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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    6,475

    Default Re: Constant mite removal management

    In my observation there are 3 level of mites--The mature mom and 2 sisters, sometime a brother.
    Mostly only a mom, 1 mature sister and 1 premature (yellowish) sister on every hatch cycle.
    After the 2 mature mites went into the cap bees on the 2nd bee cycle, the premature sister mite
    linger on waiting for her opportunity, maybe on the 3rd cap bee cycle. That is why it is so hard to
    get rid of the mites completely. While on the new bee the mites will hold on for as long as they can sometime
    up to the time of the bee turning into a big fat nurse bee or a forager. So it may take a few weeks. And some will
    fall off the bees during the grooming process. There isn't a predictable pattern of how long that a mite will stay on an
    individual bee. Once you start counting your bees to know their life cycle along with the bees then you will learn some
    more about them. Another interesting education to know them all!
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Penobscot County, ME, USA
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    1,023

    Default Re: Constant mite removal management

    There is always a brother. The brother is needed to fertilize the two sisters (may be more in a drone cell). Without the brothers, there would be no more mites.

    All you need to find is the brothers, and use your tweezers to pull their little cojones off and then you will eradicate the mites.
    If you want to be successful, study successful people and do what they do.
    Zone 4a/b

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    5,691

    Default Re: Constant mite removal management

    Quote Originally Posted by BadBeeKeeper View Post
    All you need to find is the brothers, and use your tweezers to pull their little cojones off and then you will eradicate the mites.
    The males don't leave the brood cells. At least not alive.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Constant mite removal management

    He is right, there is always a brother. If not then the whole specie will go extinct unless
    they can reproduced like the camodo dragons. So I have read that the brother will fertilize
    the sister while still inside the cell, I'll bet the first sister that is the mature one not the yellowish one. Who knows?
    Sometimes I saw the male (brother) still alive on the deformed bees. So there is a male inside somewhere.
    In that case the females will outnumbered the males 3 to 1 or 2 to 1. In any case, you or the bees need to keep the
    mite levels low enough coming out of Spring in order for the hive to build up and not crashed the hive likes it did to me 3 seasons ago.
    Today I found 4 frame of bees with one cap brood frame remaining. This is a quick build up hive that is very responsive to the
    homemade patty subs. Seeing that the adult bees have low mite level, I transferred the cap broods frame to
    the mite bee bomb nuc hive. This will keep the nuc going while the donor hive has a chance to build up more without the
    mites interference for awhile. We are now in an unofficial early Spring time as the bees are more active than before. I don't know how many mites are inside this cap broods though glad to get them out of the donor hive without the attaching adult bees. Out of 4 frames, this frame should be the last one to emerge that harbored all the yellowish sister mites from a prior hatch that matured at a later date while feeding on the innocent young bees. This removal should clean up the hive for awhile. These vsh hives will never have a perfect broods pattern. This is how far I can push this hive without it going down hill. Overall, very low mite count today from the last hatch.

    Last pic is the mite bee bomb nuc hive from last mid-Oct. still have many bees in there!



    Another cap broods frame moved to the mite bee bomb nuc hive:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by beepro; 02-02-2017 at 10:58 PM.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    6,475

    Default Re: Constant mite removal management

    An early Spring expansion update:


    It is now almost Spring time here (2 weeks to go) with many flowers blooming including the almonds and peach trees.
    All hives have survived coming out of winter and on their way to an early hive expansion. Miraculously, the mite bee bomb nuc hive is still alive too.
    One Cordovan queen hive has expanded from 4 frames (going into winter) to almost 7 frames of bees now. Going to graft some
    queens on queen rearing time from this one. Hope there won't be a cold snap to set them back. The mite level is at their lowest
    that don't seem to interfere with this Spring expansion. What else is there after you have removed them from the cap frames?


    Almost 7 frames now on expansion:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by beepro; 02-11-2017 at 04:27 AM.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Germany, BW
    Posts
    778

    Default Re: Constant mite removal management

    You have such a nice style here, beepro!
    that harbored all the yellowish sister mites from a prior hatch that matured at a later date while feeding on the innocent young bees.
    Since you do such nice picts, can you take one close to brood in your nuc mite bomb hive just for me?
    So I see what happens in the brood area?
    Thanks.

    I have no issue with queens emerging and mated in a high mite load hive.
    Interesting! Is it your experience that this will be no problem?
    Last edited by SiWolKe; 02-11-2017 at 10:14 AM.
    Listen to good advice, then.... make your own decision. fusion_power
    www.vivabiene.de

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    6,475

    Default Re: Constant mite removal management

    Yes, was going to take some mite bee bomb nuc pics this morning on a hive check. Then the
    neighbor's dogs interrupted the whole process. They got through the fence hole after the recent storms and got close to
    my bee hives to check out the bees. Luckily it did not get sting placing its nose right next to the
    open bee frames because foragers rarely sting though I got the gentle type bees now. Thanks goodness for that!
    Will try again to get you some mite bee bomb nuc pics tomorrow. I can document it here. It is interesting to see them still alive and sending off new bees. As always, my plan for this season is to requeen all hives with the mite biting/mauling bees for better resistance. After the I.I. apparatus is set up along with the QCs incubator, I should have more options to speed up the mite resistant process. Cordovan queens I.I. with the mite biting drones.
    Yes, it is my experience that grafting QCs and having them emerged in a high mite infested builder/finisher hive full of pollen and nectar will not
    have any issue. Because the QCs are constantly being clean by the workers the mites rarely infect these cells. So far I have no issue duplicating this process. Though you have to use all pollen and nectar frames for your cell finisher. This process I already posted here last time. Drawing from the experience that one beekeeper that I got contract with purposely infected his QCs with the AFB to make some resistant queens, this process of raising queens in a highly mite infected hive had worked for me. When I saw the mite on the virgin queen, I just closed up the hive and let her take the mating flights. They still got mated in the end. I would like other beekeepers to repeat my process to see it work for them too. How I use this is that for the cap brood frames with the mites, they are perfect for the virgin queen. One is to clean out the mites a bit for a brood break and the other is to allow the bees to get used to the mites here. I have read Michael Bush said he would like his bees to coexist with the mites since the mites are here to stay anyways. So combining the I.I. process and choosing bees that can live with the aggressive mites here is part of my tf method. I have already proven that by removing the infected cap brood frames, the hives headed by a young queen to overwintered them will work here. I will show you more about the expansion phase brood frames with minimal mite level to interfere with the bees. It is really interesting how the queens did it as I saw them today.
    Last edited by beepro; 02-11-2017 at 11:30 PM.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    6,475

    Default Re: Constant mite removal management

    So this is the mite bee bomb nuc hive. They have close to 4 frames of bees presently.
    Many new fuzzy bees emerged today. The mite level is still manageable not more than last Autumn though I don't
    know how they did it. Expected to see a hive crashed soon. That did not happen so they keep on
    expanding now. The other nuc hives have a rather healthy expanding bee population also. Maybe my constant frames removal had
    interrupted the mite cycles a bit. Still not so sure why the hives survived. Is it the mite fighting ability or my removal of the cap brood frames?
    When the weather is warm enough for queen rearing, I'm going to turn this mite bee bomb nuc hive into
    a cell builder/finisher with more frames of bees added to it. This will be a repeat experiment from that of last year on queen
    rearing days. Temporarily donate all the pollen and nectar frames from the other hives to it for cells rearing.
    Then split it out for the mating nucs later on to hold the I.I. queens for the colony to grow. The cells builder will not have any open broods just the emerged bees and the cap broods donated because the queen will be confined in the bottom nuc box. Continue to make splits by taking a frame of bees from each growing hive to expand
    faster. Let's see if this will give the hives a good mite brood break too.


    Mite bee bomb at a glance--early Spring time:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by beepro; 02-13-2017 at 03:04 AM.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Germany, BW
    Posts
    778

    Default Re: Constant mite removal management

    Amazing, thanks for sharing.
    Is the mite bomb nuc doing some VSH?

    What are your future plans? When do you start to test hives without all the comb shifting?
    Or will you stay with this strategy?
    Listen to good advice, then.... make your own decision. fusion_power
    www.vivabiene.de

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    6,475

    Default Re: Constant mite removal management

    Really, this strategy is only for winter time use. During the winter time when the hive is at
    the contraction mode it is easier to control the mites. At full Spring expansion phase it will be
    too much work and too many bees to manipulate. By then I should be switching to the I.I. process where the mite biting bees will
    be used. Without a method for the bees to overwinter on, many hives will not see their new Spring days.
    All of my hives now have some degree of the vsh mix into them. How much vsh I do not know though during this process I'm able to single out a few potential breeder queens for my I.I. process. I look at Cordovan color bees, gentleness, resourceful, winter hardiness capability, laying pattern and of course, mite fighting ability after the frames got removed. It is really a test of their ability to cope with minimum bees resources. In the future I hope to improve my bees with the I.I. process gradually shifting away from this strategy. For this experiment I only use 8 nuc hives so this will work for the many new beekeepers here.
    Since our night time temp is in the low 50s right now I can do further manipulation by combining the weak hives with the strong production hives. This way the foragers can collect me some honey before the Spring flow is over. I'll be choosing the hives that have the lowest mite level to combine into one. The extra queens will be in their 2-3 frames nuc hives continue to expand through early summer. Using this consolidation method I don't have to treat to get me some honey since the local trees are blooming at this moment. This weekend will be a
    fun day for me to spray paint all of my assembled 6 frame nuc hives. After that is the combine into full production hives!
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    6,475

    Default Re: Constant mite removal management

    With our high in the low 70s today, I cannot resist the urge to do a hive combine using strong bee frames from the
    growing nuc hives. These nuc hives got the mite frames removed and they have rebuilt since. So found 2 growing nuc hives with very low mite level to donate to the one strong expanding (future production) hive.
    Got 5 frames of bees in there to make it a double nuc hive--10 x10. And we're not even at the main Spring days. This double up should provide more resources for them to expand faster with minimal mites to interfere at this early Spring time. Will be tracking the nucs and production hives progress. When it is time to expand you have to help them along!
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    6,475

    Default Re: Constant mite removal management

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    ....When it is time to expand you have to help them along!

    A little update: Don't be stingy on the feeds!

    Found another vsh hive (production) with low mite count other than the 2 frame breeder queen nuc hive. To this hive, I have added more bee frames from the
    other nuc hives to increase its colony strength. Saw many foragers collecting light pale yellow and orange pollen today from this strong hive. The yellow pollen maybe from the wild mustard and orange is from the popular. Boxwood will be blooming within another week or 2. Now is the time to help them along with more
    patty subs feed. More sugar less subs. Within a week they have gone through 90% of the first patty. Seeing this early build up has started I added 3 x more
    subs into all the hives. If they continue to expand into early April I will double up on the patty subs even though there are natural pollen out there. You cannot be stingy on the initial early Spring build up as they're very hungry. So feed them well! All hives have the subs in them including the mite bee bomb nuc hive which is growing into almost 5 frames now. The mite count is a bit high but not interfering with the build up. That means no hive crashed yet. Still monitoring for it though. If the weather holds then in 2 more weeks I can start test grafting from the breeder hive. Going to use the nicot queen cage for that as a test first. Yes, that will transfer all the mites into the mating nucs too to give it a brood break early in the season. Should see some new queens in early April if everything goes well. Let's bring the fridge QC incubator online! Can you see the almost glass like looking Cordovan young bee? Those are what I'm looking to raise this season along with the I.I. process mite biting/mauling bees later in the season. Can you see the vsh queen too?


    3x more subs for early build up:
    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. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    6,475

    Default Re: Constant mite removal management

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    ...other than the 2 frame breeder queen nuc hive.

    About the breeder queen 2 frame nuc hive, another round of new bees are emerging today. So I did a manual mite count with a small tweezers on the newly emerged young bees. Before the count, I have high expectation that some bees will have mites on them like last time. Don't expect them to be 100% clean of the mites at all. And certainly don't know that a change has occurred this early on to get rid of the mites. If the bees won't clean them up then this hive will not be chosen for the breeder in the future. Thanks goodness that they are able to clean up the remaining free running mites somehow from the last bee hatch cycle. Maybe through their vsh hygienic expression or the will to survive on an early Spring build up. Or a low bee population (only 2 strong frame) that affected the mites' ability to find a suitable mate causing their population to go down hill. Remember that I said before there will always be some mites remaining inside the hive. Now they are able to get rid of them. If keeping a low bee population during the pre-Spring days build up can have an affect on the mite population coupled with the mite fighting bees, then this might be my little secret in keeping the hives clean before the flow.
    Overall, this breeder hive is good to go for grafting now. This is their 2nd seasons without any type of treatment. The queen is rather young only 5 months old. Once the queen has laid up the remaining open cells then she will be put inside the nicot cage to collect some eggs in the plastic queen cells. The other nuc hives including the mite bee bomb nuc are still fighting the mites. I have also stop transferring cap brood frames out of the other hives into the mite bee bomb nuc hive. Time to do a hard bond method since I have found the mite fighting colonies for future breeding already. This will eliminate the colonies that cannot fight against the mites from my breeding program--Expecting a hive crashed soon from the weaker colony. Also any future drones will be eliminated as well that do not carry the mite fighting traits. Either they will crashed or survived!



    100% mite free is achievable 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?

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