First Check After The Winter. Holy Cow!!!!!!!!
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Colts Neck, NJ
    Posts
    61

    Cool First Check After The Winter. Holy Cow!!!!!!!!

    So I went in after attending my bee club looking to control Verroa. I planned to put Apivar on now because I missed the January timeline to get it in.

    The plan is to leave the strips in for 3 weeks, then 2 weeks airing out, then honey supers.

    Well I went in today for the first full inspection. Holy cow!! The hive looks like it is booming in July. Healthy and exploding!

    Tons of bees, at least 5 brood frames and tons of pollin. There is still at least 5-7 full deep honey frames.

    I plan to split the hive, but I still can’t get a queen till the 2nd or 3rd week of April in my area.

    The mild winter kept this hive super productive.

    I hope adding a 3rd deep box deep will keep them from swarming. Also helps the startup with the split.

    I was and still am in shock.

    Anybody else have this happen this year? Or ever.

    I was expecting a cluster up top, empty honey stores and low amount of bees.

    Man was I wrong!
    Last edited by Clarkwestfied; 03-08-2020 at 03:49 PM.
    Clark Westfied 1st year beekeeper
    Bass player

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Park County, Montana, USA
    Posts
    506

    Default Re: First Check After The Winter. Holy Cow!!!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Clarkwestfied View Post
    So I went in after attending my bee club looking to control Verroa. I planned to put Apivar on now because I missed the January timeline to get it in.

    The plan is to leave the strips in for 3 weeks, then 2 weeks airing out, then honey supers.

    Well I went in today for the first full inspection. Holy cow!! The hive looks like it is booming in July. Healthy and exploding!

    Tons of bees, at least 5 brood frames and tons of pollin. There is still at least 5-7 full deep honey frames.

    I plan to split the hive, but I still can’t get a queen till the 2nd or 3rd week of April in my area.

    The mild winter kept this hive super productive.

    I hope the deep will keep them from swarming.

    I was and still am in shock.

    Anybody else have this happen this year? Or ever.

    I was expecting a cluster up top, empty honey stores and low amount of bees.

    Man was I wrong!
    Yep, surely has. You'll need to be very vigilant to prevent swarming. Some queens are great at making bee colonies and you may have one of those. An early build up like this hints your queen wants to populate the world (or just Jersey) with more colonies.
    Lee
    5 Production colonies, 1 side by side 5 frame nuc for support- 7 working queens is all I want.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Somerset, NJ
    Posts
    483

    Default Re: First Check After The Winter. Holy Cow!!!!!!!!

    Yes, was a good year in Jersey. Have 2 hives that have 16 deep frames covered with bees already. Let's hope the weather holds up in March.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    6,958

    Default Re: First Check After The Winter. Holy Cow!!!!!!!!

    Your plan does not include reading and following the Apivar instructions properly which require the medication to be in for six weeks to properly control the mites.
    All of my opinions and suggestions are based on my five decades of actual beekeeping,
    not so much on book learning, watching YouTube videos nor reading internet sites.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,997

    Default Re: First Check After The Winter. Holy Cow!!!!!!!!

    Using the Apivar strips for less than the minimum prescribed amount of time is not the best call. It will kill some mites yes, but not all, and those exposed to a sub-lethal dose could begin developing resistance to amitraz. And it is expensive. In the same 5 week period, you could do 5 rounds of OAV and most likey achieve a better mite kill rate. This might also be a good time to use Formic Pro but I do not have experience with that product.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Colts Neck, NJ
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: First Check After The Winter. Holy Cow!!!!!!!!

    I want tp use Formic Pro, but the temperature is still too cool for that product.

    I ran this by a couple of people in the bee club my idea, and this my be my only option now.

    It’s either that or leave it out and throw Formic Pro on when it gets warmer. I can then leave the supers in place.

    Now that I’m writing it, I may do that instead
    Clark Westfied 1st year beekeeper
    Bass player

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,997

    Default Re: First Check After The Winter. Holy Cow!!!!!!!!

    Sometimes just talking about something opens up other options.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Surrey, B.C. Canada-Near Vancouver
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: First Check After The Winter. Holy Cow!!!!!!!!

    I use OAV through the winter and Formic Pro at the end of summer. Earlier if mite count is high. This early on without supers on I'd do a few OAV treatments as JWPalmer suggested. If you can't, you'd likely be better off waiting and doing the Formic Pro when it's a bit warmer.

  10. #9

    Default Re: First Check After The Winter. Holy Cow!!!!!!!!

    That’s great Clark! We are finding about the same results and had about 3-4 frames of brood. The thing that puzzled us is we never saw the queen or any eggs. There was larva at different stages, lots of bees, but no eggs.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Colts Neck, NJ
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: First Check After The Winter. Holy Cow!!!!!!!!

    J&J, Same thing in my colony. Any supercedure cells?

    There were 2 when I went in
    Clark Westfied 1st year beekeeper
    Bass player

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania/Florida
    Posts
    483

    Default Re: First Check After The Winter. Holy Cow!!!!!!!!

    Why wouldn't you use formic pro? as long as the daytime highs are above 50 you should be good? especially in a booming hive that probably keeps the whole have at a solid 90 no matter what. I thought formic use was more regulated when it was overly warm outside.

    Aaron

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Warren County, NJ, USA
    Posts
    576

    Default Re: First Check After The Winter. Holy Cow!!!!!!!!

    why are you in a rush to treat? did you do a mite wash? in an effort to rotate treatments as you should, if you do apivar now and need a treatment come summertime then your options will be limited. unless mite levels are through the roof, i would hold off and use a formic product when appropriate.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    San Joaquin, California, USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: First Check After The Winter. Holy Cow!!!!!!!!

    Same here, I was hoping to split a double deep and requeen w/ a VSH queen from Hawaii. Two weeks ago, I didn't think I'd get enough expansion. Now I think I should put on a super

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Wamego, Kansas
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: First Check After The Winter. Holy Cow!!!!!!!!

    I'm sure you have pollen coming in but I don't know what is producing nectar in your area right now. You might think about feeding since your colony is exploding. They need both pollen and *honey*/liquid feed or sugar cakes or something... just a thought....

  16. #15
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Hot Springs, AR, USA
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: First Check After The Winter. Holy Cow!!!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Clarkwestfied View Post
    So I went in after attending my bee club looking to control Verroa. I planned to put Apivar on now because I missed the January timeline to get it in.

    The plan is to leave the strips in for 3 weeks, then 2 weeks airing out, then honey supers.

    Well I went in today for the first full inspection. Holy cow!! The hive looks like it is booming in July. Healthy and exploding!

    Tons of bees, at least 5 brood frames and tons of pollin. There is still at least 5-7 full deep honey frames.

    I plan to split the hive, but I still can’t get a queen till the 2nd or 3rd week of April in my area.

    The mild winter kept this hive super productive.

    I hope adding a 3rd deep box deep will keep them from swarming. Also helps the startup with the split.

    I was and still am in shock.

    Anybody else have this happen this year? Or ever.

    I was expecting a cluster up top, empty honey stores and low amount of bees.

    Man was I wrong!
    I would not do anything unless it needs doing(sounds simple huh?). Be careful if you are considering feeding syrup unless they are running out of capped honey. You want the colony to use their stored honey, this opens up frames that can be moved into the brood area which will give the queen room to lay and help with swarming.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Colts Neck, NJ
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: First Check After The Winter. Holy Cow!!!!!!!!

    There is about 6 frames of capped honey still in the boxes.

    I’m sure they will rip right through it once they start needing it.
    Clark Westfied 1st year beekeeper
    Bass player

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    4,228

    Default Re: First Check After The Winter. Holy Cow!!!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Clarkwestfied View Post
    I planned to put Apivar on now because I missed the January timeline to get it in.
    Apivar in January? I didn't realize that anyone used Apivar at that time of year in NJ. Typically, Apivar is used late summer or early fall to allow the bees to get a couple of mite-free brood cycles in before winter sets in.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,997

    Default Re: First Check After The Winter. Holy Cow!!!!!!!!

    Apivar has instructions for use as a Spring treatment.
    Hang Apivar strips in the hives in the spring and/or the fall if Varroa mite infestations have reached treatment threshold. Remove all Apivar strips 2 weeks before the honey flow starts
    If one properly treated their bees going into winter, a spring application should not be necessary. My assumption is that the OP has already determined by doing a mite wash that a spring treatment is required.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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