if you think that one is needed?

    Hope that I nailed the areas of your interest? Again, don't worry about moisture or water on bottom board. It is supposed to be there. When you get moisture or water/ice on top - under the inner cover - than one has a good reason to worry about it. Because that is the time when water will drip on the bees and kill them.


    Regards,
    France
    Last edited by Bizzybee; 02-21-2009 at 05:02 AM. Reason: Excessive quoting

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Durango, CO, USA
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    20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by France View Post

    Getting back to SBB.
    For the longest time I argue with beekeepers that SBB is not a "ventilation device" but is a VARROA CONTROL device and the drawer under the screen should always be closed! (If there is no drawer? get one!)
    But, people, especialy beekeepers are slow learners... (perhaps because they develop their own pet-theories and adopt equipment to use for which it was not designed?)

    Well, before the war starts, I will only ad that dark paint and SBB go hand in hand?!

    For more, read the bottom link. . .
    (If 19 pages is too long a read - only summary will tell all...)


    http://www.reineschapleau.wd1.net/ar...OM%20BOARD.pdf
    Wow! Sounds logical and goes against most everything I have been reading about SSB's. These things make it confusing for newbees like me.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Battle Ground, Wa
    Posts
    198

    Default

    I use screened bottom boards & leave them open all year around. I can't say I think of it as a cure all, but my personal experience (hobbiest, just a few hives) was that I was having roughly 50% losses in the winter. A couple years ago I lost both remaining hives, which had solid bottom boards & entrance reducers. Also tilted so moisture would run out. The first swarm call I got that spring was from a guy who had a squirrel feeder and the previous fall when he had opened the bottom & pulled out the accumulated leaves, he also got bees. So I go over to check it out & there, up in a tree, is this box about a foot square, with the bottom wide open & a 2 in hole high up on one side. Bees & comb hanging down nearly a foot below the bottom of the box. They had actually swarmed by the time I got back the next day to do a removal. I got both swarm & the colony.

    After comparing my two dead closed up hives with a well ventilated hive that was booming, I decided to go with screened bottoms. They work well for me. Of course in the PNW we think we're being killed if it doesn't get above freezing in the day & they start talking about drought anytime it hasn't rained in a week.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Loganville, GA
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    Default

    France, maybe you choose to not use them for ventilation. But I certainly do. And painting hives any kind of dark color in the south would do little more than add insult to injury. I have SBB and screened inner covers that both stay open year round.

    That's a pretty broad statement you've issued without regard to location or region. I strongly suspect that keeping bees as I do with screens would be frowned on and with good reason in the northern reaches. But I can't see that you have given much if any thought to your approach as it may be applied in the rest of the world.

    It's a whole different world between beekeeping in warm regions vs cold. And I hope that the new comers recognize that fact.

    That being said, your contention that a SBB be closed all the time is really nothing more than the old argument of solid bottoms vs SBB, with a twist. So I guess if everyone wants to revisit that ground again.........let the fun begin.
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
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    719

    Default

    France:
    Thank you for your reply. Located near the ocean, moisture is always a problem, esp. when extracting. When cleaning the bottom litter from the hives in the spring, the moisture build-up is very evident in the litter itself, even though the hives are tilted forward markedly. Next year, the front entrance will be left completely open with a V shaped mouse screen and the sbb left closed. My hives are always wrapped for the winter so the entrances will be protected by the tarpaper. No winter losses for five years. Temperatures rarely dip below 0 degrees F.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Algonquin, IL, USA
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    639

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by France View Post
    Green and yellow.
    I think I'll go with hunter green.

  15. #15
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    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
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    Default

    Cedar hill, no problem at all.

    I noticed, by a reply or two, that people don't pay enough attention to what they are reading? (or perhaps at my age I have lost my ability to properly type and/or place my words?) But I doubt that placing my words is a problem, because in many other countries they have no problem comprehending to what I have to say.
    They are even suggesting that I may be leading newbies down the wrong path?
    If they have heads screwed on as they should - there is no fear of taking the wrong path! Knowledge is power that nobody can deny...
    For you and all others, I did state that answering is problematic, cause the conditions at each locale is ofcourse diferent. (And if I so state once, I expect that people remember a little of what they read and repetitions are not needed?)
    So, everything one reads or hears has to be "chewed" over and what don't fit, one simply should spit out and not wait or call out for "fun to begin"?

    Cedar hill, much of the above don't pertain to you, but I know what you mean by being by the ocean? My hives are about 100 meters/yards from a lake and humidity is also a problem. That is why I always tell people to absorb, read books, talk to local keepers, listen and weigh things well, before implementing diferent ideas.
    Keep and use SBB for ventilation if it suits you? I just stated the fact that they are not out there for that purpose and I stand to my words as written!
    Those "hell bent" on using SBB for ventilation should perhaps look at slatted racks? They do wanders for a lot of people - do less of a favour to bees, although in proper place and time they do real wonders.
    There are also HIGH bottoms, as used in EU, Germany in particular. They are a 6" high empty space/box under the brood-chamber... In such a bottom one can use a "mirror on a stick" to check on the hive. . .

    Cedar hill, do you think that you really need to wrap for the winter? In previous posts I did not know this fact - my answers could be a bit diferent?Sometimes wrapping itself will contribute to moisture problems - especialy in locales where this is not needed?
    Try one hive without the wrap in the future and compare the humidity. A lot of times wrap has nothing to do with it - but has a lot to do with the quality of winter food and the amount of it being burned by the bees. We all know that no two hives are the same, don't you think?
    A lot of keeps here in Canada don't wrap and we have COOLD like you won't believe.

    Just throwing out some ideas, friend, last word is ofcourse all yours...

    Regards,
    France

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Salt Lake City Utah
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    11

    Default

    I enjoyed reading this comment. i agree with you about letting nature take it course in keeping bees. i hope you can find time to chat with me about beekeeping. it looks to me like you are very experienced in beekeeping. ive been keeping bees for two years now (two hives) i find it critical at this time to help the bee population rebound from possible anialation from the planet. this is hopefully and exaguation but i find myself facinated with bees. i enjoy the honey and give it to all my neighbors. but the beekeeping is what i enjoy most. i have 4 neighbors who keep bees but two of them just let 3 hives die last year they dont take as much interest in them as i would so i have taken it upon myself to take care of their hives. i caught a swarm for one of them and this year ordering two more. ive removed th wax center of and replacing them with new. a total of 10 deaps. i hope to set swarm traps around the nieghborhood. my church is very interested in utillizing church members and neighbors back yards for growing gardens and i plan on puting hives on each of these plots. theyre about a quarter acher each. maybe three or four gardens. oh by the way i live in salt lake city utah. about 4500 ft elevation. i have questions about mite control with essential oils, mite traps, ventilation, and others. thanks danabee

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
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    719

    Default

    France wrote: "Cedar hill, do you think that you really need to wrap for the winter? In previous posts I did not know this fact - my answers could be a bit diferent?Sometimes wrapping itself will contribute to moisture problems - especialy in locales where this is not needed?"
    Have had bees since the early 1960's and have tried everything over the years so it seems. The black tarpaper wrap has an air vent at the top right next to the corner of the inner cover that is lifted about a quarter of an inch. The moisture does vent quite well at the top. Have found that wrapping for this particular area with the wind off the bay in the winter is better than not. My hives have always been stronger for having done so. It saves honey. When I had over 350 hives, most were wrapped but not all of them depending on the sheltered area Always noted a difference because of wrapping even then.

    "Si le nez de Cleopatre avait ete un peu plus long, toute la face du monde aurait change" Pascal - Les Pensees

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