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  1. #201

    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    As far as the "Bond Method", if I have bees that can't survive Varroa on natural comb, I don't want to perpetuate them.
    Just so we're clear on this....I haven't said anything against the Bond Method......ever.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  2. #202
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    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    >>I expect that most of us have heard of the ‘Bond’ or ‘Live and Let Die’ method of mite resistance selection. I would like to propose a new term for a different one. I want to call it the Head in the Sand (HITS) method.
    >I haven't said anything against the Bond Method......ever.

    Maybe you were misunderstood. I think most of us were under the impression that was the beginning of this discussion--a renaming of the "Bond Method" as "HITS". Perhaps you are describing a different "method" than the "Bond Method"? Maye you should clarify.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #203
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    Cleveland, OH, USA
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    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by Joel_T View Post
    Yea - learned that in a beekeeping class. I guess that's called "tw", treating the wallet.
    No kidding. I mean, obviously it's possible; it's what all beekeepers did before Langstroth (an all too often unsung genius, I think). But even leaving aside the moral question - ugh - I can't believe it's actually more profitable. If it was, I suspect the Langstroth-type hive would never have caught on, let alone become the modern standard.
    Beeless since 2012; coming back in 2014. Suffering from apicultural withdrawal!

  4. #204
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    Oct 2011
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    Coopersville, Michigan
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    260

    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >>I expect that most of us have heard of the ‘Bond’ or ‘Live and Let Die’ method of mite resistance selection. I would like to propose a new term for a different one. I want to call it the Head in the Sand (HITS) method.
    >I haven't said anything against the Bond Method......ever.

    Maybe you were misunderstood. I think most of us were under the impression that was the beginning of this discussion--a renaming of the "Bond Method" as "HITS". Perhaps you are describing a different "method" than the "Bond Method"? Maye you should clarify.
    He did clarify, several times, including in the first post. He pretty clearly says he has a name for a different style of beekeeping, i.e. not the bond method, but something else. He only mentioned it as one name for a system, he could have just as easily said pyramiding up, or checkerboarding, or anything else.

    He's only said that people aren't recognizing varroa as a problem. The Bond Method doesn't fit this description at all. If you are running the bond method you are probably doing it to get bees resistant to varroa, because you are aware it is a problem and are letting weak hives die because they don't handle varroa. It doesn't fit at all. I've lost count of the times he's restated his post isn't about TF/Treatment or any specific method of husbandry. I don't know where that idea came up, but I've been sidetracked by a lot of comments already myself so who knows.

    I haven't run into the same thing that Beemandan has, but I don't talk to many beekeepers outside forums. I have however heard/read about the same thing he's been mentioning quite a bit.
    Last edited by Mr. C; 05-23-2013 at 12:44 PM. Reason: clarity

  5. #205
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    Feb 2013
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    Vernonia Or
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    87

    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. C View Post
    That is because of longer capping time on drone brood, which allows more mites to develop to maturity (my understanding anyway). What I was looking for was a study more like this.
    http://www.ibra.org.uk/articles/20081124_18

    I don't have access to the full article, but it sounds like mites prefer larger sizes, but reproduce just as well in smaller ones.
    That abstract didn't address the viability of the mite only the quantity. More is not better (for the mite) if they are sterile, as the other article suggested.

  6. #206

    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I think most of us were under the impression that was the beginning of this discussion--a renaming of the "Bond Method" as "HITS".
    I don't know about most of you. Surely a couple of you have chosen that interpretation.
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Perhaps you are describing a different "method" than the "Bond Method"? Maye you should clarify.
    The Bond Method…or Live and Let Die is a catchy name.
    I, too, wanted a catchy name. There the similarities end.
    Look CLOSELY Michael….I used the words different one in my first post.
    Nowhere did I say …another name for the same method.

    How many posts have I made saying exactly that?
    Sorry you’re having difficulty with this.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  7. #207
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    Feb 2013
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    Vernonia Or
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    87

    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    Here….I’ll even spoonfeed them to ya.
    Just take it outside……please.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...l+cell+studies
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...l+cell+studies

    To save me some time, although I'm becoming very leary of "conclusions" around here, there are so many different ones.... your conclusion (from your multigazzilion sources) is/was?

  8. #208

    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by Joel_T View Post
    To save me some time, although I'm becoming very leary of "conclusions" around here, there are so many different ones.... your conclusion (from your multigazzilion sources) is/was?
    Oh my….
    .
    Each study concluded that small cell does not make any significant difference in varroa infestations.

    The conventional foundation folks believe that the studies results stand on their own.

    The small cell folks believe that the studies are each and all flawed.

    If you want to know which side I'm on....I believe I posted numerous times in both threads.....
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  9. #209
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    i was pretty much 'head in the sand', mostly because when i started there was so much else to learn that i didn't bother checking for mites.

    then this happened:

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...-of-a-dead-out

    i won't be treating, but i'll be checking all my production hives this summer and compare the infestions rates to productivity and survival. the worst ones will be considered for splitting and requeening.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  10. #210

    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    I am curious sp....before you took the sample did you think that the cause of the collapse was mites?
    And once you realized that it was....did that fact cause you any distress or embarrassment?
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  11. #211
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    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    I went entirely natural cell with many colonies for several years and it simply didn't work for me, I just can't imagine a radical improvement by me going with small cell now instead of natural cell, but then again I have not attempted it. How Mike Bush succeeds with small cell and has no varroa losses is beyond my understanding at this point. John

  12. #212
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    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    dan, i knew this colony was lagging behind its cohorts last fall, but i just chalked it up to some colonies are better than others, or that doing a walk away split on a nuc probably wasn't a good idea.

    these were bees obtained from a supplier that has never treated, and i was finishing up my second season with similar bees with no treatments and no losses.

    distress? embarassment? a little i guess. i allow myself mistakes and poor decisions and chalk it all up to the learning curve and getting better at beekeeping.

    at the very least, this would make me do a mite count on any laggards. but i will go ahead and test all of my production hives after the honey harvest. i am really interested in 'knowing my enemy', and i'm curious to see what kind of infestation rates these bees are tolerating, as well as how that relates to other observations and measures.

    for example, i wish i knew if the several examples of queen failure i had this past winter were in some way mite related. (not a lot of frass seen in the comb, but can't be sure since i didn't do the counts)
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  13. #213
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    Cleveland, OH, USA
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    475

    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    I went entirely natural cell with many colonies for several years and it simply didn't work for me, I just can't imagine a radical improvement by me going with small cell now instead of natural cell, but then again I have not attempted it. How Mike Bush succeeds with small cell and has no varroa losses is beyond my understanding at this point. John
    Mr. Bush's apiary may be located in place that's a fortuitous convergence of weather, pest/disease proliferation, and genetic conditions which suit his beekeeping style in a way that can't be duplicated elsewhere.
    Beeless since 2012; coming back in 2014. Suffering from apicultural withdrawal!

  14. #214

    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i allow myself mistakes and poor decisions and chalk it all up to the learning curve and getting better at beekeeping.
    It is good if you can do that. I'm my own worst critic. Having said that, I'm quick to confess my mistakes but have discovered that many folks aren't

    I think you are right on target with the testing. Who knows...you may discover colonies with huge miteloads that thrive all the same. Wouldn't that be a kick?

    I'm glad that you've chosen to know the enemy and look forward to your reports.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  15. #215
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    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    thanks dan, i appreciate reading your posts and i think your original post on this thread raises a good point.

    there were quite a few first year beekeepers this past winter posting pictures of dead outs and asking for help diagnosing that had not checked for mites, didn't see any mites, ect.

    for me, i have a couple of old school (and i say that with respect) beekeepers that i know and who have helped me along, but they do not check for mites either, and aren't sure what the cause(s) of their losses are from.

    i don't blame other tf beekeepers for not taking counts if they don't want to. if they have developed methods for not losing too many colonies and can make increase to replace their losses then that's great. i just think it would be interesting to know what infestation rates their hives are tolerating.

    i have a feeling that i'll find higher counts are related to colony weakness, poor production, queen failure, winter loss, ect. but hey, it would be a kick if there is no correlation!

    yep, we'll keep you posted.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  16. #216

    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i don't blame other tf beekeepers for not taking counts if they don't want to.
    Nor do I. It is only when they have failures (treated or not) and are unwilling to accept that mites might have played a role. And if they've done no objective testing, in my opinion, they can't exclude the mite factor.....experienced or new beekeepers alike.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  17. #217
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    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    agreed, can't exclude if not tested, with the caveat that there doesn't seem to be a universally accepted threshold.

    have you determined what % infestation despite treatments will likely result in collapse?

    i've seen 2-5% in the fall suggested.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  18. #218
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    Feb 2011
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    Norfolk County, MA, USA
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    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Funny thread..... really don't understand it. I can't see how anyone can't believe they don't have mites and then again I really can't see how anyone who does have heavy or even light mite loads can prove that is what killed them. Because they have mites thats what killed them??? Until you can provide a clear test that proves what killed the hive you really can't prove anything.

    I'm not into the sugar roll or any other counting method for mites, they don't live alone and I have seen them on drone larvae seems a huge waste of time to count something that exists and the supposed counts aren't quite exact or perfect plentyy of info about that.

    Maybe a wind drift of pesticide happened, build up of pesticide in the comb, maybe a combination of mites and several factors who knows until someone can provide clear and precise evidence of all die offs it's all assumption based. I checked the OP's blog he uses thymol for treating I'm not sure I consider that a heavy treatment I'm in the organic camp with that one similiar to organic gardening principles. I myself haven't used anything but I'm leaning to thymol myself ... I would just like to live in a perfect world free of mites and problems...yes Utopia ..anyone been there yet ..send me a postcard and invite please.
    Think about it....Buy American

  19. #219
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    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    What, in my mind, makes matters worse is the perception that the only mite failures are huge and sudden. The thinking might be that mites unchecked cause huge and sudden failures, then when we get them ‘under control’ they’re no longer a problem. But that is absolutely wrong.
    I've been chewing on this whole "why is it never mites?" question (for once), and I think I might have an idea, and it has to do with this thing I just quoted. Basically, except for seeing mites on bees, I think people genuinely have no idea what the symptoms of a mite kill are.

    Think about most bee diseases. I bet you anybody here can tell you instantly what the signs of AFB are if you ask them: sunken, perforated caps, foul smell, ropey goop where pupae are supposed to be. I remember my first beekeeping book, which had a chapter that went over this and other problems - chalk and sacbrood, EFB, nosema, etc. Great big color plates graphically depicting these things. And then I try to think about what it had to say about varroa mites - well, it had color photographs of mites on brood, a mite on an adult bee, and a bee with the deformed-wing virus. In addition to these, I remember the book mentioning that a mite infestation could "weaken and ultimately kill a colony", though it didn't elaborate very much.

    I think it really is a case of out-of-sight, out-of-mind. Every other disease's symptoms are so macroscopic and easy to spot instantly with just a few glances at the comb and the bees themselves; but mites are hard to see. They're TINY and sneaky (and evil). How often do beekeepers inspecting a frame and admiring the beautiful, solid laying pattern then hook and pull out some of that capped brood to see how healthy it is? So, they don't see obvious mites, that means they don't have mites. And a weakening colony - can't it just be a weak colony? Maybe there was bad forage or something, or some insecticide some of them got into, or the weather or the flow has been bad...how do you tell a colony weakened by mites from a colony weakened by chance? Well, by doing a test of course; but when is a test warranted? I don't see no mites. I don't see no deformed wings. Maybe I got the wrong impression from that book I read oh-so-long-ago, and have somehow come to think that it can't be varroa unless they've got deformed wings. So without these obvious signs, why should I think it's mites? And when I'm baffled by a dead-out and I just can't figure out what it was, and you tell me immediately "that's a mite kill", like it should've been so simple to figure out - well darnit, I'm not stupid, I know what mites look like and I didn't see any, so your quick assessment almost sounds like an insult to my intelligence. Perhaps that's what's happening.

    The problem is even worse when it's a slow mite kill that's taken a couple of years to end a colony - like you said, it's not always sudden and calamitous. In that case, it might be something like "there were mites, but I know it's not them because there weren't any more this year than there were last year and last year the colony was just fine! Except it really wasn't.

    Whether or not people decide to "treat", I think monitoring for mites should be something beekeepers are encouraged to accept as a routine summer chore.

    Ironically enough, this whole discussion has something of an alter-ego in a complaint I've made a couple of times, which is people very quickly and easily misidentifying losses as "CCD" that are quite obviously other things, like winter starve-outs or pesticide kills. Some of these misidentifications are political of course; particularly pesticide kills (I've noticed that some people here have simply decided that any discussions about pesticides or pesticide kills belong in the CCD forum and that's that). But it seems to me that the problem more commonly is that people don't know what the heck CCD actually is, aside from a loss. CCD has some very specific markers that make it quite unlike other kinds of dead outs; but these are rarely mentioned in media reports, which usually simplify and just state that the bees are dying in large quantities and leaving beekeepers...I think the usual word is "baffled".

    As beekeepers, perhaps we should be a little more engaged, and not be getting our primary information about anything bee-related from journalists and news reports; they're supposed to be getting their information from us. Our industry has its own technical publications, most of the science labs and research organizations that do work with bees have their own websites and make their own news releases and those are the places we should be getting our information from. Not the News at 6 or mypersonalsavetheworldblog.com, each of which, while well-intentioned, has a stake in presenting the story in a certain way that might be misleading.
    Beeless since 2012; coming back in 2014. Suffering from apicultural withdrawal!

  20. #220
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    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Some of the denial may come from the fact that everyone knows that living creatures can adapt to hardships, even mites. Don't worry, the strong will survive. How can a little mite be so much trouble? Other animals live with parasites, and co-exist just fine. And then some people say that with small cell and he right genetics, bees will prosper, just leave them alone. My gosh, bees have been around how many Millions of years? Besides, what good does it do to count? They are not accurate anyway. And I take real good care of my hives. so they should handle a few little mites.

    What is missed is that we have an UNNATURAL situation, with an unstable host/parasite relation. It is atypical, and must be handled as such. Until the relationship stabilizes, it is wise to keep ones head out of the sand.

    Crazy Roland

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