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  1. #1
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    Default Varroa Infestation, Disturbing

    Is there any saving this hive? History, Hive swarmed, lots of queen cells hatched, Tons of Drones. The last of the drones are emerging. There are 50/50 drones to Bees. No Queen. Is it worth treating? Has it gone too far? There is no brood. Are the frames tainted? There were about 5 frames packed with nectar and honey and pollen. Can I Open feed that to my other bees? Any advice would be helpful. I have had no dealings with mites in the past. If I do treat, I will probably try and just combine what bees are left. I dunno. At least the others seem to be doing ok. My Open Mated Queen that returned is laying like mad.....GDSC04579.jpg

    DSC04575.jpg

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Varroa Infestation, Disturbing

    I got to go out of town, leaving at 5 be back sunday. Put the Honey, Nectar, Frames in the freezer. Dont know what else to do. Havent ever treated, didnt want to, but have some Apivar on hand, Guess if I dont hear back, I will flip a coin. Just wondering if with the brood break, there will be no mite eggs, Screw it, I will drop the strips and combine whats left later. At least the blood sucking bastards I see will be dead.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Varroa Infestation, Disturbing

    I brood break should help out a lot with the mites, but you say there is no queen, and the last of the brood is emerging so are you trying to treat a doomed hive? you are not really giving us a lot of information.....

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Varroa Infestation, Disturbing

    Quote Originally Posted by Harley Craig View Post
    I brood break should help out a lot with the mites, but you say there is no queen, and the last of the brood is emerging so are you trying to treat a doomed hive? you are not really giving us a lot of information.....
    There is no queen or she isnt laying yet. Had several qc's hatched, she should have been back. I want to combine whats left if she doesnt show soon, but dont want to taint any of my other hives. Hate to let them just die off, I have condensed them all into one deep. If I treat, I suppose whats left should be relatively mite free therefore I wouldnt be transferring mites on a combine.I dont know.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Varroa Infestation, Disturbing

    Some thoughts.... Why not give them a frame (from one of your best hives) with some 1 day old larvae in it and see if they'll make a new queen. The brood break will help the with the mites and if the bees are able to make a queen then when she's laying good then treat if you still want/need to. Tear down a lower cell wall in several cells that are located an inch or two from the top of the frame (if you have appropriate age larvae there), AKA "OTS queen raising".

    Ed

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Varroa Infestation, Disturbing

    Quote Originally Posted by Intheswamp View Post
    Some thoughts.... Why not give them a frame (from one of your best hives) with some 1 day old larvae in it and see if they'll make a new queen. The brood break will help the with the mites and if the bees are able to make a queen then when she's laying good then treat if you still want/need to. Tear down a lower cell wall in several cells that are located an inch or two from the top of the frame (if you have appropriate age larvae there), AKA "OTS queen raising".

    Ed
    Thanks, yeah, I will check it when I return on Sunday. I didnt treat with anything I will just have to decide wether to try and let them raise a queen or combine when I get back. Thanks Intheswamp.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Varroa Infestation, Disturbing

    It really wouldnt kill me to break this hive down, and boost instead of steal from another, I just dont want to taint my other hives. What about the combs? Are they ok to transfer or do I need to do something to them before introducing them to other colonies?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Varroa Infestation, Disturbing

    The mites have to go through their reproduction cycle and that involves being sealed in cells with honey bee larvae. To the best of my (little) knowledge the mite eggs don't have a shelf-life...they either hatch in a given number of days and the juvenile mite finds a host in the cell with it...a bee larva. If the comb is empty I don't think the adult mites will lay eggs in there as they know the juvenile mites need bee larvae to paracitize....even if they did lay in empty cells, there would be no host for the juvenile mites to feed on and the mites would die of starvation. Empty comb that hasn't had brood in it for even a short period of time should be fine "mite-wise". This is why people "break the brood cycle" to help reduce mite levels.

    If I'm wrong about that somebody will be along shortly to straighten me out.

    Ed

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Varroa Infestation, Disturbing

    Btw, if the bees are really badly infested with mites I wouldn't want to add them to my healthy colonies. Mites are vectors for several viruses as well as being blood suckers. Have you seen any deformed wings or anything?

    Ed

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Varroa Infestation, Disturbing

    I am more interested in why you have so many drones.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Varroa Infestation, Disturbing

    You do not give enough info to know for sure, there are several possibilities. But what MIGHT be happening is the first swarm issued 22 - 24 days ago. After that, as queen cells hatched, the bees swarmed themselves out leaving few bees, as sometimes happens, I have seen hives swarm out to where survival of the parent hive is near impossible.

    Because the first swarm issued 22 days ago, all worker brood has now hatched. Only drone brood is left because it takes 25 or so days. Mites prefer to breed in drone brood, so the hive is overrun with both drones, and mites.

    I would not move bees from this hive to another. There will be little gain for the other hive, but there will be a lot of mites.

    It is possible that there is still an unmated virgin in this hive from one of the swarm cells, due to start laying any day. To test, take the advise given & put in a comb of eggs to see if they raise queen cells. In a week, see what's happening & come back to the thread for more advice.

    But as a lead up to that, if the hive gets a laying queen or for some other reason is deemed saveable, you will need to do 2 things. One is add some hatching brood. That's because when a hive has a high % drones like this they disrupt the workers & prevent them heating the brood adequately, & the hive dies. You have to add some hatching brood to increase the % of workers to a point they can efficiently run the hive. The other thing is treat the hive with Apivar. There are just too many mites to expect this hive to throw them off & come through OK. Only treat if you go ahead with saving the hive so wait to see if you get a laying queen, but if you do get one, treat immediately, before the mites have a chance to go into capped brood, so they are all exposed to the treatment & you get a good fast kill.

    About your Apivar, you say you have "some". Does that mean an opened pack? Once opened, the strips are exposed to air and the active ingredient starts to degrade, eventually rendering the strips useless. So is the pack open & if so how long has it been open?
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 05-30-2014 at 04:43 PM.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Varroa Infestation, Disturbing

    The Pack is unopened oldtimer, and I was curious about the cycle that inthe swamp was talking about, I was figuring perhaps all the mites I was seeing was the last due to a brood break. Is the reason I should wait to treat is just to see if a queen starts laying? Just to save the money of treatment? I was figuring a treatment now with all the cells open and the mites on the host should have a heavy kill. I dont care about the cost of treatment. And you say after treatment I should still not combine? If the queen stays MIA? Thanks. G

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Varroa Infestation, Disturbing

    OK about the not treating, it was just about cost, could be money wasted if the hive will not survive anyway. But if cost is not an issue, yes treat now, while all mites are phoretic, that will give excellent results.

    The large mite numbers visible are not only because of the brood break, but also because so much of that emerging brood is drone. Resulting in what appears to be a heckuva high mite to bee ratio. Which in turn, if not treated, will mean if you do get a laying queen, her first brood will be under heavy attack, adding to the woes of an already borderline hive. Hence the need to treat, plus add healthy brood.

    After treatment once mites are gone, yes the bees may be combined as you see fit. My original comments on this were based that you are treatment free so didn't think it would be a good plan to add mites to a treatment free hive.

    You still have several options not all discussed yet so please keep the thread updated & hope for the best possible outcome.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Varroa Infestation, Disturbing

    Thanks again Oldtimer, Yes, I have been treatment free up until now, and wanted to stay that way. However, it seems treat or watch the hive in my backyard die. I think I will dose this hive, and hope I dont run up against this quandry again. I think the apivar says leave in for 14 days. With 95% of the cells open, is 14 days still neccessary? and should I wait till after treatment before adding a frame of brood? Thanks.......G

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Varroa Infestation, Disturbing

    Apivar should be left in 6 - 8 weeks. Are you confused with Api-life-var?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Varroa Infestation, Disturbing

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Apivar should be left in 6 - 8 weeks. Are you confused with Api-life-var?
    My bad, it does say 42 days. I saw 14 somewhere down the paragraph. That being said, I guess the waiting question is no longer a question. Ok, so treat and add brood simoultaneously? Thanks. G

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Varroa Infestation, Disturbing

    Yes. Soon as that brood is added the mites have somewhere to start hiding so get the treatment in ASAP.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Varroa Infestation, Disturbing

    Treatment tommorrow, and capped brood in a couple days. Thanks OT. G

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Varroa Infestation, Disturbing

    Sweet, hope it works out with the queen, please update in due course.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Varroa Infestation, Disturbing

    Will do, thanks again. G

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