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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    St. Clair County, Illinois
    Posts
    23

    Default A Whole Lot to See in this Photo (mostly bad)

    A cut out in late-June yielded a small number of bees, maybe 1 lb., and the queen. Their build up was poor so a frame of capped brood was added to the nuc on August 3 to help them out. I pulled the frame last Saturday (8/10) and took a few photos. This is one of them. I do not like what I see in the photo. Notice the Varroa mite (upper left), capped cells have been opened, brood being pulled out (left-middle), an empty queen cell, and a few bees have their front wings unhooked from the back ones (right).

    Here's my plan of action. Your comments/recommendations are appreciated.

    1. Varroa mites: Treat with powder sugar.
    2. "K" wing and poor build up: Requeen. With any luck the queen cell will be filled and they will produce their own.

    I'm not sure what to do about the capped brood being removed. I looked at some of the brood and no mites were observed, so I'm not sure what to do about the brood being pulled out. There were 20-30 on the bottom of the nuc. Any suggestions?

    Inspection Pic 1.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    King County, Washington
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: A Whole Lot to See in this Photo (mostly bad)

    Yup...It appears that hive is in trouble. The brood un-capping is typically indicative of a high mite load, and the fact that you are seeing them on the bees pretty much confirms it IMO.

    I would use a bigger hammer than powdered sugar to knock down the mites and I would do it ASAP then feed to stipulate continued egg laying. Hopefully you'll get several brood cycles of winter bees that have been raised in relative mite free conditions. I would also throw in a pollen patty or two.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,199

    Default Re: A Whole Lot to See in this Photo (mostly bad)

    I would let it die out, or requeen. A cut out in June that yielded a pound of bees is not a lot to start with. Her majesty may be the problem.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Nelson, South Island, New Zealand
    Posts
    532

    Default Re: A Whole Lot to See in this Photo (mostly bad)

    Is your hive hungry?

    bees will remove brood if the hive is starving.

    Thanks for posting the photo I've never see K-wing if thats what it is

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,724

    Default Re: A Whole Lot to See in this Photo (mostly bad)

    I'd suggest a more drastic, and immediate treatment for varroa. If you have high levels in brood, the powdered sugar won't touch anything under the cappings. MAQS would be a good flash treatment, and you can re-queen immediately after that, followed by feed, feed and more feed.

    The odds are this hive is lost. But if you want to try . . . .

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Taylor County, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    713

    Default Re: A Whole Lot to See in this Photo (mostly bad)

    I agree. Powdered sugar will only remove a small percentage of the phoretic mites, leaving the majority on the bees and even more in the cells. MAQS would be a good option for a nuclear treatment. Apivar works wonders, but takes 3 brood cycles to complete.

    Either way, you might have a chance to save them if you move fast.
    Try it. What could happen?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,724

    Default Re: A Whole Lot to See in this Photo (mostly bad)

    I was also under the impression, although i don't know for certain, that "K-wing" was when only one side of the wings were extended, not both.

    One of the bees in the photo appears to have both wings detached. Maybe she is planning on taking off soon, or just landed, or is nervous from the inspection. Or maybe she has T-Mites. I don't know. Just thought I'd mention it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    St. Clair County, Illinois
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: A Whole Lot to See in this Photo (mostly bad)

    I don't have much invested in this colony except for a little time at a buddies house to remove the bees. I'm going to use this one as a test case. Ordering the Mite Away Quick Strips today.

    I am a bit concerned with the "K" wing so I may try a grease patty in case it is tracheal mites.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    St. Clair County, Illinois
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: A Whole Lot to See in this Photo (mostly bad)

    Hmmm...but the frame of brood came from a strong, vigorous hive and I have not seen any signs of Varroa in the that hive. I wouldn't expect the frame of donated capped brood to have much, if any, V-mites. I suspect the mites are from the cut out bees. The treatment is the same, in either case. Got the MAQS ordered.

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