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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,963

    Default A season of alcohol washes on a TF hive

    The colony selected for testing was one started from a Bee Weaver package in June 2012 that over wintered well. The colony was fed sugar syrup during initial buildup but nothing since. No mite treatments or any other type of treatments. They did get a pollen patty around Labor Day this year.

    5/18 - 1 mite
    6/21 - 1 mite (colony swarmed sometime between 5/18 and 6/21)
    7/19 - no mites
    8/20 - 2 mites
    9/20 - 5 mites
    if it is warm enough in a few days I will do another mite count - it has been warm here for fall but we have had a few killing frosts. 47 degrees F here this morning.

    Samples were half cup (roughly 300 bees) taken from the brood nest (or in the post swarm test, where the brood nest was)

    This colony made almost two shallow supers of surplus and has gathered what I judge adequate pollen and nectar stores for the upcoming winter. Of the 8 colonies I started of BeeWeaver bees in 2012, 3 over wintered successfully. This summer I made up 3 nucs from the other two BeeWeaver Colonies using BeeWeaver Queens to get the yard count to six colonies. I plan to get this yard back to 8 in 2014. The nucs are now in two 5 frame over 5 frame boxes.

    As I have previously said on this forum, BeeWeaver bees seem to be a work in progress - you get some great ones and some not quite ready for prime time ones. TF bees go queenless and sometimes fail to gather enough pollen and nectar for winter just like any other bees.

    In temperament they are occasionally "testy;" I always wore gloves when doing the mite tests, and I was generally glad to have done so.

    My definition for success in this yard is survival and production of surplus honey. The hive I tested has done that. I don't know if I will count mites on this hive next year.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
    Posts
    471

    Default Re: A season of alcohol washes om a TF hive

    Interesting stuff, I've read the second year is the hardest, but your current numbers are awesome. If you make it thru mid summer next year, grow me a queen and I’ll buy her and continue the test here in sunny Florida, the bastion of Mites and SHBs… I don’t like killing bees, but in this case I’ll do and alcohol wash ever month from May thru Oct….. Don't know how good a cold weather queen will do down here, but I'm willing to give it a try....

  3. #3

    Default Re: A season of alcohol washes om a TF hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Robbin View Post
    .. Don't know how good a cold weather queen will do down here, but I'm willing to give it a try....
    More to the point....it's a BeeWeaver queen....and they are out of Texas. The test of those genetics was how well they overwintered in Maine. So far...it appears they've passed that test.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,963

    Default Re: A season of alcohol washes om a TF hive

    More to the point....it is the daughter of a BeeWeaver queen open mated to whatever is in my area for drones. My main stock that gets treated is out of Vermont but this county hosts 40,000+ colonies brought in for pollination of wild blueberries that time of year. Some of the migratory bees are within flying distance of my yards - certainly close enough for a DCA. That is the primary reason I don't raise my own queens - no control over 1/2 the genetics! Ok, I don't waste swarm cells if I find them soon enough to make up a nuc - but that is not my usual queen supply. Sorry Robbin!
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    3,044

    Default Re: A season of alcohol washes om a TF hive

    Proper way to do it Andrew in my opinion. Make daughters with local genetics, see what you get. With anything, there will be some duds but you will get some decent queens out of it as well. That being said, do you have any other hives around it to compare to as far as mite pressure goes and what were the counts there.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,963

    Default Re: A season of alcohol washes om a TF hive

    I don't think "local genetics" are possible in my location due to the migratory bee influx. I am considering a mating yard in another county where I already have some bees. I need to wrap my head around the travel issue. It is near where I used to live.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
    Posts
    471

    Default Re: A season of alcohol washes om a TF hive

    I'm ordered some beeweaver queens for next spring. I'm going to go half and half, Half my hives will be TF beeweavers. The other half my local bees that I had to treat this year for them to survive. I'll have some idea by next Aug, if all goes well I'll requeen with Beeweavers before winter. We'll see....

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