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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have two new hives this year.

Our second one (War) is just abuzzin' along. We added our first honey super on 10 July, and 6 out of 10 frames are getting drawout. Honey's being laid in, and the super looks great. We had a hot day yesterday (well, 94 is hot for Minnesota), and we had this going on:


Our first one (Famine) is much MUCH quieter. We still have four of the nine frames in the third brood box untouched, and there is a *lot* less in-and-out activity, and very few bees doing the air-conditioner duty. If these girls don't hustle, there likely won't be any honey from Famine.

Should I be concerned about any of this?

Also, I've been keeping a very close eye out for varroa, and I haven't seen a gosh-darned one of them on anybody. Is this unusual?
 

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I wouldn't be concerned. As long as there is enough brood to make it through the winter, they will be fine. If you need to swap frames of brood to boost the weaker one, you can. But I wouldn't worry. You don't always get honey from every hive every season.

What are the genetics of the hive? If they are hygienic or feral that might explain why there are no varroa. How have you been keeping on your mite counts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes. We started the Four Horsemen Apiary with Famine and War this year, with Death and Plague coming next year.

We have Italians, and I've been looking very carefully lately for mite evidence, and I'm seeing diddly-over-squat. I realize that's not a very good test, but my girls are very calm types and I can get pretty **** close even without a veil. I'm seeing no little tiny red specks on anyone.

We're gonna do the powdered sugar thing in August in any event, as a precautionary measure. I've got no desire to pump my well-raised hives full of chemical.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback.
 

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The eyeball test tells nothing about mite levels. Literally nothing. Sure if you see a bunch on the bees as you are looking through it means you might have a problem, but seeing no mites means nothing.

I had a hive a few years ago that looked perfect. Never saw a mite on a single bee. A few months later 1/4 of the workforce had DWV. They went under shortly after that.

Do a stickyboard 24 hour mite count. It will give you a good estimate of how many mites you have in there.
 
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