Complete Loss in SE Michigan - Page 2
Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 47
  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    7,793

    Default Re: Complete Loss in SE Michigan

    I can and have wintered packages or any other strain of bees at Latitude 46 40 climate zone 3/4. Local survivor stock is a definite good thing, but I am sick of livestock type being a go to alibi for those who cannot keep their bees alive for a year. There is a learning curve too I grant but I killed literally hundreds of colonies learning how. I killed those hives before varroa mites and their lethal virus loads.

    It is as simple as this. Kill the mites in August or July. Do not merely molest them with powdered sugar, fgmo fogging or my friend Don K's magic spells of power. Kill them dead with a lethal treatment.

    Feed your bees, have the colony weighing 125-140 pounds by mid October.

    If you insist on SBB, you are hopeless, stop reading now.

    Bore a hole in the upper hive body just above the handhold. this supplies all the ventilation a hive really needs during the cold months.

    Ten pounds of sugar on wet newspaper on the top bars is really cheap insurance against starvation. It is a whimp clause for those of us not as good at beekeeping as Michael Palmer. The 2 /1/2 inch feeder rim will also give you room to put in sugar bricks in Mid February on if your hoggish Alabama Italians have already gone thru their sugar. You can have on order a Russells finest superqueen of your choice to replace her in the mass of wintering bees that will make three splits.

    On top of the sugar float a 16X20 piece of black plastic to keep the bees from hanging from the top of the warm bubble above the dry sugar after they have eaten thru it.

    On top of the feeder rim A cover of soundboard conforms and seals the top of the feeder rim and absorbs excess moisture nicely

    On top of that 2" epe insulation to keep condensation from freezing above the cluster. The insulation on the top must exceed that on the sidewalls so that condensation forms on the sides before the top.

    honeybeeworld.com is an easily searchable site owned by a retired Alberta Beek where he has good directions on making and wrapping colonies for cold weather. Those of you who can't winter bees might rethink the common information that bees don't need wrapped in cold country. Canadian sights on wintering bees are the gold standard. Search them out.

    My Canadian inspired wrapping system opens easily at the top. It does not hurt the bees at all. They poke their little rear ends up in the air at 15 F with a stinger dripping venom and stay there on the cluster. I can add patties as I do mid February or more sugar anytime it is fit for me to be beekeeping. It does not harm the bees if you conduct your business and get out in the ten seconds a prepared keeper needs them unsealed at the top. It will not harm the bees in the twenty seconds it takes you to take a couple pictures. Just only go in when you have in your immediate possession the resource you hope to replenish and get them sealed back up.

    I do not know if this wintering system will work in the heart of the dismal swamps of rain forest Washington State or its ilk in the Carolinas. But for those of us with some serious frost in our lives, I believe it will work as well for you as it does for me.

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk Co, NY, USA
    Posts
    3,626

    Default Re: Complete Loss in SE Michigan

    There is some solid advice voiced in these responses, advice from experienced beekeepers.
    Sure hope people take notice.

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Clinton, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    442

    Default Re: Complete Loss in SE Michigan

    [QUOTE=Vance G;1525740]
    Feed your bees, have the colony weighing 125-140 pounds by mid October.
    Watch them close in the fall AND watch what the goldenrod is doing. Probably 8 out of 10 years the southern part of the state has a decent fall flow and you will be fine without feeding. HOWEVER, some years the fall flow doesn't pan out and if you haven't been paying attention (particularly to how that goldenrod is responding to the weather) they will be short on stores while you are short on warm weather to give them syrup. If you want to feel more comfortable until you figure that piece out, just give them some syrup before cold arrives or dump sugar on them on the last trip into the yard for the year. Secondly, how much feed you need truly depends on what you have for stock and how spring plays out. Plenty of good beekeepers successfully wintering in a single here but its done with conservative/ environmental regulating bees. If you end up running some southern style bees rather than your previous buckfast or russians, they will need more food to make it to early spring so you probably wont have much luck running them in a single. And with the first warm days of spring they will have tendency to overbrood and then run on fumes if the spring weather takes a turn for the worse. Either of the type of bees you have previously used have the ability to winter here with zero issues and with minimal stores but you can also winter italian type bees here. it just takes more stores, etc.

    If you insist on SBB, you are hopeless, stop reading now.
    The weather here isnt horrible and I've heard of plenty of people wintering with SBB on. However, I dont figure its the best option for years when we have no snow cover for insulation but cold windy nights so I dont have any desire to use them.

    Bore a hole in the upper hive body just above the handhold. this supplies all the ventilation a hive really needs during the cold months.
    Yep, people kept bees here for generations with nothing special for ventilation.


    I'd agree that the Canadians have gold standard for wintering and nothing wrong with using any of the techniques Vance G mentioned. But not sure I think it is needed in the general locale where the OP and I live. We have winter but just not that bad of winter. I don't wrap and no insulation added and we've been doing this for quite a few decades. They don't have any troubles making it thru the winter with nothing more than a migratory cover. Keep a handle on varroa which will let them have enough winter bees and make sure they have enough stores to last til spring. return to visit them in the spring.

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Denmark, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    247

    Default Re: Complete Loss in SE Michigan

    Mike when you say the product was not effective, what type of treatment do you use for mites And how do you apply? Treating many colonies, I assume you use a time effiecent method. I have not heard of you mentioning OAV's. So, can you give an example how you would treat you productions colonies in the fall/ getting the ready for winter? Box configuration, supers on, supers off, do you take you single medium off that you leave off for winter then treat and put it back on??

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    8,108

    Default Re: Complete Loss in SE Michigan

    Over the last 25 years, I have used a number of products for varroa control. I used OAV for three years and just about lost the farm. To be blunt, it just doesn't work here in the north. By the time the colony is broodless, the cluster is tight and the vapor doesn't penetrate that tight cluster. I've mentioned this before but don't harp on it. Don't want to get in an argument. So, vaped in November for two seasons. Huge varroa loads by the middle of the second summer. Vaped three times in September as per manufacturer recommendation. Alcohol wash count was 20-25 before gaping. After three vapes a week apart, and waiting another week at the end, alcohol wash counts were 20-25. Never vaped again. Waste of time and money. Sorry to those who experience such great results. I didn't find that.

    So now I use amitraz. Treatment applied in August when the honey is removed. Supers off...no compromise. My brood nests are two deeps and a medium. The medium stays on as part of the broodnest.

    All that said about treatments, breeding is an important part of the system. I've been adding VSH stock since 2004. I believe it is helping keep the varroa population down, getting the bees through harvest without crashing colonies. don't see DWV bees crawling on the ground in mid-summer, as I used to see.

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Rib Lake WI
    Posts
    1,705

    Default Re: Complete Loss in SE Michigan

    Glad to hear your opinion on OAV I don't see how it can be practical for a large operation like yours. But I think a hobby beekeeper that does it can have better outcome if they treat with OAV in the spring 4 or 5 days between treatments for a month then early in August after the honey comes off they do the same.

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Denmark, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    247

    Default Re: Complete Loss in SE Michigan

    Mike thanks for answering. I know the treatment, non treatment, and methods are a touchy subject. I too live in the north, Northwoods of WI. I too have seen people having little to no success vaping. So I have not been treating. I have bees I breed from that don't crash in the summer, and continue to work in summer with acceptable mite counts. As of lately I have been able to do this due to colony count and not relying on my bees for a full income/living. Now my apiary is shifting to becoming my full time income over the next 5 years as my colony count has went up tremendously, I am successfully overwintering, I'm breeding a northern stock queen of my own to head all colonies, it's a slow process to reach commercial numbers for me. Somewhere I heard (patience grasshopper) and have been repeating that as I grow. Ok, back to treatment questions. Now with higher colony numbers I will be alcohol washing them throughout the year to manage, how many time do you wash a year? I kmow most do a spring wash, summer, and fall wash? Do you wash this many times? Amitraz, that is the active ingredient in apivar strips. Is this the treatment application you use? Six weeks is a LONG time to leave that strip in there. Is there another way? How do put the amitraz into your hives? Also, where do you purchase your amitraz in bulk? Sorry, so many questions lately, but once April 10 comes, I won't have anytime for questions before the season kicks off and I assume neither will you ha

  9. #28
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    2,509

    Default Re: Complete Loss in SE Michigan

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    I used OAV for three years and just about lost the farm. To be blunt, it just doesn't work here in the north. ... Waste of time and money.
    Huh.

    All that said about treatments, breeding is an important part of the system. I've been adding VSH stock since 2004. I believe it is helping keep the varroa population down, getting the bees through harvest without crashing colonies. don't see DWV bees crawling on the ground in mid-summer, as I used to see.
    What is the mechanism by which breeding is working?
    David Matlock

  10. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Denmark, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    247

    Default Re: Complete Loss in SE Michigan

    ??

  11. #30
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chardon, Ohio
    Posts
    689

    Default Re: Complete Loss in SE Michigan

    I think the stronger the hive is in August the lower you need to get the mite count. Every hive I lost this winter (4 out of 31) was a boomer in August and dead by Jan 1. My counts were 2/100 in August across the board. When you shrink down to a winter population 2/100 can turn into 10/100 real fast in a boomer hive just due to the bee population drop. Add in a month or six weeks worth of mite reproduction and you can be talking 15+/100 which is a dead hive every time no matter what you treat with in Oct. Also, I am hearing a LOT of failures with August MAQS treatments with resulting high winter deaths like 40 and 50% or even worse. Another factor may well be if you winter on sugar or HFCS versus honey. It is well documented that fall honey some years is terrible compared to sugar or HFCS and was able to winter kill hives 100 years before mites were in the US. All four that I lost were on honey. Those I fed to get enough stores all survived the winter fine including late nucs I felt were marginal strength. Those weak nucs are stronger right now than they were the end of Sept.

  12. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Rib Lake WI
    Posts
    1,705

    Default Re: Complete Loss in SE Michigan

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cryberg View Post
    I think the stronger the hive is in August the lower you need to get the mite count. Every hive I lost this winter (4 out of 31) was a boomer in August and dead by Jan 1. My counts were 2/100 in August across the board. When you shrink down to a winter population 2/100 can turn into 10/100 real fast in a boomer hive just due to the bee population drop. Add in a month or six weeks worth of mite reproduction and you can be talking 15+/100 which is a dead hive every time no matter what you treat with in Oct. Also, I am hearing a LOT of failures with August MAQS treatments with resulting high winter deaths like 40 and 50% or even worse. Another factor may well be if you winter on sugar or HFCS versus honey. It is well documented that fall honey some years is terrible compared to sugar or HFCS and was able to winter kill hives 100 years before mites were in the US. All four that I lost were on honey. Those I fed to get enough stores all survived the winter fine including late nucs I felt were marginal strength. Those weak nucs are stronger right now than they were the end of Sept.
    I've seen the same here every one that treated with MAQS there booming hives died

  13. #32
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Denmark, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    247

    Default Re: Complete Loss in SE Michigan

    Richard,
    Not leaving honey, is not an option. Imagine the time and effort to make 40lb sugar for 50+ hives. I much rather just leave a med of honey on top. As everyone here has mentioned, some treatments don't even work. That's why I am trying to learn more about other treatments. Specifically mikes, to no avail. But oh well. I have seen people around me with many hives use OA dribble, OA vapor, MAQS, and apivar. They over winter the same as I do and have higher losses.

  14. #33
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chardon, Ohio
    Posts
    689

    Default Re: Complete Loss in SE Michigan

    Quote Originally Posted by ethanhogan View Post
    Richard,
    Not leaving honey, is not an option. Imagine the time and effort to make 40lb sugar for 50+ hives. I much rather just leave a med of honey on top. As everyone here has mentioned, some treatments don't even work. That's why I am trying to learn more about other treatments. Specifically mikes, to no avail. But oh well. I have seen people around me with many hives use OA dribble, OA vapor, MAQS, and apivar. They over winter the same as I do and have higher losses.
    Fall feeding only 2000 pounds of sugar or HFCS is not even a warm up for many commercial bee keepers. You can get a lot of stores in fast and with not that much effort with frame feeders or bulk feeding. However, I will continue to not feed production hives and strong nucs and leave them honey instead. Depending on where you live this can be suicide. It all depends on how often you get a fly day in the winter and what that fall honey was made from. If your hive dies by Jan 1 it is not at all likely the problem was the stores. If it dies in Feb or March and shows dysentery symptoms it could well be the stores. As best I can tell from historical reports if you are not seeing dysentery the stores are ok. I get cold here, like sub zero and the occasional -15. But most winters I also get a couple of fly days every month all winter and those fly days make a big difference.

  15. #34
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Denmark, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    247

    Default Re: Complete Loss in SE Michigan

    No argument on how much feed it takes, but my time and money are to valuable. Unless the fall flow fails, then it necessary. Leaving honey is much easier. In my climate we get -0 temps 2-3 weeks at a time. No cleansing flight for months at a time. This post for me was about finding better treatment options, not overwintering

  16. #35
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chardon, Ohio
    Posts
    689

    Default Re: Complete Loss in SE Michigan

    Quote Originally Posted by ethanhogan View Post
    This post for me was about finding better treatment options, not overwintering
    The OP very clearly asked about what to do to get better over wintering results. He did not ask a thing about how to better control mites and expressed the opinion he had done an adequate mite control job. There appear to be lots of creative ways to kill hives which have nothing go do with mite control based on what I see with local small bee keepers. They should not be killing so many with zero mite control.

    Perhaps your time and money are more valuable than the hives that die over winter for you. After all, it is dirt easy to do splits and make new hives when you are running a decent number of hives and only 1/3 die over the winter. There are commercial guys whose business model basically says it is in their financial interest to let a lot of hives die rather than do those things needed to keep them alive all winter. A lot being over half.

    The guy who has five hives and they all die does not have any resources left to split up and has to buy bees at well over $100 for a package these days. The last time I price sugar $100 would buy over 200 pounds. That is almost enough for that guy to feed all five of his hives sugar and harvest the honey if he has any reason at all to suspect his fall honey is not the best for winter feed. Based on what I see around my area, and from my own experience, I think a lot of hives die in winter due to poor quality honey as winter stores being the last straw pushing them over the edge. The idea of bad honey is not a bit new. Bee keepers over 100 years ago showed that wintering on sugar rather than honey resulted in a considerable reduction in winter hive die off. It is only in the last few years that the total myth of honey being superior to sugar or HFCS for wintering came into being. This myth probably came into being because of all the back to nature newbees who know nothing about bees and are dedicated to learning nothing about bees who have invaded the hobby.

  17. #36
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    4,015

    Default Re: Complete Loss in SE Michigan

    eithanhogan
    Mike thanks for answering. I know the treatment, non treatment, and methods are a touchy subject. I too live in the north, Northwoods of WI. I too have seen people having little to no success vaping. So I have not been treating. I have bees I breed from that don't crash in the summer, and continue to work in summer with acceptable mite counts. As of lately I have been able to do this due to colony count and not relying on my bees for a full income/living. Now my apiary is shifting to becoming my full time income over the next 5 years as my colony count has went up tremendously, I am successfully overwintering, I'm breeding a northern stock queen of my own to head all colonies, it's a slow process to reach commercial numbers for me. Somewhere I heard (patience grasshopper) and have been repeating that as I grow. Ok, back to treatment questions. Now with higher colony numbers I will be alcohol washing them throughout the year to manage, how many time do you wash a year? I kmow most do a spring wash, summer, and fall wash? Do you wash this many times? Amitraz, that is the active ingredient in apivar strips. Is this the treatment application you use? Six weeks is a LONG time to leave that strip in there. Is there another way? How do put the amitraz into your hives? Also, where do you purchase your amitraz in bulk? Sorry, so many questions lately, but once April 10 comes, I won't have anytime for questions before the season kicks off and I assume neither will you ha
    It is probly hard for a commecial guy that relies on his bees for a living to answer the question you are asking on amitraz. I could be wrong but the only legal aplication seems to be apivar. On the taktic thread that is several pages, there were several deletes due to home brew recipies. It is a synthetic item and not a natural thing like olixic and so even if it was being used in a home brew fassion that you are hoping to find the secret for, it is probly going to be told to you in open forum that you need to follow the lable. I don't know the answer to why you are not getting the answer you are sure is out there and may be wrong of a resistance of posting if it is out there but my mind tells me people are adverse to opening themselve up to trouble.

    I am speaking for no one but more just thinking for myself of what might be.
    Good luck
    gww
    zone 5b

  18. #37
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk Co, NY, USA
    Posts
    3,626

    Default Re: Complete Loss in SE Michigan

    Why does anyone think that a MAQS treatment in August solves the mite issue in their hives for the remainder of the year and will get the bees through winter?
    Maybe a quick check of mites on a nice late November day will dispel that falsehood, and save some of those Jan 1 dead outs.

    The OP is as much about mite treatments as it is about feed, "So let me know what you think, and if you want to ask anything to help me trouble shoot fell free."

  19. #38
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chardon, Ohio
    Posts
    689

    Default Re: Complete Loss in SE Michigan

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    eithanhogan

    I could be wrong but the only legal aplication seems to be apivar.
    gww
    USA law is very crystal clear on what is legal and what is illegal when you use any product what so ever as a pesticide. What the law says is if your application and use directions are not on the label of the container you buy the use is illegal. The law is also crystal clear that you must read and follow those label directions.

    Example: If you go to the grocery store and buy a box of borax and that it home and use it along with sodium carbonate to make a mix you use to wash your clothes this is a legal use of the borax. You are not using it as a pesticide. That is you are not trying to kill weeds, insects, fungi growing on some plant or to kill mice or rats or prairie dogs. But, if you take that borax and mix with sugar and use as an ant bait to kill ants you are illegal unless specific directions on how to mix it and use it to kill ants are on the label.

    It makes zero difference if the product is some natural product like oxalic acid or formic acid or a synthetic product like amatraz, the use laws are exactly the same. If it is not on the label it is against the law. With the internet if you want to see what is on the label for any pesticide you can look up the label on line for free. So, you do not have to buy a thing to get exact use directions. There is absolutely no reason at all for anyone to repost how to use any pesticide and the truth is reposting is not the brightest thing you can do as chances are you will not be 100% accurate. Recommending an illegal use is also illegal. An inaccurate repost is an illegal use recommendation.

  20. #39
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Denmark, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    247

    Default Re: Complete Loss in SE Michigan

    I believe you are correct. GWW. Lots of people using it, not in apivar form but can not give details. No agruement here. So, on the treatment free path I will continue I suppose until someone proves there is a LEGAL way to effectively kill the mites. As mentioned here, I have seen A LOT of treatments used, and helped apply them, but never saw results good enough to put into my own hives. When I do, I may try them, but until then I'll hold out and continue the slow grow.

    Richard, you comparing someone with 5 hives to someone with 500. i don't argue over the honey sugar thing. I feed if they need it, I weigh all my nucs, production colonies have been done guessing weight, but will now all be weighed and fed when nucs are fed. I have not seen any difference though in over wintering ability when I have hives on sugar or fall honey such as goldenrod. They seem to winter equally well imho. Thanks for all the comments lately. Time to go back to lurking.

    The mystery of amitraz, CONTINUES.

  21. #40
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Denmark, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    247

    Default Re: Complete Loss in SE Michigan

    No argument rich. Easier to just not use them. Sorry to waste everyone's time. Thanks

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 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
  •