WHERE are the real treatment free beekeepers? - Page 20
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  1. #381
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Gainesboro, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,407

    Default Re: WHERE are the real treatment free beekeepers?

    True for him maybe. I am sure I raise nearly twice the varroa he does.
    Splitting a first year hive successfully https://youtu.be/ZfRTreQ-S9c

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  3. #382
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,148

    Default Re: WHERE are the real treatment free beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tennessee's Bees LLC View Post
    True for him maybe. I am sure I raise nearly twice the varroa he does.
    are you braggin' or complainin' kamon?
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #383
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Gainesboro, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,407

    Default Re: WHERE are the real treatment free beekeepers?

    Haha, I wasn't doing either. I was just doing math. Just means I need to treat twice on average to have good looking bees.
    Splitting a first year hive successfully https://youtu.be/ZfRTreQ-S9c

  5. #384

    Default Re: WHERE are the real treatment free beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i've only taken a handful of samples over the years, but the infestation rates at early fall ranged from 8% to 14%.

    all those i sampled survived winter, and there did not seem to be a correlation as the ones with the higher counts ended up as good or better honey producers the next season as the ones with relatively lower counts.

    i've not done enough sampling to know if there are much higher counts in the hives that don't survive winter.

    here are my winter survival numbers since starting in 2010:

    2010/11: 4 hives, 0 losses
    2011/12: 10 hives, 0 losses
    2012/13 18 hives, 6 losses
    2013/14: 19 hives, 4 losses
    2014/15: 18 hives, 3 losses
    2015/16: 21 hives, 2 losses
    2016/2017: 22 hives, 3 losses
    2017/18: 24 hives, 8 losses
    2018/19: 28 hives, 1 loss so far

    cumulative through 2017/18: 136 hives, 26 losses (19.1%)
    Although there seems to be somewhat similar pattern to higher losses what I have experienced, Iīm pretty convinced there must be something else than tolerance.

    Take Finland as an example. We have 6 months winter and about 3 months brood free period (that is an assumption, hard to tell when they are all under heavy snow and iced up). Despite this average bees in Finland are starting to have serious troubles in two years if left without treatments. Without some resistance mechanism the mites donīt go anywhere. In fact it is an assumption here that mites mortality during winter is roughly the same as what the bees experience in a normal average well overwintering hive during an average wintering, about 40%.

    If your bees have 8-14% infestation in autumn, I would assume, after reading about your pretty mild winters, that that 8-14% is the infestation they have in spring unless some resistance mechanism kicks in. So high infestation in spring would lead to death soon.

    No way you could have had bees so long without some major resistance mechanism.

    Only helpful thing I now can think of are the nucs, and mites with them, you are selling out of your system. But if the nucs are made so that lots of brood is left in the mother hive, I would consider nuc making helpful, but not as a clue to your success.

  6. #385
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    4,012

    Default Re: WHERE are the real treatment free beekeepers?

    Juhani
    I am not speaking for squarepeg but do not think he has made that many nucs. He listed what he has sold in his thread and with twenty hives, has only sold a few the last few years and has made up for some of the losses though even there he has got some bees from others around him.

    I have one hive that I did not notice a supercedure and have never split that this will be its third winter and I have about 6 that did not swarm this year and so if two years is the threshold, this should be a bad year for me. They were all still alive as of today but winter is long and I am a bit colder then squarepeg.

    I have taken zero mite counts but am sure that I am not mite free. I have my fingers crossed. I am at the place squarepeg was when he experianced his very first losses and have about the same record. He did not lose any first two years and I have lost one swarm that I caught that never built up all summer and should not have been taken into winter. I don't really count it as a loss cause it was a small swarm that I started robbing on when I hived it and I do not think the robbing let up all year and it was in a warre and so I did not ad any frames of bees or anything to help it. Just a leaky feeder twice with good robbing twice.

    The one difference from Squarepeg and me is that I have dropped a little sugar in the hives in fall and I did not make near the honey that he makes.

    Could be the bees or it could be the forage around me. I will know more if i ever place a few hives in a different location.

    I do seem to have different levels of dead bees in front of some hives compared to others (best I can tell due to some having board and some being grass in front of the hives). This is an all year thing with it being the same hives that have the most dead bees in front more then not.
    They keep living so far knock on wood. Spring will tell the story on the no split no swarm hives.
    zone 5b

  7. #386

    Default Re: WHERE are the real treatment free beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    Juhani
    I am not speaking for squarepeg but do not think he has made that many nucs. He listed what he has sold in his thread and with twenty hives, has only sold a few the last few years
    I was in that assumption too.

  8. #387
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Ka'u Hawaii
    Posts
    271

    Default Re: WHERE are the real treatment free beekeepers?

    When the mites first arrived here, a visitor with considerable experience told me it takes 3 years for the mites to get your bees.
    He was 100% correct in that observation, fwiw.

  9. #388
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    10,038

    Default Re: WHERE are the real treatment free beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    In fact it is an assumption here that mites mortality during winter is roughly the same as what the bees experience in a normal average well overwintering hive during an average wintering, about 40%.

    If your bees have 8-14% infestation in autumn, I would assume, after reading about your pretty mild winters, that that 8-14% is the infestation they have in spring unless some resistance mechanism kicks in.
    That would be the case with bees in NZ. Around 10 years ago I did an experiment where I removed brood from hives and caged the queens (left in the hives), and did mite counts. 6 to 7 weeks later I did another mite count, plus released the queens and turned them back to normal hives. The mite counts were exactly the same as they were before the brood break.

    My conclusion is that these bees have no mite resistance whatsoever and took no action against the phoretic mites. People elsewhere who get a good reduction in mite population during broodless periods, must have bees that do have some method of action against phoretic mites.

    That's my theory, anyway.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gino45 View Post
    When the mites first arrived here, a visitor with considerable experience told me it takes 3 years for the mites to get your bees.
    He was 100% correct in that observation, fwiw.
    Gino, that observation will be 100% correct in SOME locations, with SOME bee types, but others not. Here in NZ for example, the lifespan of an untreated hive is around 1 year only.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  10. #389
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Denver Metro Area CO, USA
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    1,856

    Default Re: WHERE are the real treatment free beekeepers?

    OT that seems to be the case in many places now, but didn't used to be, virus getting more vurlient etc..
    did the bees live longer when the mites were 1st introduced to NZ?

  11. #390
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    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    10,038

    Default Re: WHERE are the real treatment free beekeepers?

    The hives back then could tolerate higher mite counts without showing such severe virus damage, and investigations by our own scientists have found that virus types changed over time, some of the early DWV types can no longer even be found and have been replaced by more deadly ones.

    Interestingly, seeing actual deformed wings has become a lot rarer now, the DWV types have changed to ones that don't actually deform the wings. One of our top scientists has proposed we drop the term DWV (deformed wing virus), and instead call them HKV (hive killer virus). In his own work he refers to the different DWV types as HKV1, HKV2, etc.

    As to the hives living longer, it's alway been a year or so, despite that virus types were less deadly in the early days. That's because in our non resistant bees, mite population increases parabolically, meaning it's around a year till there is a massive mite population that kills out the hive even with the older milder viruses. Mostly happens late fall or early winter, when expanding mite population coincides with naturally falling bee population. Phoretic mite count at that time can go from 3% to 15% in a month.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  12. #391
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    5,460

    Default Re: WHERE are the real treatment free beekeepers?

    The High presence of DWV-a most likely explains it. I believe DWV-a is the less virulent type and it prevents infection of DWV-b.

  13. #392
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    8,106

    Default Re: WHERE are the real treatment free beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Interestingly, seeing actual deformed wings has become a lot rarer now, the DWV types have changed to ones that don't actually deform the wings. One of our top scientists has proposed we drop the term DWV (deformed wing virus), and instead call them HKV (hive killer virus). In his own work he refers to the different DWV types as HKV1, HKV2, etc.
    Really. Huh. No shortage of DWV crawlers over here. You're right about one thing...takes a lot lower mite population nowadays, than it did 20 years ago, to initiate a virus crash.

  14. #393
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Catskills, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,549

    Default Re: WHERE are the real treatment free beekeepers?

    Oldtimer: “Interestingly, seeing actual deformed wings has become a lot rarer now”.

    I don’t see any DWV in my hives; I do know they have viruses, Sacbrood, Chronic Paralysis and n. cerana, at least in the one hive that was tested, so assume others may have it. Going into my 3rd year of having a sustainable apiary (except for some queens). As Michael says, why import bees when you have your own to work with? Deb
    Proverbs 16:24

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