Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey - Page 2
Page 2 of 6 FirstFirst 1234 ... LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 102
  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    5,460

    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    Hi Johno,

    WSU is from Washington state University breeding program. I believe Sue Cobey is involved, they brought in some old world genetics via drone semen from Europe as part of the program, so I was just testing out the waters. The only thing with their program is their season is kind of late, so queens are available a little late in the year which means you can't really do much with them except get them ready for fall and winter.

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    boone county indiana
    Posts
    148

    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    Washington State University is Steve Sheppard. I think Sue Cobey is on the coast in Washington. WSU is in Pullman, WA.

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
    Posts
    1,718

    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    The WSU queen, is this a continuation of NW Carniolan? JRG13 can you tell us a little about the qualities of these queens.
    Thanks Johno

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Yuba County, California, USA
    Posts
    6,546

    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    For anyone interested, more can be found on the WSU queen breeding program here:

    http://entomology.wsu.edu/apis/breeding-program/queens/

  6. #25
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    5,460

    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    She's listed under the personnel for the WSU program, but yets, Steve Sheppard heads up the program.

  7. #26
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    5,460

    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    Well, the saga continues... Sorry, I feel like I'm rambling on but I feel the need to describe how I got all the bees I have so everyone can get an idea how things progressed. Johno, I will get to how the WSU queens performed shortly, but if you want a quick idea... Were the queens mite resistant/tolerant - not so much, was there potential there - I believe so, Would I try them again- I'm planning on getting some more this year.

    As 2013 progressed, I really felt I missed out on that VSH breeder and I really liked the description of the Pol-Line bees Glenn had, and the only thing they had left when they were about to retire were the Carniolans so I still wanted to scratch that itch so to say. Luckily AdamF at VPqueens was ready to fill that void of reasonably priced II VSH breeder queens and he had taken up the Pol-Line strain. As it was kind of later in the season I opted to get one delivered at the tail end, not really planning to produce any daughters for 2013 but overwinter and be ready to go out the gate in 2014. I believe I got her in the first week of August, introduced her via push in cage (what a nerve wracking experience) and everything seemed fine until about the third week in September where I found the queen gone and 3-4 poor emergency cells present. What a gut wrenching day that was, I still remember it and it started the 'curse' of the Pol Line for me, and we'll come back to that in a bit. I did get a virgin queen emerge but it was late to get a queen mated and the nuc ending up absconding with the virgin. I guess that's just a risk you take with II queens though, or any queen for that matter. Everything was looking pretty good up to that point too, except I did notice she only laid the back half of the frames, the half away from the entrance and it wasn't really that cold and they were fairly protected from wind etc.. so I always found that odd but she did lay a nice solid pattern and a good population of bees were in the nuc and I figure with the poor emergency cells, she must've failed and stopped laying and by the time the bees sensed it only older larva were available but that's just conjecture.

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,148

    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    please feel free to ramble at will jrg, this is good stuff!
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  9. #28
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    5,460

    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    So, beginning of summer 2013, hives are looking good. My strategy for housing new queens and splits was pretty much to use 5 frame nuc boxes, let them build up and overwinter as a single 5 frame or 5 over 5 if they got strong enough. My mite strategy was still in development though and my main approach was I still wanted to evaluate all the new bees I had so I pretty much kept them untreated up to this point. At this point though, I'm noticing the mites are building up nicely and are getting very noticeable, especially in the older splits and established hives.

    Here's a hive Summary:

    Elk Grove:
    F1 Kona Daughter hive, superceded - failed to requeen - now a Honey-4-All queen
    Kona Queen #2: Built up nicely, but mite population noticeable
    F2 Daughter queen split from supercedure: 5X5 nuc, building up nicely

    Weimar:
    Queen from TF Russian breeder: 3 deep hive, full of bees and honey, mite population healthy

    Woodland Location #1:
    Relocated testy swarm from house to here
    Italian WSU Queen: Looking good, strong nuc
    Carniolan WSU Queen: Looking good

    Woodland Location #2 (main yard):
    Kona Queen from bought hive #1: Very prolific queen, 2 deeps and 3 medium hive. mites building up
    Nuc with Ray Marler queen: Nuc that virgin queen failed after losing the original F1 Kona daughter that got superceded
    Nuc with F2 Kona Queen: Nuc made with second batch of supercedure cell from Kona F1
    Swarm from work: I called her the Monsanto queen, 5X5 configuration, looked good, mite levels seem ok
    Cordovan Swarm: Swarm from co-worker with Cordovan queen. 1 deep and 1 medium, drew all frames, looking good, mite levels seem ok
    Split from Russian queen from Weimar: Nice little prolific black queen, walk away split, 5 frame nuc full of bees, mite levels very noticeable
    Caucasian WSU queen: Looking ok, slow build up compared to Italian and Carni WSU queens, feeding sporadically, ant issues as well

    Home:
    Second queen from Honey-4-All: Strong 5X5 nuc

    So not too bad, took 4 hives, turned them into 12 and captured 3 swarms and the year wasn't over yet.
    Last edited by JRG13; 01-09-2017 at 06:30 PM.

  10. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Tallapoosa, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    616

    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    I have no problem with the way this is unfolding. I will be closely following due to my intense interest in the subject. In fact, I should follow your example...

  11. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Louisville, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,531

    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    Great thread.

  12. #31
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    5,460

    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    We'll start this one off with a pic, here's the Kona queen that I had in Woodland

    She was a third year queen, so it wasn't surprising in June or July I found her being superceded. I took the opportunity to remove her and to nuc her, and I pulled 4 splits from the hive and leaving it as a single with cells to requeen. Ants got the better of two of the splits. The main hive requeened successfully and two splits also yielded laying queens, one of which had acceptance issues after mating, and ended up getting her wings chewed off but was accepted after I caged her for a day.

    This pretty much sums of the hive situation for 2013, so now we're at about 18 hives entering fall. 2013 proved to be a difficult fall as well. The main yard was having ant issues and some robbing. Ended up shutting it down and moving everything to the other location anyways as the landowners decided to sell it. I moved the hive from my house containing the second queen from Honey-4-All as well as I set up the Pol Line breeder at home. The fall dearth took it's toll though, the year before must've been an exceptional year for forage, but as I never had bees before that I didn't know it. Also, the mite PMS really started to set in come September, and I even caught another swarm on September 1st. A small swarm a little bigger than a grapefruit probably, but it had a nice laying queen and it took to sub and syrup readily and grew fairly steadily in the fall and even winter. As a desperate attempt to salvage some hives, I tried a little OAV but since most of my hives I set up on the 3/8" bottom board it didn't quite work out well so I probably only tried it on 2 nucs, one was the old Kona queen now in a nuc and they weren't too happy about me sticking the gadget in there.

    The first casualties started rolling in though. The first was the daughter queen from Weimar. I was a little hurt over this one as she was my only black queen at the time and was by all standards a decent queen. I made the split in early May and you can now do the math, it took it all of 5 months to mite out, probably due to the fact that the parent hive had a growing population of mites at the time of the split. Second casualty was the queen I moved from the house to Woodland, mites had hit them pretty hard as well as the transition from a good forage area to a poor one. The third casualty was the Caucasian WSU queen who had just kept on struggling and finally gave into the lack of stores and mite pressure they were under. The 4th casualty was the other remaining Kona queen I had in Elk Grove. The 5th casualty of the year was the hive in Weimar, they had shrunk down due to mites and decided to supercede the queen in October, they were not successful. The 6th casualty of the year was the Kona queen which I had split 5 ways essentially. Turns out her nuc was aggressive when I oav'd them because they were in fact queenless at the time. The 7th hive to fall to mites that year was the original hive that Kona queen headed which had successfully requeened and looked decent but come winter they were gone as well due to PMS. Basically 19 hives going into fall, 12 remained but the lack of treatment at the proper time had still taken it's toll. The cordovan queen that was a deep and medium full of bees previous was down to about 4 frames of bees. Same with the Monsanto queen which had gone from a strong 5 over 5 to about 3 frames of bees. The new splits hadn't faired much better, the WSU queens and daughters from the Kona queen were down to a frame of bees, but all had put up 3-4 frames of capped honey at least. Ray's queen was down to a seam of bees as well, but with 4 frames of capped honey at least. The mean swarm from the house was going strong as ever though. Although a bit testy, those bees were always flying and active. They maintained about 12-14 frames at the time in 3 deeps, the top being mostly capped honey and drone comb. The queens in Elk Grove faired better as the forage was great over there. The F2 daughter from my first supercedure/split was a strong 5 over 5 and Honey-4-All's queen was about 7-8 frames of bees but with a deep and medium full of capped honey. All in all, suffered about 40% losses, all due to mites and most of the hives looking like garbage, but luckily we have very mild winters here. Spring 2014, here we come!
    Last edited by JRG13; 01-09-2017 at 07:06 PM.

  13. #32
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    5,460

    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    Spring 2014 rolls around.... Whatever was left made it so I had 12 colonies to work with. A few definitely needed some help though. The queen from Ray Marler was down to a handful of bees and the queen. I gave them some pollen sub which stimulated some laying but I eventually had to give them a frame of brood and bees. One of the daughters from the Kona queen that had her wings torn up pretty good also needed a frame of bees and brood, her sister was on the cusp but I felt like they would be alright on their own, but they weren't much better. I was still pretty discouraged about my 2013 losses though and the shape of the hives going into fall so I was really starting to strategize on what to do about mites. I'd gotten the OAV unit, a Heilyser JB 200 but didn't really care much for the method of application and results weren't really promising on the few hives it got tested on but the method was still in it's infancy at the time. I still figured VSH was a good option, and still wanting the Pol Line stock I ordered a few more breeders from VP queens. I ordered a Pol Line, Adam's Italian X Pure VSH, and his VSH Carni line. I also wanted to hedge my bets so I ordered from Broke-T who had open mated Carni daughters from VP queens and had a pretty good reputation on Beesource. I ordered 3 queens there. I also wanted to bring in some of Joe Latshaw stocks, and Pine Ridge Farms was offering open mated Aurea daughters that were mated with carni drones predominantly so I ordered 2 queens from there. I also ordered a breeder from Lauri Miller since she had incorporated some of Glenn's stocks in her bees and was having good success with minimal treatments with them. I also contacted Zia queens but they were fairly busy that year so it didn't work out, but I still had bees to make some splits from as well to evaluate, especially in some of the swarms I collected and I really liked in what I saw with Phil's queen as far as production traits go.

    From a management stand point, I also wanted to adjust my strategy. Small cell got a lot of talk at the time so I figured I'd give it a try. Not that I really bought into it as an effective measure or anything but I figured if it could have an impact it was worth trying. I opted to go with small cell wax foundation from Mann Lake in this regard as it seems none of my bees take to plastic very well, especially the areas that don't get much of a nectar flow. In this regard I try not to say much about it except that it doesn't really seem to do much for mite management for me but you really need to see how the bees drew the foundation out etc... and not every single frame in the hive is small cell as stuff gets shifted around and I have some foundationless frames and a mix of frames from the 6 hives I bought which probably consisted of 140 frames of various configurations, either pierco full plastic or wood frames and plastic foundation or just standard wax foundation.

    Fortunately, the consolidated yard in Woodland had a lot of almonds around it, so early forage was excellent. There was also a fair amount of wild mustard and radish. The first order of business was to move the September swarm as I had just placed the bees underneath where they swarmed at, kind of in the front yard of the property. Only issue was, I knew some of the foragers would return so it also proved to be a good time to make the first split of the season. I relocated the hive to it's permanent spot in the yard and it had grown to about 8 frames of bees and had a pretty good foraging force. I took a nuc and pulled a single frame of bees and brood from the Cordovan swarm queen and set it in the old spot to catch all the returning foragers. Checked it a few days later and it was probably 3 frames of bees total and they had started some queencells so I closed it up and left it at that. Around the same time I also did a walk away split from Honey-4-All's queen in Elk grove as they were doing quite well. I moved this split to my house to get mated. The other hive there also got a 3rd five framer box put on top of it as I didn't feel like putting it in 10 frame equipment just yet.

    About three weeks from making the first split of the year I checked for emergence and found a nice cordovan virgin. I thought she was a bit runty at first but I figured it was better than nothing and just an experiment in catching foragers to boost a single frame split. Here's a pic before mating:



    After mating:



    Was a pretty nice looking queen and proved to be a good layer. Once she was laying I moved the hive to Davis. At this point in time I also started to grade and evaluate the queens that I had and giving them nicknames where appropriate. The mean swarm from my house in West Sac became 'Swarm Mama'. I thought they may have some resistance/tolerance to varroa as they exhibited some Russian characteristics but I still kind of gave them a wide birth as they were a little testy, runny, drippy bees. Will not accept a queen or queencell from other hives either. I recall inspecting them early spring and I had forgotten I gave them a few foundationless frames the year before and they had pretty much drew them all drone comb and come mid spring raised 3-4 cycles of drones in every one of them which should of tipped me off at their intent at the time but they weren't overly crowded in 3 deeps but Swarm Mama earned her name because quite frankly, every spring I had her, she hit the trees or attempted too. They also lit up my land owner when mowing right before swarming and when we shook them out of the tree, they weren't very happy then either so they had to go. Unfortunately at the time, Ray Marler had a rough year so I figured it was a good time to donate him some quirky bees. I ended up keeping the swarm with the original queen as the landowners just wanted the mean hive to go away and didn't really understand that was now the mean hive, but the original hive requeened and as soon as she was laying I donated them to Ray. Since Swarm Mama was nuc'd now, and I inspected them more frequently, they actually calmed down a bit for the year too. The other quirky thing they did after swarming was to kill a massive amount of drones they had reared previously. They were pretty mite infested at the time as well, so any thoughts of resistance or tolerance went out the door as well and I dropped some Apivar in both hives to help clean them up.

  14. #33
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,148

    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    that's an amazing before and after mating comparison. i pinched a queen once for looking runty like that, perhaps i should have waited...
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  15. #34
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    5,460

    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    I can't say for certain square, but I think some virgins shrink a lot just before mating and there's no real standard to judge them by, except maybe look more at their width then total length and the size of their thorax. I'll know better in spring when queens will plump up more, but I did produce a daughter off my VP Carni, and I must've caught her right when she emerged as I was very pleased with her size as a virgin. I checked her a few days later and she'd shrunk up a lot and even after mating I would say my impression is, she was bigger the first time I saw her as a virgin.

  16. #35
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    west central Arkansas
    Posts
    1,080

    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    "They were pretty mite infested at the time as well, so any thoughts of resistance or tolerance went out the door as well..."

    Hey JRG, great read, keep it coming. Did your "Swarm Mama" colony exhibit any outward signs of mites that led to your decision to treat, or was it count based? Thanks.

  17. #36
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Yuba County, California, USA
    Posts
    6,546

    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    Spring 2014 rolls around.... At this point in time I also started to grade and evaluate the queens that I had and giving them nicknames where appropriate. The mean swarm from my house in West Sac became 'Swarm Mama'. I thought they may have some resistance/tolerance to varroa as they exhibited some Russian characteristics but I still kind of gave them a wide birth as they were a little testy, runny, drippy bees. Will not accept a queen or queencell from other hives either. I recall inspecting them early spring and I had forgotten I gave them a few foundationless frames the year before and they had pretty much drew them all drone comb and come mid spring raised 3-4 cycles of drones in every one of them which should of tipped me off at their intent at the time but they weren't overly crowded in 3 deeps but Swarm Mama earned her name because quite frankly, every spring I had her, she hit the trees or attempted too. They also lit up my land owner when mowing right before swarming and when we shook them out of the tree, they weren't very happy then either so they had to go. Unfortunately at the time, Ray Marler had a rough year so I figured it was a good time to donate him some quirky bees. I ended up keeping the swarm with the original queen as the landowners just wanted the mean hive to go away and didn't really understand that was now the mean hive, but the original hive requeened and as soon as she was laying I donated them to Ray. Since Swarm Mama was nuc'd now, and I inspected them more frequently, they actually calmed down a bit for the year too. The other quirky thing they did after swarming was to kill a massive amount of drones they had reared previously. They were pretty mite infested at the time as well, so any thoughts of resistance or tolerance went out the door as well and I dropped some Apivar in both hives to help clean them up.
    Some of the best bees I ever had as they made me a better bee keeper!
    Everything Jeff said is true, these bees are really something. They have several genetic strains in them though. Some offspring are more Italian, some are more Russian, and some are... who knows what. A lot of propolis and many are runny and drippy and won't take cells or queens to requeen or when making splits, and I would not call them mean, but I got to using a smoker and wearing a veil every time now. I started trying to clean up some of the genetics of offspring this past year (2016) and am happy with a couple that I have this winter so far. I have high hopes for that line of bees, they seem to be more varroa tolerant than most bees I've kept here, and the genetics I've kept so far are a little calmer on the combs and easier to work with. OK, sorry for the interrupt, carry on with the story, it's been very good reading.

  18. #37
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    4,130

    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    great thread! Keep the posts coming!

  19. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    2,998

    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    i pinched a queen once for looking runty like that, perhaps i should have waited...
    If a queen shows worker characteristics, she should be pinched. The simplest worker trait to look for is pollen baskets. Queens don't have them, workers do. Beyond that, I'm in favor of medium to large size queens. In the past, I got rid of a lot of rat tailed queens. They never produce enough eggs to maintain a colony.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  20. #39
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    5,460

    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    Nordak,

    They get a little DWV but I would say in general, tolerate mites better than really susceptible hives. It was more based on the amount of phoretics I saw at the time, but it was a mild winter that year and drone production probably started in January and the 3 foundationless frames they had didn't help things out since she laid it wall to wall drones. The carnage the few days after they swarmed was immense too, just a huge pile of drones outside, I don't think I've ever seen a colony do that either, but then again, I only ever had one colony swarm last year, which happened to be that first queen from that initial supercedure of that Kona F1 from 2013.

  21. #40
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    west central Arkansas
    Posts
    1,080

    Default Re: Finding Mite Resistance - The Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    Nordak,

    They get a little DWV but I would say in general, tolerate mites better than really susceptible hives. It was more based on the amount of phoretics I saw at the time, but it was a mild winter that year and drone production probably started in January and the 3 foundationless frames they had didn't help things out since she laid it wall to wall drones. The carnage the few days after they swarmed was immense too, just a huge pile of drones outside, I don't think I've ever seen a colony do that either, but then again, I only ever had one colony swarm last year, which happened to be that first queen from that initial supercedure of that Kona F1 from 2013.
    I've have colonies evict drones pretty early, but nothing on the level you described. Generally slightly precedes dearth. That's interesting.

Page 2 of 6 FirstFirst 1234 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •