RIP little bees... - Page 3
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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    2,108

    Default Re: RIP little bees...

    Without doing a postmortem wash to check for mites on the bees, and maybe sending a few for testing (nosema always loving the moisture), I wouldn't call it as mites.

    I don't treat that much, I do use vsh queens, but a lot of my queens have been survivor, last time I lost a hive in winter that had decent size was November 2013, and she had 4 frames of brood and we had an early very hard freeze, no sticky under the scree and my hive stand is elevated 18 inches - pipes, I had a gradual die off I think, first the ones on the outer edge, gradually lost the cluster. Not all the way until about Feb 2014. I brought a hive with a cup full of bees thru last winter, trying to preserve DNA. Failed, but they did last until spring, the queen was just too old. (I got a lot better at that winter stuff)

    Mites are a thing but they are not the only thing. Ventilation is definitely an issue. Especially in humid climates. Nosema is also a thing. Do the tests. Mite wash dead bees and send some for testing.
    Last edited by Gypsi; 12-31-2019 at 07:58 AM.
    Stuck in Texas. Learning Permaculture in drought, flood and strange weather. The bees are still alive.

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  3. #42
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Denver Metro Area CO, USA
    Posts
    2,134

    Default Re: RIP little bees...

    was " lack of ventilation" was a huge topic 40 years ago ?
    guy went to winter with much weaker hives then the 1st year
    was treating for mites (in said week hives) with OAV with green grass and big pollen flow and only did 4 treatments
    mites got knocked down enuff in the 1st year for the hives to live, but in the 2nd year the higher starting numbers bloomed
    mite bombed himself
    raining like snot and no bees = no heat and no air flow = wet hives and that by the video was robed out a while ago or never had honey

    The gambler bets on the hives died of mites, some days they lose but most they win.
    very few things kill faster...
    am I wrong...maby, for sure there is a chance(lots of things kill bees), but stylistically unlikely that something else blind sided him and wiped out his yard
    Last edited by msl; 12-31-2019 at 09:24 AM.

  4. #43
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    1,240

    Default Re: RIP little bees...

    Quote Originally Posted by paulmon View Post
    As I explained below, I did a treatment once a week for 4 weeks, once in the early spring and once in the fall, so I don't think that was inadequate. The reason for thinking that the quilting boxes were important ( whether or not they actually were ) is because I am in Seattle where we get very rainy winters and I felt like the insides of the boxes were too wet. The heat from the bees would collect on the inside of the top of the boxes and rain down on the bees. Quilting boxes kept that from happening.

    I also switched from wooden reducers to screen reducers because water was backing up on the bottom boards and causing mold.
    When I first started beekeeping my deadouts looked the same. They were a wet soggy mess of dead bees and mold. I too thought moisture was the issues that killed them. When I got a little more educated, I found that a pile of dead bees really give off a lot of moisture in the winter. I learned how to do an autopsy of the dead hive and found that every one of them was death by mites, not from moisture. I have also found that a lot of the moisture found in a dead hive condensed after the hive was dead, not before. Since then, I have ditched the quilt boxes and concentrated my efforts at mite control. My biggest issues now is swarm control and keeping the number of hive down to a reasonable number rather than working at keeping them alive.

  5. #44
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Silverdale, WA
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: RIP little bees...

    Was recommended to visit this thread from my own post today. I don't see any mention of dribble or shop towel method. I saw a local Seattle commercial guy doing dribble this past weekend on FB. My bees seem fine but fellow neighboring beekeepers are giving poor reports

  6. #45
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    13

    Default

    Think you need to stop fogging and start vaporizing much more effective then fogging. And condense into a single deep if they dont fill both deeps. But even with half a hive full of bees. They should have survived with food. Your problem was probably more due to high mites. Remember if you vap them when they have capped brood. Your not getting those mites. So even if you did 4 treatments. If your mite load was really high to start with. You wouldn't have got them knocked down enough. Vaporize not fog

  7. #46
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Denver Metro Area CO, USA
    Posts
    2,134

    Default Re: RIP little bees...

    Vaporize not fog
    he did, was just miss speaking terms
    Quote Originally Posted by paulmon View Post
    I treated with a wand, once a week for 4 weeks.
    The internet is instant, and the internet is often wrong-Kim Flottum

  8. #47
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: RIP little bees...

    Yup, would like to have seen at least 3 in the fall. Also, I use a screened bottom board to help reduce moisture. The quilt will cause the moisture to condense on the sides rather than the top, so that is good, but if it just ran down to a solid bottom it was still in the hive. I use The Victor to eliminate 85% of the mites in spring and fall. It kills the mites capped with the brood and on the nurse bees at the same time, but it does take 3 hours for each treatment.

  9. #48
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Hot Springs, AR, USA
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: RIP little bees...

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Using my own stock for this experiment. Again, all I wish to determine here is IF they show some restistance. Making no claims that they already do. Returning the bees to the banks of the James River where I caught the original swarm three years ago and will allow the walkaway splits to open mate in that location.
    Your bees should be showing you that they have "some resistance" now, depending on your definition of resistance. Your posts would indicate (to me) that your bees aren't capable of TF survival without some help at this time. You could start by seeing if any colonies need little treatment and re-queening from those to see if it transfers.

  10. #49
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,582

    Default Re: RIP little bees...

    Unstunghero, my only indication that there might be or have been some resistance is that the swarm hive and it's splits survived my first year when a purchased hive and it's two splits all succumbed. I don't remember when I finally put in the Apivar strips that year but it was way late, like October late. In most cases that is too late to make any difference and I know my bees were broodless in mid October. Killed a Barnyard Bees queen figuring out that I was not queenless. Last year I switched to OAV, started treating at the end of August and had zero winter losses from mites or mite vectored viruses. Mite drops on most of the hives remained low this year, only one had a huge spike in numbers. Since I calendar treat, I have made no previous efforts to evaluate the hives for resistance, opting to select for vigor instead.

    Based on their habits and coloring, I believe that my bees are predominantly Caucasians. But, even the Caucasian queen I hope to get from New River is listed as minimal treatment, not TF as some of their other stock is. So my goal is not to be TF, but to have bees that will hold their own against the mites during the year. A treatment or two while broodless would give them a clean start for the next cycle.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  11. #50
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Tehachapi, California, USA
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: RIP little bees...

    In your own words "soggy dead bees" says it all. Wet bees are dead bees. Many of us don't use quilting boxes but instead tilt the back of each hive with a 2x4 so moisture drips down the front of the hive and out the front. Hive ventilation is important too because the bees create condensation from breathing. Ventilation comes up from the bottom and out at the top. I usually place a penny on the 2 back corners of the innter

    Off the web: "In some locations in the United States moisture can kill honey bee colonies over the winter months. This moisture is caused by the condensation of the water vapor as it rises from the cluster and cools at the interface between the warmer and colder air. This interface is usually at the inner cover in most hives." https://www.honeybeesuite.com/too-mu...e-in-the-hive/

    You might want to join a local beekeepers club. There are beekeepers with decades of experience.

  12. #51

    Default Re: RIP little bees...

    Paul, I have had similar things happen to me. It is really disappointing.

    Lots of things can cause this. One thing I noticed before I lost all of my bees was the colonies weren't as strong as I expected them to be. There should have been more bees. Looking back, I think the bees were sick going into winter, and I was in denial. All of the hives died by early February. Never figured out what did it, but I replaced or pasteurized all of my combs, and got new bees. The next year all of my hives made it through winter.

    Bee keeping is like that sometimes.

    It wouldn't hurt to send a few bees off to see if you can find out what killed them. Your weather is pretty different from what most of us deal with, I don't have any opinion as to how best to keep bees in a cold sauna.

    I use exclusively OAV, and it works here. We had a lot of robbing all fall, so I gave them quite a few treatments. Lost track, actually. Plus one on November 20, and another on December 28. I really should be counting mites and recording all of my treatments, but then I would be, like, a real professional beekeeper, not just a novice.

  13. #52
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Ridgecrest, CA USA
    Posts
    15

    Default

    Your mite treatment is inadequate while there is brood. You need to treat every other or every third day for 10 days. Treating once a week missed too many hiding in the capped brood.

  14. #53
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Murrysville, pa
    Posts
    122

    Default

    Hi, ok so this seems related to low numbers if you noted low numbers in fall. They just can't make enough heat to stay alive.

    One other thing I wanted to add is about quilting and such. There is no doubt that adding insulation to a hive is going to increase the chances they make it through winter. However it needs to be done properly.

    I have read that many "vent" hives to prevent moisture buildup in the hives. This effectively makes it harder on the bees as the venting takes away a lot of heat (basic thermodynamics), requiring more bees and more stores, a negative overall effect.

    So what i find very successful is to insulate and not vent. If you dont vent you MUST INSULATE PROPERLY.

    The TOP insulation is most important. In say log cavities the bees typically have a large substrate thats porous above their heads. This acts as a lot of insulation and wickes moisture that would drip on them.

    In a hive with a simple top only, you must use minimum full insulation in the top...thats 1.5 inches usually. I use the pink foam board.

    Without this top insulation water will condense and drip. The insulation stops the high condensation on the top.

    Now you can quilt the boxes but i found that a bit too much $. So what i do is wrap the boxes in black garbage bags keeping it as tight as possible. This acts a heat sink and on sunny days acts to warm the hives helping them reserve stores. I also put a poly propylene slider in the bottom (where a mite sheet would go) to seal up the bottom from major wind drafts. All they need for air mixing is what you will see in nature...a small entrance hole. They SEAL THE REST UP if there is more in winter! They cant seal up an open bottom!

    This has worked great for my over winters. Bee dont run out of stores and dont get wet.

    Bummer about your losses. Those fall numbers need to be high or they will not make it.

    MP

  15. #54
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Hot Springs, AR, USA
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: RIP little bees...

    JW PalmerI hope you have success with your project, It's been 2 years since I've needed to treat my bees (5 colonies), they just required less until now, nothing. My opinion is that it must be the bees, not me, and if that's true then it will work for anyone. I have given away 3 nucs to people and 2 don't need to treat. The other one does treat because she says she is too worried not to. I hope my good luck continues.

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