OTS - Treatment Free - Page 3
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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,273

    Default Re: OTS - Treatment Free

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Quiney WI View Post
    ...beekeeper directed cleansing invigorating brood breaks.
    i agree with your take on this adrian. randy oliver has demonstrated with his mite population modeling that a brood break can tip the scales big time in the bees' favor.

    i feel like our long summer dearth here along with the adaptation made by our local hybrids to shut down brooding until fall plays an important part in the over all scheme of things on how they are successful against varroa.

    for those in other ecoregions where there there is not a protracted summer dearth adjusting management to combine making increase with providing a brood break makes darn good sense.

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  3. #42
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    2,575

    Default Re: OTS - Treatment Free

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i feel like our long summer dearth here along with the adaptation made by our local hybrids to shut down brooding until fall plays an important part in the over all scheme of things on how they are successful against varroa.

    for those in other ecoregions where there there is not a protracted summer dearth adjusting management to combine making increase with providing a brood break makes darn good sense.
    So dearth births mirth, but feeding and breeding is leading to ceding.
    David Matlock

  4. #43
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Mogollon Rim, Arizona 85933
    Posts
    747

    Default Re: OTS - Treatment Free

    sucks for me, ots queens hatching and now there is rain for the next 8 days, f...

  5. #44
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    4,089

    Default Re: OTS - Treatment Free

    David
    I don't know if it is any consulation but it had been raining several days here. I don't know what a queen would think but each day the bees have still had several hours flying inbetween bouts of rain.
    Good luck
    gww
    zone 5b

  6. #45
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    183

    Default Re: OTS - Treatment Free

    Quote Originally Posted by Swarmhunter View Post
    Next Winter I'll let you know how it worked out for me.
    Jerry
    Out of curiosity, did you do it? Outcome?
    Regards,
    KGB-8Fmed

  7. #46
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Decorah, Iowa USA
    Posts
    229

    Default Going to use OTS

    It's been a real experience going from trying to use OTS 3 years ago- then treating for three years - and now I'm hoping the additional knowledge I have gained these last few years will keep me more focused on following Mel's instructions. Part of what I've learned is if you're not willing to put in the TIME to do the manipulations for any kind of beekeeping you're doomed from the beginning.
    It was my best year for honey last year- I ended up with 1100lbs of honey from 14 hives, but I plan on using about half of those hives to make Nucs next year.
    I have sold a few Nucs locally. This year will be less honey- Nucs for June and for overwintering.
    I'll try to keep everybody up to date as I go.
    I'd like to hear from anybody with helpful ideas

  8. #47
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,273

    Default Re: Going to use OTS



    sounds like a good plan. looking forward to hearing about it sh!

    excellent point about the time factor.

  9. #48
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,495

    Default Re: Going to use OTS

    I kinda of use OTS with about 30% survival so far (not that I will change my ways - works for me).
    Just FYI.
    But I am not pedantic about OTS methodology either - calendar and all that.
    When I find time I do it and don't bother with notching dances.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  10. #49
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Boaz, KY, USA
    Posts
    1,564

    Default

    Swarmhunter:

    Good post. Sounds like you've got the honey production down and are diversifying by selling a few nucs as well. Good for you.

    At this point are you planning on using OTS as your sole varroa control method?

    I do look forward to hearing about your efforts, and best of success in your overwintering efforts.

    Russ
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  11. #50
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Decorah, Iowa USA
    Posts
    229

    Default Re: Going to use OTS

    Russ-
    Yes I plan on using OTS as my only mite control method. I also have introduced 3-4 mite resistant Queens every year and try to use them as Queen mothers if they winter good.
    One of the things that has confused me somewhat is reading how others are using Mels methods. If you listen closely to how he manipulates the increase timings- He splits his hives as soon as they are strong enough (Apr.- May) for one brood break and after the summer solstice for the next break. I don't understand how some people think they're going to get reliable mite control with just one brood break.
    For those who want honey production- he also explains how to put these splits together to make powerhouse honey hives.
    Are you using Mels methods?

  12. #51
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Boaz, KY, USA
    Posts
    1,564

    Default Re: Going to use OTS

    Quote Originally Posted by Swarmhunter View Post
    Are you using Mels methods?
    Good reply, Swarmhunter. In response, no I am not using Mel's methods but I have read up on the subject and know several beekeepers in my area employing it to good effect.

    Currently I am experimenting with trying to keep bees without treatments and without any intervening manipulations for the expressed purpose of mite control.

    That said, I respect and appreciate others who are experimenting with other techniques, and I do hope you will keep us posted as to how the OTS method works for you.

    Thanks again for your input, and have a great week.

    Russ
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  13. #52
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    1,596

    Default Re: Going to use OTS

    This wil be my 8th season using OTS. Great for increases, honey production and as far as I’m concerned far simpler than grafting as long as you don’t want to mass produce queens. The only thing that I wavered on is the brood breaks for mite control. I live in an area of orchards and other commercial agriculture so I figure that I’m in the epicenter of mites that have all the viruses that are known. After a complete collapse in 2015/16 winter from virus and mite related issues I started treating w/ OAV to control the life suckers.
    If your in a area of low mite population brood breaks and are playing w/ VSH queens it will probably will work, just be prepared for plan B.
    Rod

  14. #53
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Tampa fl
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Going to use OTS

    We are starting our 1st full year with ots, started last fall split from 6 to 16 and will be getting ready to make some spring splits to build up and split again to overwinter 25 nucs. Gonna be a busy year but looking forward to the ots. I can’t say enough good things about it. Makes it simple. My only down side is I don’t have drawn comb so will be building
    Sweetest Stings Apiary
    http://m.facebook.com/sweeteststings/16 hives

  15. #54
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Decorah, Iowa USA
    Posts
    229

    Default Re: Going to use OTS

    RW Law--
    Have you been using Mel's complete program of two complete brood breaks a year and when have you been doing the second one. Just trying to put my program for next year together
    Jerry

  16. #55
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Decorah, Iowa USA
    Posts
    229

    Default Re: OTS - Treatment Free

    Just a note about that 2017 year. I had good intentions about giving OTS a fair chance. Life interrupted with health issues, and several other restraints.
    I'm in a position to give it the attention necessary this year. As of today I have 13 hives to start my year. Hopefully in April they'll still be with me. I should have enough woodenware and I will be selling a few Nucs .
    Just a note- The term brood break has a different meaning to different people. It is not just requeening or cageing the queen for a short period or manipulating frames to control swarming. If you are really interested in this procedure , look into Mel Dissoelkoen lectures and teachings on OTS. He's quite thorough.
    Jerry

  17. #56
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    1,596

    Default Re: Going to use OTS

    Quote Originally Posted by Swarmhunter View Post
    RW Law--
    Have you been using Mel's complete program of two complete brood breaks a year and when have you been doing the second one. Just trying to put my program for next year together
    Jerry
    The artificial swarm in the spring won’t get the brood break, Mel always said to use them for honey production and count of them being a possible loss in the fall. I shied away from that because of them probably turning into mite bombs, those hives were the ones that received the first queen culling in June.
    The starts from the spring and the post solstice queen culling will be the ones receiving the 2 brood breaks for the year.
    One thing Mel has started doing is putting the queen and a couple/ three shakes of bees into a nuc box with a frame of honey and the other four frames bare foundation. The bees will immediately start using the honey to build foundation which will give the queen a place to lay on the honey frame. He’s only done this with the post solstice culling, I don’t know how it would work in the spring. While this isn’t a 30 day brood break, it will disrupt the breeding cycle of the mites.
    Last edited by rwlaw; 02-08-2020 at 07:36 AM.
    Rod

  18. #57
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,273

    Default Re: Going to use OTS

    moderator note - i just combined swarmhunter's two 'ots' threads into one thread and stickied it.

    great thread jerry, many thanks for your contributions!

  19. #58
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Decorah, Iowa USA
    Posts
    229

    Default Re: Going to use OTS

    Rod-The increases made by Mel in the Spring he uses for Nuc production , although those Nucs could be combined for the Spring flow. The old queen is put into another separate hive and taken to the July split time( remember now this Old Queen hive has not went through a brood break in the Spring) He then dispatches this queen and breaks it down into more nucs to feed and raise their own Queen for overwintered Nucs. This gives all those Nucs a long brood break before the new queen starts laying. Whats good about this method is that he's useing old overwintered queens to produce the Nucs he"s going to be overwintering.
    It sounds complicated- It's really not if you take it one step at a time.

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