deformed wing virus treatment advise [Archive] - Beesource Beekeeping Forums

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08-15-2005, 07:37 PM
I just found several bees with stumps for wings this weekend on a strong colony,(a split I made this spring,new queen and S.B.B.)Some(4-5)healthy looking young looking bees trying to walk around but not really getting anywhere,and looking "shaky",,climbing up,falling over sticks/blades of grass.
Today I dusted the supers and brood chambers with 1/2 cup powdered sugar per box(used 1# total).
Went back tonight,pulled out the temporary cardboard "tray" and sugar,And put in my vaseleened(sp?)luan board to see where I am.
Like I should have.
I have drone trapped FAITHFULLY since April.
I think Axtman advised removing all brood if foulbrood type conditions are found,I will examine frames after my 3 day count, and then OA 2 times @ 5 days.I didn't smell anything,but haven't been thru the hive in depth,just pulling drones.
Question 1;The hive is still strong,but should this queen get the boot?Seems like they aren't up to grade,as to mites.They have made alot of honey,so they are good in that regard.Does the virus contaminate the honey,as bee food?
Question 2;I buy my OA at the drugstore,it's "technical grade",will this be O.K.?same as wood bleach?
Question 3;Where can I buy a electric vaporizer?I thought mann lake,but no luck there.
Question 4;Anything I've missed?
Well,thanks for the help,AGAIN.
Put a count board on ALL my hives today too.

08-15-2005, 09:44 PM
Your colony is infected with the deformed wing virus and this infection comes from Varroa mites. Open a few cells and see what happen, if you find lots of crippled bees I would put the comb in a solar smelter. I’m sure you will also find mites in the same cell with the deformed bee.

You must get rid of the Varroa and let the queen lay new eggs, without mites the virus will disappears.

As fare, as I know, there is no honey contamination, the virus live from the bee. It’s not like AFB spores, when heating (melting) the comb the virus die.

You must decide what to do, let the crippled bees hatch and the mites also or destroy the infected brood and the trapped Varroa too.

My vaporizer is a JB200 electric and I got it from a distributor here. But you should get one much easier the manufacturer is in Kanada. Treat the colonies a few times a week apart with OA and monitor the sticky board.

You need oxalic acid crystals and if you not sure, any pharmacy should have it. I think many beekeepers here on the forum using wood bleach; Bullseye Bill or Michael Bush should know where you can buy the crystals.

08-15-2005, 09:46 PM
Deformed wing virus has nothing to do with foulbrood. It can be related to high Varroa count but we have seen it where the Varroa count was low. We have requeened and it disappeared. Whether this was because we requeened or in spite of it, I don't know. The honey should not be affected by the virus. Cowans are working on a vaporizer but they are pricey. You need dry crystals to vaporize. We got ours from a water treatment company. I wouldn't be too keen to treat until you know exactly what your mite fall is.

Michael Bush
08-16-2005, 08:04 AM
I assume the pharmacutical grade will work just as well. But the "wood bleach" is only about $6 or $7 for a tub of it and it works fine.

Dave W
08-16-2005, 08:22 AM
>You must get rid of the Varroa and let the queen lay new eggs . . .

Remember, as you destroy brood this time of year, that NEW, young bees are needed this winter.

I would feed to encourage queen to lay and treat w/ something thats VERY EFFECTIVE.

Dick Allen
08-16-2005, 10:44 AM
>treat w/ something thats VERY EFFECTIVE

What are your recommendations?

Dave W
08-16-2005, 11:29 AM
Dick Allen . . .
Do you have problems w/ deformed wing too?

08-16-2005, 04:20 PM
Phil,thanks,I'm learning alot,but it seems that if you have got the bees hatching without wings you HAVE to treat,right?I am thinking a new queen should be part of a "treatment".
Axtman ,thanks for that link.You say to remove brood and trapped mites.Does that mean sealed brood only? or ALL brood?
I will inspect all frames soon,and if I find dead brood(which I understand will happen if I do nothing)then I will decide how to proceed.
I believe that I still have a high percentage of healthy brood,in which case I'll treat as you recommend.Otherwise I'm thinking all the bees/brood should be destroyed,to prevent spreading,and scorching the supers and trying again.
How contagious is this?should I move this hive to another place to treat?Will taking it apart to treat/inspect spread the virus?
thanks everyone,Mark

Dick Allen
08-16-2005, 10:53 PM
<Do you have problems w/ deformed wing too?

Yep, unfortunately a couple of hives do.

08-16-2005, 10:55 PM
Mark the Varroa mites entering the cells the 9th day just one day before bees closing the cells, one or more mites hiding in the liquid food for the larva and have a snorkel to breath. When bees feed the larva and inspect the cell they can’t find the mites. . In a high-infected colony this time of the year up to 10 Varroa can enter one cell.

I would remove mainly the sealed brood, not combs with eggs or really young larva.

Mites sting a little hole in the body from bees or larva to suck their blood and this is the way to infect them with the virus.

The deformed wing virus and many other viruses are in every colony but the trouble starts with the Varroa.

08-18-2005, 05:27 AM
Hi, I had a hive with a very high count of Deformed wing virus and a very high count of varroa mites this spring. This was do to me making a split with lots of sealed brood (instilling a large number of mites), and then putting that hive under a tree that didn't get much sunlight and the varroa thrived. After we moved the hive into direct sunlight, we had treated that hive with powdered sugar, 4 times, 7 days apart, twice this season, once in late spring when discovered, and once in mid July when we pulled honey. That hive is almost perfect. There are no signs of deformed wings and the mite count is really low, about 10 a day. We just pulled our starthistle honey and we are treating all of our hives with powdered sugar again, even if there is a low mite count, to get them through the winter without any other treatment.
You probably do need something stronger to get them in shape for the winter, but you might want to treat them again with the powdered sugar 3 more times. You did not tell us if you had a large mite drop with the powdered sugar. The first 3 times I treated, I had over 1000 mites the first, over 500 mites the 2nd and 3rd time, and then the 4th, hardly any. The second time I treated, the first 3 times showed drops of 300 or so, and then the 4th was very low again.
Good luck with your hive.

08-21-2005, 04:05 PM
2rubes,sorry about that,Ikinda spilled over to "Help,newbee with sick bees,pics"on BK101.
anyway,3 day drop was 40-50 mites!
Thats the bummer,I have been doing good with drone trapping on all my hives,I thought,and then this one hive.Only see a few with stumpy wings(today just 1)and a few crawlers that look perfect ,except that they seem disoriented,and not to steady or strong.The yellow jackets have been cleaning them up pretty good,so I can't get a real good body count.
One thing I have wondered,the stumpy wings due to mites chewing them off?Or a virus?If the virus,then why don't all the(mature) bees have it?
I thank everyone for their help,I am encouraged.
Also,any of you that bought a JB200,were there any duties?
1 tablespoon of OA crystals would weight what again?Don't know anybody with a triple beam anymore.

Michael Bush
08-21-2005, 04:29 PM
I've always wondered if part of it was that the wings are consumed, but the experts all seem to think it's a virus and I don't have any evidence that would contradict that. I assume it's from the virus.

I use the pipe cap from a 1/2" brass pipe to measure mine and it's, if I remember right, about 1 1/2 grams. That's what I used for three medium boxes.

Robert Brenchley
08-25-2005, 02:12 PM
It is a virus; the wings presumably don't expand properly when the pupa hatches, as the ones I've seen have had completely crumpled wings, and there's no way that could happen after they've dried. A bee which has had its wings torn apart looks quite different.

john miller
08-26-2005, 04:51 PM
Those stubby-winged bees are shouting Mite Infestation. Look out front.
You'll see other crawlers, or 'ants', because they aren't bees, they have no wings.
You will probably also see beat up drones.
It's time to treat, whether you like it or not.