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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arlee MT USA
    Posts
    548

    Default How much disease is too much?

    Or, what is the point where you need to start trying to do something? (treatment free options of course)

    I ask this because today I saw two bees with DWV outside my strongest hive. Is a certain level of DWV acceptable in a treatment free hive or do I need to try and "do something"

    Hive is currently four mediums, foundationless, never been treated, this will be its second year.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,443

    Default Re: How much disease is too much?

    Depends on your bees. If they are non varroa resistant they will slowly get worse till they die.

    A lot of folks who have presumed varroa resistant bees, do report seeing some DWV from time to time, and it clears up again.

    So you need to know your bee stock, and if you wish, monitor to see if things continue to worsen. If they continue to worsen you will at some point have to decide if you will do something for the hive or let it be one of the 4 in 10 that die.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Fayetteville, Arkansas
    Posts
    5,012

    Default Re: How much disease is too much?

    Personally, I usually won't do anything unless the hive has American Foul Brood, then I'd burn it. If this hive is showing enough problems during mating season, I would requeen it if I have an eligible queen on hand. Otherwise, I'd leave it to figure out the problem on its own. That's what I'd do.

    I've seen hive go both ways. Sometimes they decline and die eventually, sometimes they supersede once or twice and start doing better. The longer I do this, the trend is toward the latter rather than the former.

    This is what I am in the habit of doing, but I'm more the Bond Method style treatment-free beekeeper. You might want to go a different direction. Ultimately though, you'll never know how much they can handle until you let them handle it.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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