Winter Broodless Period for Northern Latitudes.
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Skagit, WA, USA
    Posts
    422

    Default Winter Broodless Period for Northern Latitudes.

    Conventional "wisdom" used to be that colonies in the north are broodless in December, making them prime candidates for varroa treatments most effective during broodless conditions, which is all of them, I know Traditionally, OAV is applied around the winter solstice in December. Lately, I see people stating northern bees are broodless in October-November, which would suggest changing the timing of OAV by at least a month. Any input on when winter broodlessness is for northern US and lower Canada?
    Fidalgo Island
    Sea level, Puget Sound, USDA 7a-7b

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    190

    Default Re: Winter Broodless Period for Northern Latitudes.

    I cannot give input into when they are totally broodless, because I never open them up in the dead of winter. Is it actually knowable, for all locations and situations?

    I just aim for a OAV treatment sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and call it good.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    1,483

    Default Re: Winter Broodless Period for Northern Latitudes.

    Yup, too many ifs, i would stick with the conventional wisdom and hit once when the window of opportunity hits after thanksgiving thru Christmas.
    Rod

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    2,361

    Default Re: Winter Broodless Period for Northern Latitudes.

    Conventional wisdom requires conventional weather.
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Lake Forest Park, WA
    Posts
    577

    Default Re: Winter Broodless Period for Northern Latitudes.

    Iím about 50 miles South of you (Zone 8, North Seattle area). When I had a deadout in mid January 2017, there already were capped brood. During winter 2017/2018, I had a plastic board inserted from the bottom entrance and checked hive debris every day. A small number of fresh-looking dead pupae could be found until 12/17/17. Weather permitting, my bees would collect pollen from early January until early December.

    So, my bees seem to have a rather short period without capped brood, around mid-late December. Therefore, I always do 2nd OAV one week after the 1st (usually around X-mas), to make sure mite drop becomes near-zero. If not, I would continue weekly OAV until it happens (usually I can find warm enough days to do this).
    Zone 8, elevation 70 ft, near the north end of Lake Washington

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,713

    Default Re: Winter Broodless Period for Northern Latitudes.

    I am also in USDA zone 7a, although considerably more south. My queens typically stop laying toward the end of October and are back into production in January. Broodless might be a six week period between mid Nov and New Year's. Timing treatments of OAV for around Thanksgiving and Christmas works well for almost the entire country. Some bees never go entirely broodless, unless the queen died, so waiting for that mystical, magical moment may be in vain.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,879

    Default Re: Winter Broodless Period for Northern Latitudes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    Conventional wisdom requires conventional weather.
    And the conventional, local bees.
    Anyone has these?

    Conventional wisdom now days is not your Grandpa's conventional wisdom.
    Might as well start anew.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Sawyer County,WI USA
    Posts
    364

    Default Re: Winter Broodless Period for Northern Latitudes.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    And the conventional, local bees.
    Anyone has these?

    Conventional wisdom now days is not your Grandpa's conventional wisdom.
    Might as well start anew.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Weston, MA, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Winter Broodless Period for Northern Latitudes.

    Randy Oliver's graph of a data set developed in Canada (from a presentation available on Randy's Scientific Beekeeping website) indicates that the late-fall broodless period is actually more November than December or January.
    Randy Oliver - OA Treatment Windows.jpg

    This November timing is consistent with data from the UK, which is described in the first ~12 minutes of a presentation at the 2015 National Honey Show by Ben Harden, "Bees in Winter". Ben also points out -- consistent with Randy's chart -- that some hives are never totally, truly broodless.

    Personally, I live in Massachusetts and target late-November for my OAV teatments.

    John

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    4,739

    Default Re: Winter Broodless Period for Northern Latitudes.

    What might be a correct time period for Italian habits bees will probably be way off for Carnis. Colony stores and population will skew things greatly too. It is perhaps a bit like the question, how long is a piece of string.
    Frank

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Snohomish, WA USA
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Winter Broodless Period for Northern Latitudes.

    This is my treatment plan from last year.

    Formic Pro Aug. 27-Sep. 10
    OAV 10/13/18
    OAV 10/20/18
    OAV 10/27/18
    OAV 01/01/19

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