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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Shediac, NB, Canada
    Posts
    68

    Default Checking hives for Hygenic Behavior

    Good morning.
    Was wondering if anyone has tried to measure hygienic behavior in their hives using drone boards. Procedure in the fact sheet @ http://www.sare.org/Learning-Center/...d-Varroa-Mites calls for cutting 100 brood cells out of a frame, freezing, & reinserting. Time it takes to clean out the cells is used as an indicator of hygienic behavior - procedure pasted at end of post.
    For a # of reasons, main one being simplicity since we use drone boards to control mites, I am thinking of doing this with a drone board to see which hives have the best behavior.
    We would simply clean up the drone board, after freezing, to leave the required 100 cells & insert the board towards the center of the brood. Wouldn't be quite the same as the procedure as it calls for reinserting the cells in a frame with sealed brood so I expect the timeline would change. In any case, it should give a relative comparison between our hives.
    Thoughts, comments?


    Testing Honey Bee Colonies for Hygienic Behavior

    It is relatively easy to determine if a colony of bees displays hygienic behavior by testing them using one of the methods described below [5, 6].

    1. The freeze killed brood assay

    In this assay, a comb section of sealed brood containing approximately 100 cells on each side (2 x 2.5 inches) is cut from a frame and frozen for 24 hours at -10F. The frozen comb section is inserted into a frame of sealed brood in the colony being tested. Tests have shown that it does not matter if the frozen section comes from the same colony from which it was removed or from a different colony. The frame with the freeze killed brood insert is placed in the center of the brood nest. Two days (48 hours) later the frame is removed and the number of sealed cells remaining is recorded. A hygienic colony will have uncapped and removed over 95% of the frozen brood within 48 hours. A non-hygienic colony will take over six days to completely remove the frozen brood. The speed with which a colony removed dead brood is correlated with its ability to remove diseased and parasitized brood.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    charleston, wv, usa
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: Checking hives for Hygenic Behavior

    Did you try it? What were the results with using drone board? I imagine the increased area to clean/renovate would skew the results, but you could get a relative idea of hygienic behavior within your yard.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Shediac, NB, Canada
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Checking hives for Hygenic Behavior

    Was away for most of summer - got home in August and the hives were winding down drone production//also so busy doing everything else that I forgot :-(
    Will try it next spring when things aren't so busy. We have some drone boards frozen that I can work with. 4 hives going into this winter (had 5 but one queen got superseded/kicked out & new queen didn't make it so combined with another hive). Couple have lots of bees but no brood so not sure what is happening - hopefully just the queens adjusting to the fall/end of the fall flow.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: Checking hives for Hygenic Behavior

    I haven't tried it but plan to next spring/summer. I am planning of following the fact sheet without modifications.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Shediac, NB, Canada
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Checking hives for Hygenic Behavior

    should be interesting. We have a weird mix of bees at the present despite using Carny queens (swarm not sure - can't remember seeing the queen but there is lots of brood)/seems like at least 4 different color patterns in our hives (almost all black to light). I saw one bee on some wax we left out for cleaning that I would have sworn was a Carny queen (all black) if I had seen her in a hive; all black with no stripes at all - albeit not big enough. Then I noticed others that were similar. Only poor hive we had was from a purchased queen//have had good luck with splits raising their own queens.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: Checking hives for Hygenic Behavior

    Mine are all local mutts. The queens range from tiger black to natural leather color. So we shall see .

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