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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Clay, Fl
    Posts
    1

    Default Mites? Disease? Chillded Brood? Yellow Jackets?

    I have one hive with two hive bodies from a nuc I purchased in May. The bees are getting established and have seemed very healthy, as both hive bodies are loaded. Everything was good until the past few days. First, I have yellow jackets trying to take over. I put up an entrance reducer and reduced the entrance to about an inch. I put out yellow jacket traps (jars with jelly water) and monitor the hive daily. It has been very cold in Florida so I am not sure what to think. The bees are dropping brood out and young bees with "moth eaten" wings. The temperature was up yesterday so I opened it up and did the powdered sugar thing. I didn't see any mites on the bees but did not remove the frames to look at brood (because the yellow jackets were near.) Nothing looked out of the ordinary. I did some mite research and it seems like essential oils are good; however I have been using Honey B Healthy for about a month anyway (which I was going to stop using because I thought it was attracting the yellow jackets.) Any advise is welcome, I don't want to lose my hive. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,772

    Default Re: Mites? Disease? Chillded Brood? Yellow Jackets?

    It has been cold in FL...I just got back from a conference down there. You might have some chilled brood but the frayed wings and your general feeling of concern is worth looking into. In my opinion, you need to monitor when you treat and preferably, before you start treating. No matter what you're using, doing a roll or a drop count on a sticky bottom board will give you more insight into the mite situation than trying to find mites on the bees. I generally always find mites on bees if I look hard enough but if I see mites without even trying, I generally have a pretty good sized problem.

    Try doing a drop count or a sugar / ether roll and see what you're working with. Once you have a few days of counts, you'll have something of a baseline and it'll be easier to figure out if your treatment (or preferably...treatments) are effective. If your mite count is low, good for you...one less thing to worry about.

    Finally, I strongly believe that managing mites requires multiple approaches if you want to do with without "hard" chemicals, making monitoring even more important.

    By the way, welcome to Beesource. It's good to have you!
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,558

    Default Re: Mites? Disease? Chillded Brood? Yellow Jackets?

    Quote Originally Posted by rhoridge View Post
    Everything was good until the past few days. First, I have yellow jackets trying to take over.

    The bees are dropping brood out and young bees with "moth eaten" wings.

    I didn't see any mites on the bees but did not remove the frames to look at brood (because the yellow jackets were near.)

    Nothing looked out of the ordinary.
    You don't consider deformed wings as being out of the ordinary? Yellow jackets won't take over a strong, healthy colony. You have, IMO, a problem with varroa. Look at the brood.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,071

    Default Re: Mites? Disease? Chillded Brood? Yellow Jackets?

    Did you treat for Nosema as part of your getting them ready for winter?

    It is a silent killer that slowly makes a hive weak. Then the weakness leads to death.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,308

    Default Re: Mites? Disease? Chillded Brood? Yellow Jackets?

    Yes, the deformed wings are indicative of a serious problem that can get worse. I would make plans now to requeen in the spring with a mite resistant queen... but it may be too late by then. Do what you can to diagnose and treat now. Good luck to you!
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

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