Mites finally got me - Page 5
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  1. #81
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    Jul 2012
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    Strafford County, NH
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    Default Re: Mites finally got me

    "How to get rich quick and gain a full head of hair from your backyard hive"

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  3. #82
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Vernon, AZ. USA
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    627

    Default Re: Mites finally got me

    I too have lost most of my hives from mites in the past. But don't despair, you have seven hives that have successfully survived a serious mite infection. With robbing behavior those infestations are beeyard wide not restrained to a hive. Those girls are a better breeding stock than any of the dead ones. When I split & bred my remaining survivors for queens I got better success, not perfect, but somewhat more resistant bees. So I recommend you try it.

  4. #83
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Kamloops, BC, Canada
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    1,407

    Default Re: Mites finally got me

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Then how come he was successful for several years?
    A general hand waving ecological explanation for changes of system state use thresholds. Tweak a parameter on either side of some threshold value and the system can show very different behaviour. Non linearity. So diluted genetics, plus possible exposure to some new viral type brought in by the commercial may have been pushed the system to collapse. If one did a GIS analysis of hive collapse, I wonder if some patterns would show in association nearby migratory hives.

    Regardless, this doesn't seem an ideal situation for tf. At the very least I would get my queens mated in town where the genetics have a better chance. That will be my strategy this year. After the queen starts laying put them back in the country. Perhaps the current yard could be used for production and testing hives, but the nearby migratory operation raises the chance of more frequent episodic die off.

    Also I was wondering if an occasional disaster shouldn't be considered to be just part of the process of beekeeping. Before there were treatments, weren't occasional die offs part of the deal with keeping bees? Every so often most bee keepers would have to reset. Now treatment can delay a day of reckoning, but at what long term cost in terms of adaptation?

  5. #84
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
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    1,527

    Default Re: Mites finally got me

    Well, lost 1 more but I got all the remaining colonies blasted with OAV. I didn't have my phone or I would have taken some pics of bottom boards before I cleaned them off. Yikes, mites. I think I'll do a treatment every 5 days for a total of 3 treatments, that's what I did in the fall for infested colonies in the past.
    Zone 5 @ 4700 ft. High Desert

  6. #85
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
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    4,130

    Default Re: Mites finally got me

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Careful what you say Harley wouldn't want any spying eyes and obsessional people to get you kicked of that FB page

    I dont understand what this means?


    I have openly admitted to recomending people who cant stomach the losses to look into OAV. Some folks thought I should have been kicked out and it wasnt whom you might think lol. I told them that if people want help to keep their bees alive and feel that treating is the only way ill help, but I will do it outside the group so that I didnt distract from the mission. I dont ever want to make someone feel about their choices on treating the way some folks made me feel about my choices on not treating

  7. #86
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Champaign, Illinois
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    2,461

    Default Re: Mites finally got me

    Heard that if you manage to breed them perfect VHS bees that they are so hygenic that they kill half their brood and never really get a strong colony going so be careful what you wish for. Just sayin'.
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

  8. #87
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    Jul 2012
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    Strafford County, NH
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    Default Re: Mites finally got me

    Quote Originally Posted by aunt betty View Post
    Heard that if you manage to breed them perfect VHS bees that they are so hygenic that they kill half their brood and never really get a strong colony going so be careful what you wish for. Just sayin'.
    That's a good point. Altho I guess that would solve your swarm problems.

  9. #88
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Syracuse, UT
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    197

    Default Re: Mites finally got me

    I lost 5/5 early winter last year! Combination of yellow jackets and mites I believe. Ordered 5 packages yesterday. That really stinks.

  10. #89
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    Oct 2010
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    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
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    Default Re: Mites finally got me

    I finally got a chance to talk to the commercial near me and told him of my bad luck last winter. He told me that mites were at the highest levels that he's ever seen in his life last year and that he treated for them 5 times between April and October.
    Last edited by rwurster; 05-21-2016 at 12:20 AM.
    Zone 5 @ 4700 ft. High Desert

  11. #90
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    Apr 2016
    Location
    Southeast Texas
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    1,791

    Default Re: Mites finally got me

    RWusrer Sad to here about your bees but there is a silver lining. Guys down here buy brood. What they do is open a hive and shake off all the bees from a couple of brood frames. Then have a medium with a queen excluder nailed on the bottom and a top with screen that you can see through. Then they start shaking bees on this excluder - the young nurse bees go through the excluder to the brood below and old bees take flight and go back to the parent hive. This also is a good way to find your queens if you have a hard time locating them. Anyway shake brood frames like this until 2 brood frames are left in the parent - then dump that medium back in original hive - it may have the queen in it - move on to your next hive and replete until all hives are done - then haul those frames of brood a couple of miles away - install in some ready made up singles - put in a couple of those frames of honey you have left over. divide the brood 1 frame capped - 1 frame with eggs and let them raise there own queens from the survivor stock. Best way to stretch your last resources and get the max nucs. IMO. Good luck man as I feel for ya - I'm TF and my first year of mites was knocked down from 100 to 22. Talk about heartbreak - and then I had another problem - what to do with all those supers? Well I rebuilt this way and now I'm running about 300. So I know this works. Good luck brother in the bees

  12. #91
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    Mar 2015
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    Kamloops, BC, Canada
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    Default Re: Mites finally got me

    From my initial tests, my strongest overwintered nucs also happen to be very hygienic. Just saying. There is no reason for a general hyper vigilent hygienic behaviour as long as other things are being selected for as well. There will always be the occasional extreme case.

    When people are talking about the mites doing them in, isn't it a possibility that its actually virus/other disease that is doing the bees in, and the mites are opportunistically building in response?

    In theory, if mites aren't able to adapt to oxalic and formic acid treatments, there wouldn't be the need for increased treatment. A solid treatment should be enough to keep things under control.

    Now if the bees were being compromised by disease (and the constant import of new disease strains), the effectiveness of mite control on part of the bees would be diminished, and mites would build more quickly than otherwise, accelerating disease expression. A cascading collapse requiring more and more intervention to keep the system going. Beekeepers should be looking at more than the mites and perhaps looking at factors that constantly expose their bees to new diseases coming in, or importing bees and putting them in new disease context. Reducing this at every scaled level should improve mite management as well.
    Last edited by lharder; 05-21-2016 at 01:43 PM. Reason: typo

  13. #92
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    Jul 2012
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    Strafford County, NH
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    Default Re: Mites finally got me

    The way I heard it is the mites are the gateway to many diseases, as they provide an opening for disease to enter, kind of like puncturing your skin and giving opportunity to infection.

  14. #93
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    Mar 2015
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    Kamloops, BC, Canada
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    Default Re: Mites finally got me

    But if your bees are adapted to a local disease environment, the effects of mites may be indifferent beyond the blood meal. Make that disease environment chaotic and all hell breaks loose.

  15. #94
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    Default Re: Mites finally got me

    But you're not going to get tetanus if you don't scratch the skin. No staph infection without an entranceway. So how can disease get the upper hand if there is no (or limited) method of transmission?

    I agree that nosema c., which is fairly newly recognized here, is maybe underrated. But in isolation, without the mites to help it gain a foothold, is it as big of a threat?

    So which comes first here, the cart or the horse? Or do they arrive together?

    (And when is it time to pontificate on the diet of the bees? Is sugar a healthy alternative ever?)

  16. #95
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    Oct 2010
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    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
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    Default Re: Mites finally got me

    Sakhoney are you using metal excluders? I've only ever used the plastic excluders and only when I've done splits i.e. I shake all the bees into the bottom box, distribute resources, put on excluder, put super with brood and resources for split on top, wait overnight for bees to move up then split. I like how you do it. I saw some metal excluders that colobee uses and I knew instantly they were far superior to the plastic ones. My big buildup is going to be happening in a few weeks and I'm always open to new methods especially if its a more TF approach.
    Zone 5 @ 4700 ft. High Desert

  17. #96
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    Apr 2016
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    Southeast Texas
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    Default Re: Mites finally got me

    I use no excluders at all. Wait a minute - I use one on the bottom of a shaker box as described in above thread if I pull brood. The beekeeper I used to work for split the way you are. Shake all bees to bottom after moving all brood around and wait overnight for nurse bees to even up. Next day we roll in with tops & bottoms and split the yard up and haul away the splits. For me I mostly just do in the yard splits. Don't even look for a queen - just split them up and make sure everything has eggs in it. don't care where the old queen ends up.

  18. #97
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    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    6,558

    Default Re: Mites finally got me

    Quote Originally Posted by rwurster View Post
    I finally got a chance to talk to the commercial near me and told him of my bad luck last winter. He told me that mites were at the highest levels that he's ever seen in his life last year and that he treated for them 5 times between April and October.
    5 treatments in a season? Unless we are talking OA vaporization, I would suggest he rethink his varroa management program.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  19. #98
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    Oct 2010
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    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
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    Default Re: Mites finally got me

    It seemed excessive to me too Jim but if he said that's what he did I take him at his word. When I've worked with him in the past the mite treatments were administered when he migrated back here from California in March and after we pull honey here which is typically in early October. The guy has always run Italians and just switched queen breeders this year to Carnis. All the hives in my second yard have a high proportion of Italian looking workers and drones now. It's not really relevant but I thought it was kind of cool. Well except that he had 20 hives less than 100 feet away from my yard most of last season, that's where the heavy Italian influence happened. I remember a few late season supercedure cells.
    Zone 5 @ 4700 ft. High Desert

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