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  1. #121
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    870

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    I lost 1 of 17.
    I'm starting 4th year of beekeeping, aniversary of first hive on 3/25. My first three hives were treated for mites and I didn't treat with miticides. I treated antibiotics once early on, so most of my hives are treatment free.
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  2. #122
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,021

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Quote Originally Posted by bevy's honeybees View Post
    4th year of beekeeping, aniversary of first hive on 3/25.
    Only a female could know that, LOL!
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  3. #123
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    787

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    My worst fears are realized: I am down to one full colony and one nuc - down from a high of about 30 in 2012. Went into winter with 24 or so. Again, my fault. My work schedule didn't let me work them and get them up to weight where they needed to be. Mites didn't help. A close inspection of one deadout found mites on many of them. some had multiple mites. The mites had dug up underneath the plates of the abdomen of the bees. Well, I have two to work with for now until (hopefully) some swarm calls come in. -js

  4. #124
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Westchester NY
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Dixie did you do any mite counts?
    http://www.peekskillnurseries.com
    Specialists in Ground Cover plants since 1937. Talk to me about ground-covers!

  5. #125
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    787

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    no. I just made note that there were lots of them, at least in that one colony. Can't say about the others. There were clear signs that starvation was the main culprit. -js

  6. #126
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,021

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Sorry to hear about that Dixiebooks, devastating, and probably a pretty emotional thing.

    I would like to ask a question though, if I may. In your post, it sounds like you found mites in the abdominal plates of dead bees, is that what you were saying?

    Just curious, I thought a mite if living, would abandon a dead bee. That was just an assumption though, keen to learn.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  7. #127
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    787

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Oldtimer: thanks, yes, pretty devastating. took a few years to build to that point and then this. Yes, the colony I found with mites had the mites up in the abdominal plates - all very well deceased. My guess is that when the bees ran out of food, they froze. When the bees froze, the mites froze. -js

  8. #128
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    How many can you confirm were killed by mites and how many starved?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  9. #129
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    787

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    How many can you confirm were killed by mites and how many starved?
    Is it possible to confirm with 100% certainty? In my case, I think starvation was the primary factor. Mites were secondary. If a good portion of the bees are head-first in the cells and there is no honey or syrup present, I conclude starvation, regardless of the presence of mites. But am I absolutely certain of this? No. Perhaps as I gain more experience, I will be. -js

  10. #130
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Seems like a fair assessment. Did you take any honey from these hives last year?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  11. #131
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    787

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    From a few of them. Most were nucs. The colony I closely inspected and found mites was a very productive colony and I did take honey from it but also left them some honey. -js

  12. #132
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,115

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Quote Originally Posted by heaflaw View Post
    I have had a bad year. Lost 15 of 21 hives. Have been treatment free for 8 or 9 years. They seemed to have swindled until there were not enough bees in the cluster to keep warm. I did a check for varroa where I poured powdered sugar on them and counted the dropped mites on the sticky board. I only counted about 8 mites for each hive. I plan to send a sample of dead bees to Beltsville for testing. Maybe it was Nosema Ceranae? Any suggestions?

    I'm very disheartened. I had planned to try raising queens and selling them and nucs this spring. I won't have enough bees and I also don't want to sell treatment free bees if they aren't.
    I sent in samples of dead bees, live bees and comb with sealed brood to Beltsville Bee Lab. The results are a Nosema count of over 10 million spores per bee. They stated that 1 million is considered high. So, the conclusion seems to be that Nosema Ceranae was the cause of my high losses.

    I am using UV light to kill spores on comb and woodenware on the deadouts. I will breed from the survivors and try to bring in survivors from outside.

    Any comments?
    Last edited by heaflaw; 04-04-2013 at 09:46 PM.

  13. #133
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,021

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Well I just lost another 2 small cell hives. Took honey off them a month ago, inspected and set them up for winter with around a full deep of honey each. Some of them had mite levels that would have meant an immediate treatment, had they not been treatment free hives. Anyhow, got a call from the landowner yesterday, saying the bees were "very busy", plus there was a bunch of bees hanging on their barn.

    Kind of knew what it must be, my heart sank. Drove out there, and sure enough, the two hives that were worst effected by mites were being robbed out. Took a look inside, brood showing severe pms nearly all cells affected. Surprised how fast they went down. The bunch of bees on the barn were gone, it's late fall here, can only assume they were absconders making a last ditch effort to survive.

    Took a drive to where I have one solitary small cell hive, all on it's own. Opened it up expecting problems but all brood looked normal, plus there was no DWV. But then I noticed mites all over, one bee had 3 mites on it. Amazing, never seen anything like that in a hive seemingly so healthy. A few possibilities came to mind but here's two main ones. Maybe they just done some robbing of dying hives & picked up a heap of mites but it's not been long enough to do damage? Or, they have mites, but not the viruses mites spread so are able to tolerate a much higher number. Any thoughts?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  14. #134
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,732

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Inspect frequently and report back.

    Crazy Roland

  15. #135
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,650

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    i had the same two thoughts ot, and the third is that maybe they have some inherent resistance to the viruses.

    time will tell.

    sorry to hear about the losses already, as you are only a couple of weeks into fall there.

    what were the mite levels last month?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  16. #136
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,021

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Well I didn't do a count last month, just noticed some pms although only the odd cell at that time & normal brood hatching.

    Re the other hive, yes did also wonder about possible virus resistance, it's one of the things we should be breeding for, not just mite resistance.

    Yes I'll watch this hive & report back.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  17. #137
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,953

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    How can it be? SC bees don't get mites and are more resistant to secondary diseases. Dee, Barry and Michael told us so again and again.

  18. #138
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arlee MT USA
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    3 of 3 made it. Winter was mild. All hives where three mediums, foundationless. Each was weighed two weeks ago when we had our first days that where warm enough for bees to fly. Weights ranged from 101-110 pounds. With equipment weight subtracted that leaves about fifty lbs of bees and honey in each hive.

    As far as I can tell I have no mites at all, at least none found on the bottom board. I am also pretty remote, to my knowledge there are no other bees within five miles.

  19. #139

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    OT....maybe you can get Barry to do a sticky for your treatment free experiment thread. As it stands....your reports are likely to get scattered throughout other threads and much of the important continuity will be lost.
    I, for one, truly appreciate an open minded trial but don't want to have to search the entire site to find your posts.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  20. #140
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,523

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Well I just lost another 2 small cell hives.
    How many does that leave you?
    Regards, Barry

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