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Discussion Starter #1
I know the cause is PMS, I know the solution is genetic.

I'm not giving up, but I'm also not wasting money on any more packages, flooding feral DCA's with punk genes, or hoping mid-summer supersedure will do the trick.

At the same time, I cant live another spring without bees, and I cant aspire to become a beekeeper with a yard full of empty hives. SO.... Plan B:

Swarm traps, by the dozen.

I've sat and watched a feral colony in a boarded up factory window make it winter after winter, drought after drought, dearth after dearth - for a decade now. Obviously they know something I don't about surviving.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_-jNK18aYY

Mike Palmer, you were right. Thank you. I'm kicking the the package addiction for good. No mas.

ys WW
 

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Hi Clyde. Not that it matters, but the bees came from where 99% of them come from. They might as well have come from Columbia, courtesy of Pablo Escobar.

I'm in central Ct, TF.
 

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when not where did you get them.
what methods have you used since you got them?
why did they die, PMS? are you sure?
 

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Hi Clyde, unless someone went down the row with a can of raid then ya, I'm sure its PMS.

The method I used was: Buy package Bees, install package bees, decide to go treatment free, inspect on the first warm day, burst into tears and vomit, convince myself it was all a bad dream, inspect again, repeat last step.

Not trying to be sarcastic, but Its the "repeat" part of method that I'm attacking, more of a statement than a question really.
 

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Now is a good time to study up on how to keep them alive, no matter where they come from.

Consider this: it's more than likely that MPalmer can keep package bees alive.
 

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So you bought 12 packages of bees and expected them to survive Connecticut winters TF? Package bees serve a purpose in our industry, but those who would follow the uninformed path you did will no doubt walk away with the same result. I've listened to MP stories on why and how he transitioned away from package bees, and I do not recall that is was because they wouldn't survive TF. Further, your Plan B is likely to fail as well, but has a better chance than Plan A. What you should have done was to manage the problem you had by resetting the mites, and introducing queens known to have a chance of survival in your local conditions. Package bees have nearly ZERO chance of survival without treatments - this is well known.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Now is a good time to study up on how to keep them alive, no matter where they come from.

Consider this: it's more than likely that MPalmer can keep package bees alive.
Hi Clyde. Always a student, even of morons, present company not included. ;) MP keep em alive? I bet he can. I hope to get there some day.

ys WW
 

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You can. Need to know what you're working with and their needs, a solid understanding of the way's of the bees, and using the appropriate methods at the correct times.
The same will apply to the swarms you catch this summer. Or any bees for that matter.
 

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I've sat and watched a feral colony in a boarded up factory window make it winter after winter, drought after drought, dearth after dearth - for a decade now. Obviously they know something I don't about surviving.
The question being are they recolonizing it every year like you will be.

Sorry for your experience. Mine was just the opposite 29 hives for 4 packages and 4 nucs. Intensive treatment and management though. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Instead of ,decide to go treatment free, it should be, learn how to kill mites, it will save a lot of heartache.
Thanks Dan. Learning how to kill mites using the Monsanto plan is a dead end. I was a fool to try to convince myself otherwise, I confess.

Feral bees have developed an exit strategy. That's where I'm switching my focus, and correct me if I'm wrong but it's also the focus of this Forum.
 

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I've sat and watched a feral colony in a boarded up factory window make it winter after winter, drought after drought, dearth after dearth - for a decade now. Obviously they know something I don't about surviving.
perhaps.....
I believe the legend of the immortal wild beehive is quite a bit over stated and its swarms replacing when it dies
https://www.researchgate.net/public...estructor_Mesostigmata_Varroidae_in_Louisiana

Pre varroa ferals averaged 14 months, post varroa adapted ferals 26 mouths, early varroa 10 months

I drank the feral survivor, natural cell size, treatment free kool aid. I would loose my ferals end of their 2nd winter, local packages of end of their 1st, so those above numbers "feel" right to me.
Mites I didn't see any mites, and I am on natural cell, why would I have a mite problem?:lookout:
Watched the other beekeepers just a few hundred yards away grow and keep increasing their hive count when I had 100% losses 3 years in a row..

bottom line, learn to keep bees alive with treatments for a few years before trying TF free...and when you go that way, get solid TF stock.
this time around I am trying to get by with OAD/brood breaks/drone trapping I am 6 for 6 right now, have to see what march brings as that's usually when I see my losses
 

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The question being are they recolonizing it every year like you will be.
Dangerous to speculate. But I will anyway, I doubt highly they are being recolonized by domestic stock. I know my town, and hives are few and far between. Time will tell. Thanks though.
 

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this time around I am trying to get by with OAD/brood breaks/drone trapping I am 6 for 6 right now, have to see what march brings as that's usually when I see my losses
Been there, done that. These were all techniques developed in the 90's when the demons first got here, I remember well. The IMP plan. Swarms are coming from somewhere, my money is better spent on books than drugs. Or bum queens. lol
 

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Thanks Dan. Learning how to kill mites using the Monsanto plan is a dead end. I was a fool to try to convince myself otherwise, I confess.

Feral bees have developed an exit strategy. That's where I'm switching my focus, and correct me if I'm wrong but it's also the focus of this Forum.
I've been down the road of treatment free bees maybe down south way south where you can have some Africanized bees but up north they have to survive a long winter I haven't seen it. Also had some vsh bees they still can't reduce the mites so it doesn't kill them. And no Monsanto doesn't have a plan that works but a lot of beekeepers do. Maybe those beekeepers are the ones to listen to.
 

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Been there, done that. These were all techniques developed in the 90's when the demons first got here, I remember well. The IMP plan. Swarms are coming from somewhere, my money is better spent on books than drugs. Or bum queens. lol
So WetWilly, what is the point here? bad package bees, useless IPM techniques, mites that can't seem to be controlled, Monsanto, feral survivor bees in a window, bum queens, treatments?

You mentioned a new focus. What is this new focus?
 

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Feral bees have developed an exit strategy. That's where I'm switching my focus, and correct me if I'm wrong but it's also the focus of this Forum.
:) well stated.

collecting verified overwintered feral survivors sounds like a good plan. also consider propagating a few from your one remaining colony if it makes it. who knows, it may have something special going for it.

it looks like we don't have anyone listed for connecticut in the 'members listing' thread ww. are you aware of anyone else in your state having success keeping bees off treatments?

the longer colder winters up there do present challenges for colonies that we don't have down south. mp's overwintering approach might be a good road map to follow.

if by 'kool aid' we mean taking commercially produced packages of bees that come with a history of being treated and expecting them to do well when treatments are removed cold turkey, then please note it's been posited here on the subform for some time now that's probably not a good idea.

indeed, the opening post of this thread lines up perfectly with that sentiment. best of luck to you going forward ww!
 
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