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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    191

    Default Mite Control during Honey Flow

    I have a hive with a high mite count and now a pile of dead bees on the screened bottom board and underneath a slatted rack. Two deep brood boxes, one full honey super and another mostly full. I'm about to inspect since I saw the dead bees yesterday. The honey flow is really on in my area (Charlotte, NC), and I'm in my second year of beekeeping.

    • What do you do natural treatment- and Sustainable Mite Control-wise when the main honey flow is on?
    • Will sugar dusting violate the honey that's being put up in any way? What are other queues to look for on an inspection other than Varroa with this hive?
    • What are appropriate methods during spring for replacing foundation frames with foundationless to regress the hives?
    • Which frames do you remove and replace with empties or drone frames, in the brood boxes, and what do you do with the ones you removed?
    • How do you get dry, fully empty combs for future/other use (if brood is being laid, and honey is on)?


    Thanks one and all!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Centerville, Utah
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Mite Control during Honey Flow

    For the natural method: Requeen. Take the queen out. Leave them queenless for 1 1/2 to 2 weeks. Then put in a new queen. You can let them do it naturally if you wish. This may also benefit your honey flow as they will not have to concentrate on the babies.

    This breaks the cycle of the mites as they cannot lay in the cells with the baby bees.. this method was published in American Bee Journal.

    There is much detail on how it is done. You might want to research more... thx -donnie

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Peace River, AB Canada
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Mite Control during Honey Flow

    Could you provide a mite count, percent alcohol wash or 24 hour mite drop, so we can know at what level a hive crashes?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: Mite Control during Honey Flow

    Sure. This hive had a 24-hour count of 202. I'll take another and report back what it is a month later. My other main hive had a count of 56.

    What do I do with the removed queen, btw? Execute the precious royalty?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Mite Control during Honey Flow

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Davidson View Post
    What do you do natural treatment-...
    There is no such thing. Furthermore, treatments are not discussed in the Treatment-Free Beekeeping forum.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Davidson View Post
    and Sustainable Mite Control-wise when the main honey flow is on?
    Nothing


    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Davidson View Post
    What are appropriate methods during spring for replacing foundation frames with foundationless to regress the hives?
    After the hive has developed a substantial broodnest and there is no risk of separating the brood and chilling it, place one or two frames of foundation in the midst of the brood nest at a time. Rotate poorly


    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Davidson View Post
    Which frames do you remove and replace with empties or drone frames, in the brood boxes, and what do you do with the ones you removed?
    I cycle them up and down from the upper boxes. I keep 'supers' on year 'round.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Davidson View Post
    How do you get dry, fully empty combs for future/other use (if brood is being laid, and honey is on)?
    I mostly collect them from deadouts in winter. Also, around here, after you harvest, empties are not refilled so generally they're just sitting on top of the hives.

    The rest of your questions I have no experience with so I won't comment. However, the Bee Informed National Survey results have showed that among users of powdered sugar, colony loss was slightly higher than among those who did not use it. http://beeinformed.org/wp-content/up...ered-sugar.pdf
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: Mite Control during Honey Flow

    Doh! Thank you, Solomon got it. The Powdered Sugar survey is mind-blowing. Sounds like regression is a huge factor in controlling Varroa. This forum is truly awesome. Thanks!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: Mite Control during Honey Flow

    Would it benefit the hive (and potentially honey flow) more to let them raise their own queen instead of introducing a new queen after 2 weeks?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Peace River, AB Canada
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Mite Control during Honey Flow

    Two problems with letting them raise their own queen is;
    1) They have already shown poor genetics at controlling mites
    2) Since they are so infested they will probably not raise a healthy queen

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: Mite Control during Honey Flow

    Hmm, great points! I may then split a full nuc and see if they'll raise another queen for me, and requeen with another nuc's well-laying queen I have on hand. If I were to use the old queens to make "bee juice" as Michael Bush calls it, in some alcohol, does anyone know if I should use denatured alcohol or rubbing alcohol (or my favorite type of alcohol from the hills of Kentucky )?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: Mite Control during Honey Flow

    JD, six weeks later and both hives are well. They're Russian, and an old beekeeper who was the first to keep Russians in our area who is treatment-free said that when mite levels go high the queen will shut down production until the mites reach an acceptable level. I decided to trust his wisdom and nature, and both hives have come through with flying colors (and honey Also, I've now raised 4 queens (one from a feral trap-out) and all are exhibiting high levels of grooming (they seem to do that all the time, whether at the hive or at the water baths I've set up).

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,299

    Default Re: Mite Control during Honey Flow

    congratulations on your success! And wisdom by listening to your "old beekeeper" who has been there, done that, in your area.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: Mite Control during Honey Flow

    Thanks, Steven! Our elder beekeepers are amazing resources.

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