squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience - Page 99
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  1. #1961
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    so many thanks for the replies and kind words everyone.

    (part of my post from another thread posted here for future reference, the swarm is the one pictured in post #1945)

    "my caught swarm is approaching 2 weeks since moving in to the swarm trap with no signs of efb. the swarm ended up covering the better part of 10 deep frames and in less than two weeks has them almost completely full of brood and stores. the capped brood is completely solid and the open brood is 100% pearly white.

    i added a second deep yesterday with 10 frames of empty comb. 15 of the 20 frames in that hive are frames from efb deadouts that i have sanitized to the best of my ability. some goes for the hive bodies, inner cover, telescoping cover, and entrance reducer.

    if i see no efb once this colony fills the second deep with bees, my plan is to make as many nucs from it as i can. i'll do this by introducing a foundationless frame to the middle of the broodnest and then split the queen out a week later. a week after that i'll make as many nucs as i can with the emergency cells."
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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  3. #1962
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    update:

    virtually every spare moment these past couple of months has been spent cleaning up the mess created by the efb outbreak. most of that time has been spent trying to salvage equipment and drawn comb by washing and bleaching what i could. i'm not sure how effective my 'disinfecting' regimen will be and i guess only time will tell should i get around to repurposing what i have cleaned up.

    there was a fair amount of last year's capped honey unused in some of the supers along with a little bit of this year's not quite yet cured nectar. i used the extractor to remove that honey and came up with about 10 gallons or so. it ended up with a water content of 19.1% - 19.4%. this honey is getting used for cooking and mead making.

    the beebread was a little more difficult to remove. the air compressor did a decent job of that on the frames that only had a few cells but it involved removing patches of comb around the beebread. i just gave up on frames that contained a pretty good bit of beebread and they were thrown on the burn pile.

    all in all i ended up 'salvaging' about 300 frames of drawn comb and burning about 300 frames. most of the hive bodies that were in decent shape got cleaned, along with some of the other miscellaneous pieces of hardware.

    i've got one more short stack of stuff to clean up, need to give my garage one more good scrubbing, and then i'll be shifting over to honey harvest mode.

    during the period between late march and early may 15 out of 22 colonies became infected with efb. five colonies were euthanized prior to receiving the test kits and terramycin. 10 colonies were treated by shook swarming, terramycin, or both.

    of these 10 colonies 6 did not respond to treatment and are now gone. 2 others appear to have turned around and now have healthy solid patterns of open and capped brood, but these 2 have populations of less than 5 deep frames of bees. there are 2 treated colonies doing 'ok' with good brood patterns that have about 10 deep frames of bees.

    i'm watching these treated colonies for signs of efb rebloom and if that happens it's straight to the burn pile with everything except for the hive bodies.

    that leaves 7 strong colonies plus a swarm caught out of one of those that is also looking good at this time for a total of 8 hopefully 'good' colonies. they have quite a bit of honey to harvest on their tall stacks and then a winter to make it through.

    we'll see what's left come next spring in terms of my stock as well as my motivation about whether to rebuild the hive count or not.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #1963
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Fort Worth, TX, USA
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    2,077

    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    EFB is a tough battle to cleanup. I was fortunate, I harvested all honey, melted the wax off the frames for candles, bleached what was left and if it didn't look worth saving, campfire. I only saved 2 of my colonies and one belonging to a neighbor, but that is all I had alive when I had the inspector out to see what was wiping my bees out.

    Good to have a solid flow in the year following efb. Inspector called it bored nursebee syndrome
    Stuck in Texas. Learning Permaculture in drought, flood and strange weather. The bees are still alive.

  5. #1964
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    NW Florida
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Good to hear that you are getting some harvest this year. If you decide to, which I think you will, you can bounce back. Are you going to do any post main flow splits?
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  6. #1965
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    Feb 2015
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    Rosebud Missouri
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    3,947

    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Hoping the best for you and that there is not a rebloom.
    Good luck
    gww
    zone 5b

  7. #1966
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    Sep 2018
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    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
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    469

    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Squarepeg, When you are in the thick of it it is not fun. Let a winter unwind the stress. Most of the bee keepers I know would just bounce back, fast or slow, but having bees is soon a big part of your life. I was taken out by bears 2 times, once in 82 and again in 97, I will not lie to you I did skip a year or 2 but , however, I soon got back in. yesterday just checked the 8 NUCs I have and it was nice to see some queens and watch the progress. I kow have 4 smaller Apiaries so even if a bear got 1 I have other resources to rebuild. We all get Knocked down once and a while. Its how we handle the getting back up that makes like interesting. Good luck with your progress. If you do need to burn it all, look at it as a time to maybe go long hive or to 8 frame, I always wanted to do different stuff but all the wooden ware dictated I stay the path. Once knocked off the path , a different path is a viable option. I'll be rooting for you.
    GG

  8. #1967
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    Jun 2018
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    Boaz, KY, USA
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    Once knocked off the path , a different path is a viable option. I'll be rooting for you.
    GG
    GG:

    This is wise advice in my humble opinion- not allowing an adverse situation to forever define our efforts, but certainly to guide our decision making and (as you astutely point out) present us opportunities to make decisions that otherwise were not available to us. I suppose that is the idea of making lemonade from lemons.

    SP:

    I am really glad to hear that it appears you have arrested the disease progression and that you have a solid base of colonies to build back from. Best of success to you as you rebuild.

  9. #1968
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    Dane County, WI, USA
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    Squarepeg, ...... I'll be rooting for you.
    GG
    +1.

    Well said: "Once knocked off the path, a different path is a viable option".
    It works too.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  10. #1969
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    Sep 2018
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    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    +1.

    Well said: "Once knocked off the path, a different path is a viable option".
    It works too.
    Nothing like a clean slate to dream of,,,, if I started beekeeping today how would I do it?

    After the toast to the old way of course and the burring of the ashes.

    Some doors need to close to open others, after burring my first born and the funeral, I was "adrift" To describe it nicely, I eventually settled down and made something of the rest of my life, Humans are very adaptable. We are the sum total of all our experiences, some I could have done with out , but I would be a very different person.

    Hopefulyl we see "squarepeg 2020 -2024 next experience".
    GG

  11. #1970
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    many thanks to all for the replies and encouraging words. i am thankful for my good friends here on beesource and for the empathy received in response to my ranting and venting as of late.

    this weekend marks a turning of the corner in that i've finally finished cleaning all of the equipment i am attempting to salvage plus i brought in the first batch of this year's honey to extract.

    i euthanized another of the 4 treated colonies on thursday because it continued to have very spotty brood and had dwindled down to less than 2 deep frames of bees.

    the 3 remaining treated colonies are holding their own and have solid patterns with no diseased larvae present. there will be no honey harvest from these this year and it remains to be seen if they overwinter, build back up, and don't rebloom with efb next spring.

    the two supers i brought in this morning came off a hive that managed to fill 8 medium supers above their single deep. the top two supers i harvested were 100% full and capped and suspect the remaining supers are pretty much the same. getting to see that provided a nice little morale boost.

    most of the other non-affected colonies have tall stacks on them as well and they are too heavy to heft right now; so i'll be getting some harvest but probably half or less than what i have been getting these past few seasons.

    i won't be doing any more splitting this year but rather focus my efforts in getting the honey harvested and sold. we are in our summer dearth here and i'm thinking it is better to leave the remaining colonies strong for now and split what survives winter next spring.

    i won't be changing too much in terms of management going forward. mostly i'll be spreading out the placement of the hives to cut down on drift, have fewer hives per yard, be somewhat less aggressive with opening up the broodnests during the build up period, and be much more conservative with respect to moving equipment and resources from one hive to another.

    after slogging through what for me was a nightmare scenario, my hope is that the 8 colonies that somehow survived the efb epidemic without being treated remain hearty; and that propagating from those gives me good resilient stock going forward. it's one of those time will tell propositions...

    thanks again everyone.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  12. #1971
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Sounds good. Breeding from survivor bees.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  13. #1972
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Sounds good. Breeding from survivor bees.
    many thanks for that ot, and for the valuable contributions you make here on the forum.

    these are true survivors with several having multple winters under their belt as well as being exceptional honey producers.

    the 'breeding' program is likely to take a very modest form, at least for the next year or two. by that i mean about all i am planning to do is perform artificial swarms on each hive in the early spring. fortunately there are a couple of folks in the general area with 100 or so hives each that are putting a lot of effort into queen and nuc production.

    i plan to keep the strict quarantine in effect for another season or two in terms of producing and selling nucs to make sure i'm not seeing efb anymore. i'm pushing retirement from my day job back another year or two and need to avoid getting over-extended with the bee operation.

    the upside is by keeping the count from exceeding 20 hives i'll be able to pay better attention to the colonies to include focusing more on mite counts ect.

    it's looking like my bees may get included in a new study being put together by researchers in switzerland who are taking a careful look at proven mite resistant populations.

    my understanding is these researchers will be looking at infestation rates and mite reproductive success while running full genomic testing and trying to uncover snp's that may be part of a genetic substrate for mite resistance.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  14. #1973
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    it's looking like my bees may get included in a new study being put together by researchers in switzerland who are taking a careful look at proven mite resistant populations.

    That is too cool!
    Last edited by JWPalmer; 07-07-2019 at 06:15 AM.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  15. #1974
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Please share the findings as you learn of them.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  16. #1975
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Jadeguppy View Post
    Please share the findings as you learn of them.
    SP:

    I agree, and I appreciate all the information you have provided to-date. The National Honey Show video you posted over in the Pests/Diseases forum was very instructional as well.

    Good luck with your rebuilding effort. I appreciate you letting us come along for the ride.

    Russ

  17. #1976
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    That is too cool!
    +1

    In fact, more such populations should be studied.
    We are beyond needing a proof such bees exist.
    Sure they are - study them already.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  18. #1977
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    yep, i am excited about the swiss study. what the researchers are looking for are mite resistant colonies that have survived 2 winters off treatments, and they want 10 colonies per sample.

    because of my efb losses this year we'll have to pool my colonies with those of a couple of friends nearby who started their apiaries with my bees.

    i've let the researchers know that there are others here in the u.s. who have stock like this and might be willing to provide samples.

    send me a pm if you are interested.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  19. #1978
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    yep, i am excited about the swiss study. what the researchers are looking for are mite resistant colonies that have survived 2 winters off treatments, and they want 10 colonies per sample.
    SP:

    This is an intriguing opportunity. I do hope that there are plenty of folks willing to participate.

    Thank you for your continued advocacy on behalf of the TF paradigm.

    Russ

  20. #1979
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    I've just caught up with your woes, Squarepeg, as a result of searching for info about how to deal with my own EFB outbreak. Bad luck, and I hope it all goes well from now on.

    To add to the positives, I like the (alleged) observation: the Chinese have one word for 'Catastrophe' and 'Opportunity'.

    I'm hopeful that my experience of EFB has given me a much needed whole new sense of direction.

    All the best, and Hi to Everyone,

    Mike (UK)
    The race isn't always to the swift, nor the fight to the strong, but that's the way to bet

  21. #1980
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    great to hear from you mike, and thank you for the well wishes.

    sorry to hear that efb showed up your operation. were your samples sequence typed, and if so what was the result?

    we are terribly behind in our understanding and approach to that pathogen here in the u.s. as compared to the u.k.

    also, we've been highlighting efb experiences in the 'diseases and pests' subforum, and would appreciate hearing your story there if you are so inclined.

    best of luck to you as well!
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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