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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Constant mite removal management

    Hi, All!


    The day time temp. was around 55ish and night time was frosty lately.
    Today was another mite cap brood clean up day. Starting around noon all the small patches of the cap brood frames got
    moved into the mite bee bomb nuc hive. After brushing off the attaching bees and finding the queen to make sure she is in the new brood
    nest, the remaining 4 cap brood frames got transferred over to the mite bee bomb nuc hive. Make sure to find the queen inside before moving on. I only overwinter 4 frames nucs for easy mite management. This will result in a cleaner nuc hive in the parent hive since they only have 4 frames of bees to manipulate with. These are the big fat winter bees from the Nov. hatch waiting to explode on the earliest of Spring. After this 3rd cap broods removal this hive should be 99% mite free.
    And taking advantage of the long live winter bees should do the trick for this nuc hive. To replaced the removed cap brood frames, I
    have 4 old drawn frames of the small cells size swapped in.
    The top box of the mite bee bomb nuc hive should be clear of cap broods by now. I then removed 5 drawn
    frames from the top box that have very little bees attached. They all had moved down to the bottom brood box after the
    cap broods from Nov. had already emerged. So all the clean drawn frames got put inside another deep hive
    box stacked on top of the parent hive which is 99% mite free for the coming Spring expansion. And rotated in are the cap brood frames from the parent hive.
    The parent hive is a VSH hive with a Cordovan laying queen. If I remove all the cap
    broods again in another week or so then it will be 99.9% mite free since not all free running mites will be inside the cap broods per any cap cycle.
    What do you think about my cap brood frames removal strategy to clean up the hive a bit?
    In the process I found a glass like young Cordovan bee emerging. Have never seen such a light yellow almost transparent
    bee before. Should be good to take some graft from this queen in the coming queen rearing seasons. They like the sugar loaves that they recognized instantly (more sugar less subs.)


    Found the queen in new brood nest (laying):
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Constant mite removal management

    Munching on sugar loaves, transparent Cordovan bee and small size cap brood frames:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Bellflower, Montgomery,Mo,USA
    Posts
    560

    Default Re: Constant mite removal management

    I'm assuming this is only on your nuc sizes? What do you do for your full sized colonies assuming you keep them to over winter? This seems like a great way to get mite free colonies for you. Keep us posted mid season in 2017 to let us know how it turned out please.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Rib Lake WI
    Posts
    797

    Default Re: Constant mite removal management

    Look like a good little trick you can do in your warm climate.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Constant mite removal management

    The reason for keeping them in small nuc frames is for easy mite management. They don't use much
    winter stores along with more queens too overwinter on.
    On a full size hive this is not that easy unless you have another similar size mite bee bomb full size hive for all
    the frames taken out. For making the booming full size hive in a hurry you can combine the brood frames while
    leaving the nuc as is on warmer Spring time. They will be the small size 5 frames nucs to support the full size production hive.
    During the winter time all the mites are in with the clustered bees and the mites will be in the cap broods if they have any. With more mites emerged along with the new young bees this will lead to an early Spring hive crashed. More mites less bees build up on expansion mode. So I will have to think about how to handle the full size production hive first. Make them small during the winter and combine them on the warm Spring days. There might be an answer after doing more mite and bee experiment like filling all the drawn frames with sugar syrup before putting them to rest in the cold snowing days. No new cap broods equal less mites. If the production hive have 7 frames of the cap broods then it might be manageable using this method.
    Keep in mind that this is a delay tactic so that the bees can build up during the early Spring expansion phase without much mites to interfere with the brood nest vs a
    leave it alone ft hive overwinter approach. A prolific 3 months after the solstice mated queen will be able to out run the mites. The mites will ever be present in a tf hive that I'm attempting this season. What to do with all the mite frames inside the cap broods in the warm Spring time? Put them all in the mating nucs and give them a ripe QC or a virgin from the cell incubator. That will give them a mite break until the new virgin is mated again. This is exactly what I did to make the mite bee bomb nuc hive in the late Autumn time.
    Last edited by beepro; 12-29-2016 at 01:35 PM.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Constant mite removal management

    The fast results are finally in. The removed cap broods in smaller patches have zero mites that I can see. That means the
    hives are gradually having less mites in them. One smaller hive have no more free running mites on the newly emerged bees check. They have
    majority of the adult bees now without any new bees emerging after the last batch. So
    I will be consolidating this nuc hive with less frames and also put in more clean young nurse bees from
    the stronger 4 frame hives. This should help with the population growth at the same time give
    the queen a chance to lay some new eggs. Once I'm satisfied with the mite level achieved in the hives then it will be a big combine
    to have the strongest queen build up much faster. By this time the warm Spring days should be here. In the meantime, I will put more cap brood frames in the mite bee bomb nuc hive stacked up to 3 boxes high. This should increased the cap brood mite frames to 15 or more. After the bees emerged, all the clean frames will
    be rotated out for another cycle of the cap broods manipulation. Thanks to the long live winter bees that made this possible. Without a control method the adult
    mites will increased by 3 time per new bee cycle overwhelming the hive and its ability to build up leading to a hive crash for sure right around the initial hive expansion
    phase. Waiting until the early Spring time is too late for me as the queens continue to lay up to that time. Wish I have this piece of information 3 years ago that could of prevented the hive crash on my only hive back then. Without any treatment so far achieving this level of mite control in the hive is amazing!



    More new winter bees, less mites now:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Constant mite removal management

    A quick update:

    Today is sunny in a low 50s. Did some mite check on the young nurse bees and could not find any.
    Maybe they are inside the cap broods already. Still there is a very low mite count at 4 to 6 mites per 150 bees on the last check.
    Would like to continue with this method into our warm Spring days at brood up time.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Constant mite removal management

    Another update:


    Another bee emergence cycle today. A nice sunny day after almost 2 weeks of constant raining. Good to know we're
    not in a flooding area. All hives are still alive so far and building up nicely with the big fat winter bees. Some 4 framers have 3 frame of bees back to back and the cap broods too. The Cordovan hive has an average mite level while the mite bee bomb hive have plenty of healthy flying bees today. Not sure why the mite bee bomb hive survived this ordeal so far. Not many crawlers on the ground. All hives are growing gradually under the constant feeding of the homemade sugar loaves patty subs. See it here at https://youtu.be/P0IwvQS2TEw Sorry about the blurry vid.
    This year our Spring time is here earlier than usual with the daffodils and paperwhites already blooming. The strong colony take advantage of the early blooming orange pollen somewhere. Our early Spring build up will be starting within another week or 2. If the bees can co-exist with the mites then you're right on. Now is the challenge on every hives to out run the mites. Can they all keep up!?
    Pre-spring build up time:



    surviving alright.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Rib Lake WI
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    797

    Default Re: Constant mite removal management

    Are you going to use any treatments or just use brood removal?

  10. #10
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    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Constant mite removal management

    At this moment the mite population is still manageable.
    I'm not going to treat if it does not interfere with the early Spring
    build up in another month or so. This will allow me to find out
    which hives have the most resistant traits. When there is a high
    mite load then I'm going to move the frames into the mite bee bomb
    nuc hive. So far the mite bee bomb nuc hive seems to be holding well. Of course,
    you can always transfer the mite frames into a mating nuc when it gets warmer or use that hive for your queen cells starter hive. I have no issue with queens emerging and mated in a high mite load hive. Going the tf route you cannot treat just have to find another way to manage the mites. Then find compatible resistant traits to complement your local area with the good drones.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
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    Default Re: Constant mite removal management

    Interesting treatment method.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Constant mite removal management

    O.k. if you like to call it "treatment" method. I prefer to call it mite management method.
    Yes, this hive is the smallest of all with only 2 frame of bees left after
    consolidation though still in expansion mode a bit trying to keep up on the winter bees. Inside there are 3 frames, one is nectar only, one is cap broods on one side and open broods on the other, and the 3rd frame have some cap broods with plenty of developing larvae and nectar with a bit of pollen from the eucalyptus bloom. Then there are plenty of foragers and young nurse bees on the bottom floor feeding on the loose sugar and fallen patty subs.
    So the question is should I remove this remaining cap frame into the mite bee bomb hive now? After all the mite bee bomb hive is full of healthy mite free young nurse bees now.
    Of course, it is time to get the last of the remaining mites out of there after sampling that there are not many mites left on the young nurse bees in the original hive. I'll bet only a few on the bees and plenty inside the cap broods still.
    So all the young fat nurse bees on the cap brood frame got brushed off onto an empty natural drawn SC frame that was placed inside the original hive. The cap frame after it is clear of bees is inside the mite bee bomb nuc hive now. The original hive still have many foragers and the clear mite reset button is on. Not seeing that many mites on a bee count, this hive is good to go without any treatment for another 3 months or bee emergence cycles. This is how I treat the hive that has low or high mite level to give them a chance to expand without the mite interference for awhile. Whether or not they have the resistance built in is another story that I will find out later on in the season.



    Hope you can follow along:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Constant mite removal management

    More bees off pics and the mite bee bomb nuc:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

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