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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Danbury, CT, USA
    Posts
    60

    Default Report Back from Bee Research Lab

    I had lost two hives in one yard to what appeared to be Nosema. The classic fecal staining was seen in these hives.

    A sampling of about 100 bees was collected and submitted from one of the two hives and submitted to the Bee Research Lab.
    The results were mailed back to me today with the following:

    Varroa Mite (Varroa destructor) 4 mites detected in sample.
    Honey Bee Tracheal Mite (Acarapis woodi) two of 16 bees examined had mites.
    Nosema Disease (Nosema Sp.) had an average of 3,400,000 Nosema Spores per bee.

    This past season was my second overwintering season. The first season, I had no losses out of three hives.

    This season I went into the Winter six hives, five very strong and one weak. Only one hive came through with apparently very healthy bees, one hive has a very small, weak cluster of bees, with a laying queen. This weak hive had been my strongest and best producing.

    The other four hives all perished. One of the four appears to have run out of food, that hive was found dead back in January. The other three and the one remaining, weak hive, all had classic Nosema fecal staining.

    All hives were offered feed supplemented with Fumigilan in the fall. The medicated feed was applied at two different times in the hopes of getting adequate medication to the bees. If success was measured on this dead out, I did not do well with the medication.

    So with the history described, I am looking for advice on how to proceed. I have replacement packages on order and would like to know how to best prepare the existing hives for their arrival on April 8?

    Additionally, should I take any extra measure to medicate the new bees after they have been hived?

    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,696

    Default Re: Report Back from Bee Research Lab

    4 mites from 100 bees = 4% mite infestation...
    ...brood damage occurs at 4%
    ...based on no other stressors

    your hives had a slight TM infestation....this will lower the threshold of tolerable varroa mites

    your hives had 3.4 million spores per bee...
    ...1 million is threshold...based on no other stressors...

    you were 3.4x that amount

    you hive died due to nosema out of control, compounded by VM and TM

    Clean up the dead bees from this year, seal off your hives to protect from mice and wax moths. When your packages arrive...feed with syrup and maybe a pollen patty...or 4 lol


    For your packages, if they were mine, I would give fumigillan in syrup when the packages get hived.
    I would also monitor the mites throughout the season, and go from there.

    Your bees start to produce the wintering bees in late August. If mite loads are high, damage occurs and your winter bees will not last the winter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Danbury, CT, USA
    Posts
    60

    Default Re: Report Back from Bee Research Lab

    Honeyshack - thanks for the reply.

    Since I am still in my inexperienced years with beekeeping, If I read between the lines in your reply, the Nosema came on due to the mite infestation in the hives???
    I had struggled with mite management in the late summer and was able to get counts well below where they had gone, but based on your information, I did not get to it soon enough or adequate enough or both!
    I will certainly do a better job of managing more aggressively and/or sooner then I did.
    I had attended a workshop last summer that taught me that planning events and times with bees is based on counting backwards. I have already begun to use that method to better manage my hives this year.

    Thanks for the input.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Leetonia, Ohio
    Posts
    389

    Default Re: Report Back from Bee Research Lab

    IMO you should have your hives treated before aug. 15th. to insure healthy bees raising healthy bees for the winter. I learned this from a Randy Oliver talk or article. Since doing this my winter survival rates have gone up. I also agree that the v. mite is what led to nosema and other "bugs" that may have hurt your bees.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,696

    Default Re: Report Back from Bee Research Lab

    I agree with JD about before Aug 15. But i have a suggestion which kinda twists things abit.
    In talking with our provincial bee guy (special name cant think right now), he suggests to hit the mites hard in the spring. Knocking them down to help with brood rearing over the spring and summer and increased honey production.
    By doing this, the fall application can be something not so "harsh" to "clean up" the mites, and be a slight bit later, say the end of August.

    This however is relative to when each area's honey production and spring and fall build up is.
    For us, Spring build up gets underway late march, early April, full swing in May. Our flow is July and August, fall prep, end of August into September, wrap by the end of October.

    A saying in our area, "make your choice, harvest the fall flow or live bees in the spring"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,323

    Default Re: Report Back from Bee Research Lab

    Is there really a direct cause and effect, Varroa Mites, Tracheal Mites, and Nosema?

    I think it works more like, bees are infected/affected by one or more disease or pest organism, they then become more easily affected by others that are present. It becomes a race to see which one can get the most from the bee before their combined efforts do it in. Perhaps a compounding synergistic effect. Isn't something like that being proposed as the possible cause of CCD?
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,696

    Default Re: Report Back from Bee Research Lab

    Quote Originally Posted by BilllBee View Post

    ...the Nosema came on due to the mite infestation in the hives???
    More than likely, yes. But without being there this past summer, it's kind of like the chicken and the egg...which came first...nosema or mites. Either way, you now know how the both interact in the hive and how quickly they can take down your hive


    Quote Originally Posted by BilllBee View Post

    I had attended a workshop last summer that taught me that planning events and times with bees is based on counting backwards. I have already begun to use that method to better manage my hives this year.
    Always look ahead. What you do or do not do today will affect the viability of your hive next year. Make sense?
    On the short term, what you do in spring and how it effects the hive will show up in the honey production. What you do in the late summer and early fall will show up in spring.

    Best of Luck

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,696

    Default Re: Report Back from Bee Research Lab

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    Is there really a direct cause and effect, Varroa Mites, Tracheal Mites, and Nosema?
    Yes...ask me to show you proof, and i have no scientific proof, only what i see in my hives.

    High mite loads weaken the hive to the point that it reduces the economic thresholds of other illnesses.

    High nosema can weaken a hive so that it is too weak to fight the mites

    Combinations will always take down the hive unless intervention happens.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,323

    Default Re: Report Back from Bee Research Lab

    I meant, are Varroa Mites, Tracheal Mites, and Nosema linked, so that they occur together? I realize that diseases and pests can be synergistic, but are those three, or even just Varroa Mites and Nosema somehow double-teaming on a consistent basis? I don't doubt that they do occur together, at least sometimes, but I'm wondering if your meaning is that they are somehow tied together in more than an unhappily serendipitous manner.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    barry co., Michigan
    Posts
    311

    Default Re: Report Back from Bee Research Lab

    I also got myresults back as well. Very heavy varroa loads in my samples - two hives were in the 20-30% range! I truely underestimated V. destructor. Never again

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Leetonia, Ohio
    Posts
    389

    Default Re: Report Back from Bee Research Lab

    I believe there is a strong connection between how stressed (infested) your bees are with mites and their ability to fight off other diseases. Keep your mites low and they will fight off other disease/pests easier like they had for hundreds of years before the v. mites.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,696

    Default Re: Report Back from Bee Research Lab

    Agreed!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    dadeville, alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,163

    Default Re: Report Back from Bee Research Lab

    Use an Intergrated pest management plan. Rotate legal chemical compounds out over a period of three to four years so the mites do not build up a resistance to the compounds. AND do so responsible!!! TK

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