a little scientific involvement with TF bees. - Page 15
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  1. #281

    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    does it show better here?
    Hive 1151 for example:

    column number ( )


    1151 (1) 115(2) 85(3) 3(4) 27(5) 26%(6) 10%(7)

    Most of the hives have less than 7 columns

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  3. #282
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    I see, some zeros are missing from the mite data. On the spread sheet its an empty cell. Right justify to fill in the zeros.

  4. #283
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    ah, i didn't notice that. i was looking at the last number as the "percentage mite infestation in the fall for reference"

    with the exception of 1148 at 1%, all the others ranged from 7% - 15% similar to the handful of late season counts that i have done.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  5. #284

    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    the others ranged from 7% - 15% similar to the handful of late season counts that i have done.

    Sugar shake/ alcohol wash?
    brood /broodless period?

  6. #285
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    Sugar shake/ alcohol wash?
    brood /broodless period?
    alcohol wash, fall brood up underway after summer broodless period.

    i'll have more time to spend with the bees after retirement next year.

    my intention is to take my longest lived colonies (4 winters or more) and take monthly data on them for a year, tracking population size, frames of brood, alcohol wash, ect.

    the idea is to plug those numbers into randy oliver's mite model and generate an 'r' value (a measure of mite resistance) for my bees.

    i want to compare this to other bees for which that value has been determined.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  7. #286

    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    ranged from 7% - 15% similar to the handful of late season counts that i have done.
    Wow that is quite a lot.
    I have estimated in our conditions that bees do not (in average) manage to next season if they have more than 5% infestation by end of summer. Some survive to next season, but in bad shape.

    But reading about mites feeding of the fat body, that is no wonder. Well formed fat body is absolutely crucial for wintering success here in Finland.

  8. #287
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    Wow that is quite a lot.
    yes, from what you and others are reporting one would expect much higher losses and/or very weak colonies coming out of winter than what i am experiencing.

    the latest installment in his series of articles on varroa randy oliver uses the 15% mark in this context:

    "Practical application: keep in mind that it is not varroa that kills a colony—it is typically a virulent strain of Deformed Wing Virus, vectored and facilitated by the mite. Once the infestation rate of varroa exceeds about 15% (~50 mites in an alcohol wash of 1⁄2 cup of bees), DWV tends to go “epidemic” in the hive, killing the developing brood."

    from: american bee journal, sept. 2018, volume 158, no. 9, p. 1013-1014

    i sometimes observe a few dwv bees and crawlers (cbpv?) in a small percentage of my hives, but what i also observe is these are no more or less likely to collapse than hives not showing any diseased bees.

    perhaps the viruses here are less virulent, or perhaps the good nutrition here supports extra good fat bodies. most likely it is some combination of factors that allows our local strain to cope with such high infestation.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  9. #288
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    also: there is a big difference between finland winters and alabama winters.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  10. #289
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    There may be a 2 step selection process going on. If a hive is vulnerable to virus, then even if it has mite resistance qualities, they aren't expressed high enough so they get overwhelmed. But even virus resistant bees will suffer if they have lots of mites feeding on fat bodies, and of course mite populations can build year over year without anything to stop them. For a hive to survive, they must be able to deal with local viruses, then even if mites get to 10 percent in fall, they must be able to reset to some low level by the following spring preventing the year upon year buildup. It does make sense that mite levels in a northern climate going into fall needs to be less than a more temperate one. All hands on deck are needed to survive the long winter.

  11. #290

    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by lharder View Post
    I have some 2018 queens on production hives because of an experiment but generally queens spend their first winter in a nuc. I make note of some supercedures that take place if I notice them I'll have more data from 2 or more winter survivors later on.
    What is the difference between your nuc and production hive, I mean number of frames/ hive cavity in liters ?

    How are the nucs made? How many brood frames, with cell or laying queen?

  12. #291
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    What is the difference between your nuc and production hive, I mean number of frames/ hive cavity in liters ?

    How are the nucs made? How many brood frames, with cell or laying queen?
    Perhaps I should just call my nucs "starters". I make them up from May to July weather dependent with 2 frames of brood, a frame of food and a queen cell. They are either in a side by side 6 frame set up (a size I really like) or a side by side 5 frame set up, all medium frames. Some of my earliest ones ended up with 5 boxes, many are in 4, but the youngest nucs are in 2 boxes. I think this is that last year of major expansion for me so I will probably not raise nucs past the end of June going forward and the ratio of nucs to production hives will shrink. The first set of nucs I can get a honey crop off. Sometimes I put excluders on them and put a super or 2 on top that the side by side starters share. Up to this year I have made queens from hives that have survived 2 winters and promising 1 year survivors. This year I had a good choice of productive 2 year survivors to make queens from so all the queens were made from this stock. My production hives are in either 8 frame, 10 frame or square dadant boxes, all mediums. 2 boxes are brood nest. I add room as they need it during the flow. I was scrambling this summer making equipment as fast as I could to keep up with it all. I would say my best 2 year survivor queen this year filled about 8 medium 8 frame boxes full of honey. She filled all 18 frames in the brood nest with brood and I was constantly removing frames of brood from her to contain her.

  13. #292
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    good morning lharder.

    how was your 2018 season and where did you end up in terms of hive count?
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  14. #293
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    lharder:

    I just wanted to comment that I really enjoyed reading your chronicles to-date, and the information contained herein was like trying to take a drink out of a fire hose. There is much wisdom and considered thought/observations/opinions on here, and I am looking forward to gleaning more insights from your efforts as they unfold.

    Russ

  15. #294
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    I have just got back from a trip to Australia and Hawaii. Mostly unplugged. I did look for bees wherever I went. Bees in Tasmania are all over the place, must be a good healthy wild population there. They also have very strict quarantine measures in place with no interstate movement of comb allowed. Even a dog at the airport sniffing out offenders.


    I have about 90 nucs and maybe 34 production hives. I had some significant fall mortality of some production hives at my home site and a nearby site near Kamloops that I didn't see at my other sites. A first for me. A few nucs there also aren't as good as the other sites. I've been scrambling to get everything winterized before my big trip, and still have a few things to do now that I am back. Things are more or less ready, but there are a few lose ends. Our fall and early winter have been very mild.
    Will post more as I have time. My new years has been spent dealing with a small sewer line backup.


    Happy new year

  16. #295
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    happy new year to you too and thanks for the update lharder.

    good job on getting the hive count up!

    looking forward to hearing more when you have time.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  17. #296
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    I went to one site that besides leaving honey on after harvest in early fall, haven't had a chance to properly winterize before my trip. I popped the lids and had a look at the clusters. There were 14 hives there, with 2 being queenless as I pulled honey. I took brood samples for mites when I harvested honey for 12 hives. About half had mite infestations below 10 percent and half above with the most serious infestation at 37 percent. Unlike the Kamloops location where I had serious mortality (8 of 13 production hives), all the hives alive at fall harvest are still alive now. Even the hive with a high mite count of 37 % had a strong cluster (I will see what happens in early spring with that one). I should say that the mite counts were not out of line between the two sites. At the Kamloops site I had hives with relatively low mite counts not make it, while those with higher (19) make it thus far.



    In statistics, we are taught that if there isn't a strong correlation between a proposed factor and outcome, then there are probably other factors at play. I think this may be case of mites being only part of the problem. This myopic focus on mites any time there is a mortality event is misplaced and distracts from other potential issues like viruses.


    In this case there are site differences. What are they? I did harvest and reduce their size a bit later at my Kamloops site. Maybe that led to robbing as the smaller bee populations were unable to defend their space. I have problems with ants and wasps at the Kamloops site as well. Maybe it was a new virus in the area. I don't really know.

    I will be providing more information on who survives what mite count this spring.

  18. #297
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    what are your counts in reference to, mites per 100 cells?

  19. #298
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    Just as individual hives are super-organisms, we should think of apiaries as organisms. Apiaries have cascading failures. Weakness in a single hive leads to eventual mortality of many of its neighbors. Right now the ever lunatic Solomon Parker is leading a cheerleading campaign on his social media against the idea of "mite bombs" -- which is really just shorthand for cascading failures, run, do not walk away, from Parker's special brand of madness.

  20. #299
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by JWChesnut View Post
    Just as individual hives are super-organisms, we should think of apiaries as organisms. Apiaries have cascading failures. Weakness in a single hive leads to eventual mortality of many of its neighbors. Right now the ever lunatic Solomon Parker is leading a cheerleading campaign on his social media against the idea of "mite bombs" -- which is really just shorthand for cascading failures, run, do not walk away, from Parker's special brand of madness.
    good post, and believe it or not something we stand in agreement on jwc.

    most of my losses last year were at one apiary, and the result of an early fall mite collapse and the ensuing rob out by the other hives.

    my thinking is that even the most mite resistant bees can't be bullet proof and there is undoubtedly an upper limit to what any colony can tolerate.

    i've taken more care this year by reducing all entrances to very small and making around to the out yards more often especially on the flying days.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  21. #300
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    Default Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.

    Just as individual hives are super-organisms, we should think of apiaries as organisms
    I disagree........ think of them like any other high density agriculture...feed lots and the like. You have to deal with sickness and pests to stop it from spreading, etc do to the unnaturally high pop density

    In the wild sense bees will survive as a species if man stopped managing them.
    Apiaries on the other hand will not.

    I did see Parkers latest move.... had a hive die when it was too cold for the bees to be flying, see they didn't get robbed, no such thing as mitebombs etc....SMH...
    I get it... its hard to believe let them die is helping the bees and believe in mite bombs being harmful. Much like many TF gurus tell people not to count mites out of concern they might chose to save the hive whit treatment if they see what realy going on with there bees

    Been sticking one of his podcasts on while working out on the bowflex... Turning aggravation in to motivation

    Genetic resistance IS our future, but it will never be bomb proof (pun intended), so ways of limiting/heading off cascades need to be considered and discussed.

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