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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Chatham Co, NC, USA

    Default Newbie needs guidance about pests

    On Sunday, I pulled out the IPM insert and found in the debris: wax moths, some kine of larvae, a couple of SHB, and lots of mites. Also, I was watching the bees evict a couple of reluctant drones and saw they were also dragging out bees with deformed wings. I was pretty upset to see all of this because, aside from a couple SHB I had seen nothing to indicate there may be a problem, the last time I was in the hive.

    I bought a couple of Apistan strips and a beetle blaster trap.

    I went into the hive and checked all 6 supers on the hive(8-frame mediums); working from the the bottom up I found:

    Box #1 -- uncapped honey. about half a doz SHB. No brood.
    Box #2 -- capped brood and some capped honey. some emerging young first time, very exciting. no larvae
    Box #3 -- capped and open brood. some capped honey. a couple bees with deformed wings
    Box #4 -- lots of open and some capped honey on 8 frames -- box weighed about 30 lbs. saw 1 worker w/ a mite on her back
    Box #5 -- 8 frames of capped honey-- box weighed about 50 lbs
    Box#6 -- foundation....nothing drawn, hardly any bees. I left this box off as I was concerned it would attract moths if the bees weren't going to be working it.

    I had cleaned the IPM board of all debris on Sunday, by Wednesday there were some moths and it seemed like a LOT of mites and a few beetles

    i put a beetle-blaster trap in the bottom super where we'd seen the SHB and an Api-strip on the one above that.

    Do you think this hive will be okay? is there anything I am not doing that I should be or doing that I should not be doing?

    i am going to attempt to attach a photo or 2 if it might help.

    One last thought: I am seeing a LOT of yellow jackets buzzing around the grass in front of the hive. They do not appear to be trying to go into the hive, although there were a couple attempts while I had the hive open. I even killed one that had its head inside a honey cell. I am seeing them carrying off the injured drones, larvae and Deformed Wing bees that are being ejected.

    thank you in advance for any insight or advice you can offer.

    Sorry, I am unable to get a photo attached
    Last edited by JC2783; 10-07-2010 at 03:07 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Pepperell, MA.

    Default Re: Newbie needs guidance about pests

    Well, I think you have a lot of things going on. Here's some thoughts:

    - Foundation won't attract wax moths. Comb does. But I agree with you taking the super's not necessary at this time.

    - I'm pretty sure the instructions for Apistan would have suggested more strips for your hive than you have in there right now. To me, you have a couple of boxes of brood and I think you might be under treating, even assuming that the Apistan will be effective at all. I believe there is a danger to under treating in that you aren't solving the problem, you're helping to increase the mites resistance to a weak chemical influence and you're introducing hard chemicals into your hive without the intended effect from doing it.

    - Your honey supers should be off the hive if you're treating, assuming you'll be harvesting at some point. You may be leaving it for the bees.

    - Deformed wings = mites. Yes, you're seeing mites and the result of the deformed wing virus that has manifested itself in your colony and yes, you're treating but I think it's not enough treatment and probably a little too late.

    All that being said, I've had colonies that look to be in terrible shape when I went into the winter. I treated with despair but in the Spring, things were a lot better. Of course, we all have the hives that seem to be fine and then crash because we looked the other way too long, assuming all was well.

    I would pull the honey if I was going to harvest it. Leave it on of course if it's for the bees. I would consolidate the hive and then treat according to the specific instructions for your control method. I would probably even consider some sugar dusting, more because it's quick and easy and can only help the situation.

    Sounds like you have the beetle situation covered although I'm not as familiar with SHB as I am with mites. Others may have some good ideas.

    Finally, yellow jackets are always a problem this time of year. They do carry off bees. Too many can hurt a hive and they are a terrible distraction when the bees are trying to gather for the winter as well as stay healthy. I sometimes put traps out. I don't know if the traps make a material difference but they can't hurt. In your case, they seem to have plenty to do right outside the hive but things may change so keep an eye on it.

    Best of luck!
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA

    Default Re: Newbie needs guidance about pests

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenseye View Post
    Well, I think you have a lot of things going on.



    Would this be a candidate hive to try a HBH drench on??
    Trying to think inside the box...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Pepperell, MA.

    Default Re: Newbie needs guidance about pests

    Yes, it would be a candidate but I'm not sure it would be the best candidate. First off, a treatment course has already begun. Multiple courses in fact. Second, there is a lot of chatter regarding the value of HBH or various other home grown solutions, many of which appear to be very effective based on casual observation but mileage may vary from colony to colony. Third, the year is getting on. Drenching bees and brood is intrusive and although the climate may be OK for that right now, I'd be worried about chilling ANY brood on a struggling hive heading into the fall / winter season. Finally, I always worry about interpretation. What I mean is that we tend to be human in our approach to solutions. If this hive stays OK after a drench, we'll credit the success to HBH and the treatment method, even if there are other factors at work. The same holds true for other treatment methods, some of which are already in play. I'd probably think of using HBH in the summer, on a hive that shows moderately increasing stress and then only use that single treatment in order to get a better idea of the net effect on a hive that's been baselined first. Just to be clear, I've never been an advocate of any single treatment, used exclusively to manage pests. I believe that all have their place depending on circumstance.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"


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