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New bee keeper that's not keeping bees very well....

I live on the Oregon coast, been wet and cold here this Winter. 9 hives had plenty of nectar and appear to have Wintered well. Took a peek under the lid in January on a warmer day and lots of activity in the hive. Over the last 2 months, hives have been slowly dying out. Left with huge pile of dead bees in bottom, lots of nectar/pollen on frames, but zero brood. I haven't taken the time to "find" the queen if she is even in there. I realize these are Winter bees and are on their way out of this world, so I'm counting any existing, living hives as goners. Looking for possible causes so not to make the same mistake next year...??

-I treat with OA every 6 days for 5 treatments in the late October
-Plenty of honey left on hives for Winter (still have lots in the hives now)
-Been keeping bees for about 4 years now
 

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I think your mite treatments are too late. Consider moving them up 8 weeks.
Thanks Eric. I thought the same originally but was told that due to OA being hard on young brood, I would be wise to wait until late Fall to treat. Maybe I need to revisit those guidelines....
 

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Wondering if you were feeding during the 30 days you were treating
 

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Wondering if you were feeding during the 30 days you were treating
Hummm.....honestly I don't remember when I fed them sugar water....I think I know not to feed them while treating with OA, but maybe not. Would that cause this type of catastrophic result?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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OAV does not have an impact on brood from my observations. I have read that an OA dribble might. Queens will not lay if there is no pollen coming in. Before abandoning hope, put a brood builder patty, 15% protein, in each hive. Then, check back in a week or so. As far as when to treat, eric is right. Move the treatments up about two months. Just make sure there are no supers you intend to harvest on the hives. That may change, but for now it is the law.
 

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I would recommend doing 3-5 rounds of oav in the spring. And also in probably August in your area. Also the round when bloodless in nov - dec never hurt.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Wondering if you were feeding during the 30 days you were treating
What difference would feeding make if he he was treating with OAV?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
OAV does not have an impact on brood from my observations. I have read that an OA dribble might. Queens will not lay if there is no pollen coming in. Before abandoning hope, put a brood builder patty, 15% protein, in each hive. Then, check back in a week or so. As far as when to treat, eric is right. Move the treatments up about two months. Just make sure there are no supers you intend to harvest on the hives. That may change, but for now it is the law.
I'll do this tomorrow....without any nursing bees I'm not sure what they can do, but I'll give it a shot. Thank you!
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Winter bees that have not started foraging activities are able to act as nurse bees until the first rounds of brood emerge.

Adding pollen patties is kind of a "hail Mary". The bees should have already started brood rearing on their own, but it sure does not hurt to try. Best of luck and please update in a week or two.
 

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Winter bees that have not started foraging activities are able to act as nurse bees until the first rounds of brood emerge.

Adding pollen patties is kind of a "hail Mary". The bees should have already started brood rearing on their own, but it sure does not hurt to try. Best of luck and please update in a week or two.
Will do....thanks for all the information!
 

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Patrick,

I would suggest that in 2019 you start your first series of three OAV treatments on or about the first of August. That series of treatments would consist of three treatments spaced every 5 to 7 days apart as per instructions, followed by a week or two and then another similar dosage. An additionsl single dose between Thanksgiving and Christmas is recommended, if the weather permits.

Cheers,
Steve
 

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Patrick,

I would suggest that in 2019 you start your first series of three OAV treatments on or about the first of August. That series of treatments would consist of three treatments spaced every 5 to 7 days apart as per instructions, followed by a week or two and then another similar dosage. An additionsl single dose between Thanksgiving and Christmas is recommended, if the weather permits.

Cheers,
Steve
Thanks Steve. Real quick: what about Spring OA treatment?
 

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Feeding syrup while vaporizing OA has no effect on the queens or brood . We do it all the time . Geez Louise we would never have any hives treated, if that was the case.
 

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Give them a shot of OAV just to make sure that the brood they're about to raise is not being attacked by varroa. Also putting on pollen patties, sugar syrup (or sugar bricks if it's to cold) and if the colony is small reducing the size of the hive will help them start the process of"turning the hive over to summer bees". That is when you're hive is at its most vulnerable spot of the year (other than maybe queen replacement) and needs all the help it can get.
For next year definitely follow the advice given about starting your treatments in August. I went through the same thing 2 years ago (hives giving out right before or during the turnover). I moved up my treatments to start beginning of Aug as well as doing mite counts. Those 2 things allowed me to be confident of my mite levels going into winter. This winter has been good for my bees only couple losses none to mites. It takes a some effort but it will pay off. Good luck don't count the remaining ones out yet
 

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Patrick,

"Real quick: what about Spring OA treatment?"

I rely on my single "T.G. to Xmas" application to knock down any, hopefully minor, V-mite population going into Spring. That approach may not be best, and perhaps others, especially Larry with OxaVap, will chime in and provide a comment. It may in part depend on how severe the V-mite infestation is.

Good luck to you!

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Give them a shot of OAV just to make sure that the brood they're about to raise is not being attacked by varroa. Also putting on pollen patties, sugar syrup (or sugar bricks if it's to cold) and if the colony is small reducing the size of the hive will help them start the process of"turning the hive over to summer bees". That is when you're hive is at its most vulnerable spot of the year (other than maybe queen replacement) and needs all the help it can get.
For next year definitely follow the advice given about starting your treatments in August. I went through the same thing 2 years ago (hives giving out right before or during the turnover). I moved up my treatments to start beginning of Aug as well as doing mite counts. Those 2 things allowed me to be confident of my mite levels going into winter. This winter has been good for my bees only couple losses none to mites. It takes a some effort but it will pay off. Good luck don't count the remaining ones out yet
Makes sense. Very helpful! Thank you....
 
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