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Thread: Got mites?

  1. #21

    Default Re: Got mites?

    Quote Originally Posted by honeyshack View Post
    I am with CP on this one.
    I am inclined to disagree. The fact that there are bees with DWV suggests that there is still brood being produced. Add to that the fact that they're still foraging and bringing in pollen. If they're still making brood in his climate, an effective varroa treatment may still be useful.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Got mites?

    Quote Originally Posted by honeyshack View Post
    This could be a risky move...the windex type sprayer. The chance that you will get some on the frames of the hives could spell danger to the bees. I am told that once it dries and becomes like a white residue, it can actually be poisonous or toxic to the bees. This is why it is dribbled between the frames, or in vapour form.
    Well, It is that "type" of sprayer, hand held, but it has a adjustable tip that allows it to be a weak stream (like a pump up sprayer), not a mist. I should have been more clear on this detail.

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    I am inclined to disagree.
    Me too. OA dribble is very inexpensive. If it works then you are ahead of the game, if it does not you are out maybe $12. Even if they only have a small chance it will still be a learning experience. If you do nothing you learn nothing. I would not spend a bunch of money on it, nor would I put Checkimite or the like in the hive to "fix" the problem, this would just poison the combs for ever, but I would not (and did not)just give up.
    If the hive I treatred late dies then I will have that experience at least. I know if you have dozens of hives this attitude may seem strange. But with just a few , or 2 in my case, I can't sustain much of a loss. That is why I choose to fight.

    RKR
    Last edited by rkr; 12-27-2009 at 12:31 PM.
    4 seasons 19 Hives-Camp Branch Bee Ranch. Est 2009
    "I am a nobody; nobody is perfect, and therefore I am perfect."

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Got mites?

    I still say stay a way from chemicals, use a screen bottom board use a drone comb frame use powder sugar treatments and your mite cound drops fast and after a while its gone. These are ways that the mite can't combat nor build a tolarance to.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Got mites?

    That's the plan I'm going with too. Makes sense to me, and i know of at least two local bk's who stopped treating with chemicals and pesticides years ago and have no significant mite problems anymore.
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 12-28-2009 at 09:03 AM. Reason: UNQ
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Got mites?

    Come On USDA we need Oxalic acid!! It is available in Canada and is supposed to be the best thing since santa clause. It can be bought in the US but not to be used on bees. I would find some and fog them. MITES GONE

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Got mites?

    Kinda off topic,
    If this hive produced the mites that are causing this problem (ie. the mites didn't ride in on robbing foragers), then re-queening it early next spring with a mite a disease resistant queen is a must.

    IF you are able to get this hive through this winter, your choices of resistant queens will be much greater than if you get a queen with a package.
    RKR
    4 seasons 19 Hives-Camp Branch Bee Ranch. Est 2009
    "I am a nobody; nobody is perfect, and therefore I am perfect."

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Got mites?

    One key to mite control is to understand that something like 2/3 of the mites are in the brood at any one time. O/A is a one time treatment and is usually done when the bees are broodless, for that reason. (More than once hurts the bees.) The DWV kills the wings of a bee that has gotten that virus from a mite. The mite loaded brood is like a cancer killing bees and giving rise to more mites. As the brood nest gets smaller more of the mites jump into it. Look at the brood in your hive and decide how valuable it is to you and the colony.
    Powdered sugar or O/A cant get to them., even though either could kill them on a bee. One drastic measure would be to shake all the bees into a package. (cage the queen). Load them up with powdered sugar and roll them around in it. It jars the mites loose so they must be in a wire cage so they can't climb back on. Put the frames of brood in the freezer for 2 days. Now re hive the bees and feed them. Uncap the dead brood so the bees can clean it out. In 3 weeks you'll have a new package of bees with clean brood.
    I've never done this and I don't know if freezing, kills mites in 2 days. I know they can't live long apart from the bees. If you have some clean drawn comb that might be better. If you do it, get back to me and let me know how it worked out.
    I started with 8 colonies of small cell bees and sprayed them with FGMO every week all summer. The mites killed them off.


    dickm

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Got mites?

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    I am inclined to disagree. The fact that there are bees with DWV suggests that there is still brood being produced. Add to that the fact that they're still foraging and bringing in pollen. If they're still making brood in his climate, an effective varroa treatment may still be useful.
    I still see propagating poor genetics by trying to keep this hive...this hive does not have the gumpition to make. Even if you get it better it will always be "weak" "struggling" when some stress hits the hive.

    I also see this hive will need alot of babying to even get to the point of giving it a chance. That means $...on the chance it might get better.

    Yes you have foragers, but they are not nurse bees and do not nurse nor keep the brood alive. The foragers are also the older bees and will probably die off before the new healthy brood emerges...at least two complete brood cycles from now.

    The bees that are emerging now are defective. Plain and simple. They will not be able to care for the newly laid eggs at this point, and will more than likely die off soon.
    And what is it, 21 days from emerging that a bee becomes a forager? In 16-21 days the hive will have very few if any foragers, since the DWV bees will not survive that long, nor will they be able to fly for food.

    That said, if the deform wing virus has only hit a few bees, not acouple of cycles of bees you might have have a better chance.

    Too quote Icodebot

    "the dead bees are piling up fast"

    .

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Got mites?

    The best course of act in mite prevention is early treatment and prevention. I hope I am wrong in my assesment in this mite problem for this beek.
    and these are my questions
    1 When did you ever check for mites?
    2 when was the last full hive inspection thats going through every frame looking for brood, eggs larva queen etc...


    now the best way I have treated for mites is no chems just SBB's Drone comb and powder sugar treatments..
    That is very easy on the bees, mites can't get used to it and you don't have a mite problem. I am sorry for your loss but I feel you did not do one or more of the questions asked here.
    Last edited by honeydreams; 12-28-2009 at 11:20 PM.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Got mites?

    Well said BeeManDan
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  11. #31

    Default Re: Got mites?

    Quote Originally Posted by honeyshack View Post
    I still see propagating poor genetics by trying to keep this hive....
    I'm all for improved genetics. Next spring when he buys his russian/smr/hygienic/survivor queen, he's going to need a living hive to put her in.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Got mites?

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    I'm all for improved genetics. Next spring when he buys his russian/smr/hygienic/survivor queen, he's going to need a living hive to put her in.
    then buy a healthy queenless nuc from someone who has good quality bees and start again.

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Got mites?

    Quote Originally Posted by honeyshack View Post
    then buy a healthy queenless nuc from someone who has good quality bees and start again.
    H'shack,
    Not to be argumentative, but if he can save this hive, why would he go through that expense? Say 60-70 bucks.In 6-8 week after he re-queens it will be all new bees will it not? If he is able to save it using "organic/natural" methods then his comb should be in good order. I am probably missing something here that experience teaches. I am interested in your response and am learning a lot from this thread, so please don't think I am being a "two hive wonder know-it-all". All of the points of view so far have been valuable. I enjoyed your two posts yesterday, as well as Dickm's rather radical mite removal post, it gave me something to think about.

    RKR
    4 seasons 19 Hives-Camp Branch Bee Ranch. Est 2009
    "I am a nobody; nobody is perfect, and therefore I am perfect."

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Got mites?

    I'm with you RKR, The only downfall I see is the expense of the treatment. If he uses oxalic what are we talking 15 cents, to maybe have a live hive to help him start off the new queen in a couple months.

    Personally I don't see a reason not to try. If nothing else its a learning experience.


    Quote Originally Posted by rkr View Post
    H'shack,
    Not to be argumentative, but if he can save this hive, why would he go through that expense? Say 60-70 bucks.In 6-8 week after he re-queens it will be all new bees will it not? If he is able to save it using "organic/natural" methods then his comb should be in good order. I am probably missing something here that experience teaches. I am interested in your response and am learning a lot from this thread, so please don't think I am being a "two hive wonder know-it-all". All of the points of view so far have been valuable. I enjoyed your two posts yesterday, as well as Dickm's rather radical mite removal post, it gave me something to think about.

    RKR
    Dan

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Got mites?

    i will answer your questions the best i can from my experience and from what i have learned
    First off i will say that i am a smaller commercial producer, and make a living from my bees. So I will let the pencil and paper make my decision.

    math point of view...you need to look at the big picture..so that picture is to the fall of 2010. You need to add up all the costs to the time when the final harvest is done, and then the fall workup if you do that. Will that honey production meet the average for your yard? In my experience it does not.

    Short term:
    Treatments will cost anywhere from 3.75 for MA2 to 10-15 for the sugar dusting.
    Queen in my area goes or 26 or so canadian.
    In the short term seems like you are saving $

    Long term...
    lost brood production...there is a value
    time to take to recover...is valued
    will the hive become a good producer for the 2010 honey flow...not to it's potiential, may be if your are luck, might be able to recover enough to get into the fall/winter.
    If the hive makes it through this winter...
    Again, spring or fall treatments for 2010. More than likely since this hive is compromised health wise, i would throw the book at it. AFB treatment to reduce the stress of decreased ABF threshold. Nosema treatments due to the fact that the hive is stressed and nosema could get out of control...preemtive strike.

    So you are at
    15-26 for a queen depending on your area
    12- 30 for treatments for varroa control...to the fall of 2010
    5 or so for nosema treatments (2x spring and fall)
    10 or so for AFB treatment (spring for sure, maybe fall)

    add to that...feed and pollen...I would pollen feed in the hive to give it the best shot possible

    On the guess that this hive will survive

    --------------------------------

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Got mites?

    Had to divide since long post

    Next on the health matters

    the original poster's comments were..
    "the dead bees are piling up fast"
    ..."still foragers"
    -this indicates the bees as they are hatching or shortly afterwards are dying
    -there are foragers

    When we look at the life cycle of the bees we see that they "graduate" to foragers and it takes approx 21 or so days from emerging from the cell.
    the "now" foragers will be in short supply as they have a short life cycle when foraging....foragers are not nurse bees.
    We can also deduce that since it is the young bees dying, and the young bees are the nurse bees, there will be no to few nurse bees to look after the clean larva (mid and post treatment assuming the weak queen survives what ever treatment recommended)
    Now in a couple of weeks you will have few healthy nurse bees to look after the larva, and few foragers to bring in protien and nectar to feed the hive. But will you have enough? Will there be enough to cover the brood if a cold snap hits? Will you have enough bees to keep the hive healthy?

    ------------------------
    Now lets look at genetics
    this hive has a lower threshold to disease resistance and mite resistance. If it was a strong, genetically speaking, it would not have gotten so sick. It would show some signs of hygenics, ability to defend against these mites.

    Since it has not, this hive will more than likely remain a "weaker" hive, a struggling hive, and any stress will set it off. In cattle terms we call it a "PI calf" Persistantly infected. This hive will be a PI hive. Stressors can be weather, nutrition, mites, an increase in levels of the diseases in the hive which will make the hive suseptable to illness again.

    Yes you can requeen, but a queen is only as good as her hive. Poor, weak, low in numbers, those are difficult odds for a queen, even the best queen to over come.

    In the end, i would shake the bees on the ground away from the yard, let the foragers find a new home, hoping they are not compromised health wise, and i would take the frames of brood and clean them out.. My guess, from experience, is the brood pattern will be spotty.

    i have two experience from which i draw on

    1. bought a fellas bees and equipment. The bees were not fed or treated with any thing fall 08. Spring 09 there were high varroa # and a you could pick out a couple of DWV...very few. And in picking at the capped brood, there was still a good mixture of healthy bees.

    Treated with MA2, fed syrup with Fumigillan B, and treated preventavily for AFB.
    The numbers were slow to increase, even until fall. The honey production was in the 50-100 range. Average for our area is 180-200 pounds.
    I had to combine 80% of these hives in the fall of 09 because the # were not strong enough to meet our winter conditions...yes fall treated MA2 and Fumigillan. The other 20% were either to far gone to go into winter, or died in the summer, queen failure, even with new queen. My solution to them was to dump any surviving bees on the ground and let them find a hive.

    Ask me in the spring how they faired

    2. Now this experience is not mine, but related to me by the bee inspector on her own hives.
    She and her husband keep almost 200 hives. She wanted to knock down or combine weak hives for the winter. Her husband was of the opinion to keep them as they are. A hive that makes the winter is a hive to work with was his opinion. So she, with his blessing, marked the weak hives. They wintered them the same way, but separately so they would not get mixed up. Now understand, these hives showed no signs of DWV, or illness...she is a competent inspector who took a Master beekeeper course. 95% of the weak hives died during the winter. The other 5 should have died with the cluster they came out with. She made her point, and from then on they will only put strong hives into winter.

    Take from these experiences what you will.

  17. #37
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    Default Re: Got mites?

    Quote Originally Posted by honeyshack View Post
    This could be a risky move...the windex type sprayer. The chance that you will get some on the frames of the hives could spell danger to the bees. I am told that once it dries and becomes like a white residue, it can actually be poisonous or toxic to the bees. This is why it is dribbled between the frames, or in vapour form.

    Honeyshack,
    Do you say that it needs to be dribbled between the frames on the bees, on the cluster? Is it less toxic to the bees if it falls on the bees than on the frames? Thanks.

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Got mites?

    Honeyshack, I think you've made your point that, in the long run, treating is more expensive and counter-productive than not treating. Several others have made that same point, about getting off the chemical band wagon. At first it is no doubt painful and costly, but in the long run, it's better for the bees, and for our "bottom line." Thank you for sharing your personal experience.
    Steven

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