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you can call me Leroy.

Re requeening, confused and a bit dazed. Don't know:)
maybe the brood break over the winter gave them the time to groom them out. or they are good genetically and the mites last fall were drift..
I would be confused as well. Any chance they re-queened, either a small swarm joining or superseded on their own? Just when you think you can predict...Thank for sharing.
 

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I counted 100 pink eyed pupae and found 0 mites. Must be all in the drone brood.
Interesting.
One reason I decided for myself - I don't kill any queen by design.
Not qualified enough to do it.
Letting mites or winter or accidents to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #404 ·
I've decided to requeen still. A large proportion of my hives had fall mite counts under 10 percent, some under 5 percent and they were strong this spring. My strongest 2 year survivor was around 15 percent and is on 5 medium boxes already. This one was 2x that and not strong this spring. I am letting the 15 percenters ride if strong.

But it was neat to see this result. An illustration of how much we don't know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #405 ·
maybe the brood break over the winter gave them the time to groom them out. or they are good genetically and the mites last fall were drift..
I would be confused as well. Any chance they re-queened, either a small swarm joining or superseded on their own? Just when you think you can predict...Thank for sharing.
I haven't seen any evidence of alternative explanations, but that doesn't mean they don't happen. Between last fall and spring not much chance of any of those scenarios working out. I'm sure they have mites, that it is in the drone brood, but it seems likely that they did a pretty good job of murdering mites during the winter. It isn't being overwhelmed with them at present. I have the inspector coming by in two days and she is going to do a number of sugar shakes. Maybe I'll take a few brood samples for comparison.
 

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Discussion Starter · #406 ·
So the inspector came by, did sugar shakes, mites around 3 percent overall with an outlier at 6 percent and .33 if memory serves. Neglected to take brood samples at the same time. Too busy. She also took samples of what we assume are chalkbrood, but we want to know if there is foulbrood. Will also have some info on Nosema. It is around as well as EFB. Her biggest complaint was chalkbrood and that my gaps in broodnest and too much space are contributing. She thought ionizing equipment was a good idea.

I did end up removing the queen of the hive that had high mites last fall and low mites in worker brood this spring. I will go in again at the end of this week, destroy any queen cells and put in a frame with eggs/larvae, from another low mite survivor. This has been done already for another high mite hive.
 

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lharder dropped off the forum on August 9, 2019. Any idea what happened to his efforts ?
I had been wondering the same, I had checked up on his last check in date about a month back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #414 ·
Just letting folks know that I am still kicking with plenty of bees. I have lots of brood sample data to share, but not yet. With each year's data accumulation, I have more questions than answers and I am modifying my sampling protocol and hope to have more to share at a later date. I have 2 experiments I plan on implementing this season based on what I observed over a couple of seasons. I am going to be a busy boy. The long term sampling with the UBC lab is still ongoing and plans are being laid for this season.

On another note I now have a place in the country. A small acreage along the south Thompson river. I have a heated shop, and a 40' container to store bee boxes and manage comb. I am enjoying the occassional rainbow trout from the river (now frozen over after a brief stint of -20 C weather) and have really enjoyed this past fall observing spring salmon spawning along with the chaos associated with it.

Life is pretty good

Leroy
 

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Yep, life is great. Glad that ya are able to enjoy. Spring time is coming..
 

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I have more questions than answers...
Leroy:

Good to see you back on the board and to hear that your TF efforts continue. I will look forward to reading about what you are observing and what sort of decisions you will make as a result.

Also, congratulations on getting the place out in the country- I for one share your affection for the solitude and natural beauty it affords.

Best of success to you in this coming season.

Russ
 

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Discussion Starter · #418 ·
Things are ramping up with pollen coming in sporadically. Still cool and windy most days so not much opportunity to forage. There supposedly is a couple of nice days coming. Yeah right...

On the rare occassion I have been able to dig into the hives and take some brood samples. Sometimes there has been little to no sealed brood to take a sample from. This is site specific. I have managed to take a few samples at a time when there is less than a medium frame of sealed brood. The worst sample was 3 mites in a sample of over 100 larvae, the best, zeros. Another I found a single juvenile mite, another a single adult mite. I have not seen a reproducing mite family yet. It should be noted that these sample were take from colonies occupying a 6 frames to more than a box. If one assumes most of the mites are in the brood, there are not many mites this time of year.

The brood is mostly quite spotty with a mix of life stages. Interesting. It seems they haven't made up their minds to ramp things up.

That said I have a few colonies that are filling their space, one strong nuc in particular that is filling 3 6 frame boxes to overflowing already. The weather was iffy and they were feisty so no attempt was made to take a sample. Overall am pleased with what I am working with this year. Mostly my work is shaking a few bees into the few very small clusters to help them through early spring.

Other projects around the place is a bit of habitat restoration along the river bank. Am establishing some natural vegetation along the river to reduce erosion. This year trying willow stakes inserted into moist soil that will hopefully sprout and take off. Will introduce some Saskatoon berries as well to the upper part of the bank. At high water the willows will reduce water velocity along the bank and provide cover for migrating salmon fry as they make they way downstream.

Today I also have 8 bareroot trees to plant as well as various berries some native. This to support mead and other adventures. Still have 1/3 or the fruit obtained last year sitting in the freezer. The mead produced so far has been a hit.

Cheers

Leroy
 

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Discussion Starter · #419 ·
So I moved bees around today and am set up for both the production hives and the queen rearing site. Since it was warm today, I was able to dig into a couple of hives and take a brood sample. In the process discovered a queenless hive. Sign, a goner.

Anyway I pulled 240 sealed brood between them roughly half and half larvae/pupae. Found 1 mite on a larvae. Still no mite families. Think in total must be in the range of 700 brood pulled and no mite families yet this spring. I'll tell you when I find them. Still no drones in process.

Heavy pollen coming in. Drones are around the corner.
 

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Leroy:

Glad to have you back with regular posts- sounds like your evaluation and breeding efforts are starting to pay-off.

Best of success to you this year- looking forward to your continued contributions to the forum.

Russ
 
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