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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have my original hive that is slowing down brood production. It never really got to the explosion stage. This hive has 3 mediums 10 frames on and I can note the lower number of bees over the last two weeks. One of my nucs is reaching lauri style numbers on the tops of the frames when opening it and one of my hives had the front entirely bearded over last weekend when I added another medium on it. But this hive has increased, had good laying pattern a while back (6 weeks+), but never had the tops of the frames covered with bees when I open the lid. And after seeing those other two hives, the area between frames is jammed, while I can tell this hive population is not crowded. I have had it since September/October.

I looked really hard yesterday, busted the thing completely apart and looked closely at the bees. Could not see mites! And I have seen them on bees in a feral hive.

Also noted that it seemed to have patchy capped brood, but didn't have time to really start checking frame by frame. It might have been due to bees emerging, just didn't have the time to look at that. (Was trying to see mites on bees instead. :scratch:) Probably was wasting my time doing that. So the brood inspection will be this weekend.

Was thinking of doing an alcohol bath tomorrow or this weekend. Might try that powdered sugar trick as well. Do you just brush the bees into a cup and dump it into a jar of alcohol. Do I wanted mainly nurse bees or do it later in the evening so I get foragers as well?

I just hate to kill a cup full.

These are from a feral cut out in a tree so I was hoping they might have some mite resistance.
 

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There are a number of university bee programs that publish material on these methods. They should give the most scientifically based advice.

The alcohol wash method gives the most accurate count and is the research standard, but what I see is that the universities always present the option of mite drops and sugar shakes. They don't get ALL the mites, but the resulting counts are probably good enough for your purposes.

The mites are rarely as plainly visible as you see in photos of them riding the back of bee thorax. They usually hide under segments on the abdomen.

One of many examples of university guidance:

http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/2.03-copy.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Short simple step by step descriptions with photos. Mr. Bush that is what I was looking for.

Thank you sir.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hmmmm, maybe I did it wrong. Had about 1/3 of a cup of bees and ended up with 3 mites. The article said to double the number to get an actual estimate. So I am going to say that indicates that I have about 2 mites per hundred as a conservative estimate. So that would appear to not be the issue.

I powdered the hive with powdered sugar, then thought duh, you forgot to take pictures (had the camera right behind me) of the brood so I could look closely for issues with the brood. Guess I will try that on Tuesday or Wednesday. All I know is that powdering bees with powdered sugar really made them mad. That is the loudest I have heard that hive since it's cut out. After I take pictures of the brood, I will get another sample for a powder sugar roll.

This hive is dropping in numbers, could likely condense it back to a two medium hive. Now I am worrying about wax moths. Grrrrr.

Do you have to sample from more than one of the brood boxes or is a sample from one ok. That is what I did.

They are taking syrup as well now. The number of foragers is way down compared to the other two hives of similar size. Another thing is I am not seem much drone brood in the hive. Not sure what any of this means.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This queen was a emergency hatched queen made after a cut out last fall. Could she be going down hill?
 

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This time of the year the mite count tends to be low. You probably did it right.

There are a long list of things to look at, with mites just being the top line on the list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have so much to learn. LOL - I hate the learning curve with anything. Just cannot stand missing the obvious.

Well I was looking at this hive really had, found a frame and a half of new eggs and baby larvae, and all of this old capped brood that was hatching, (posted before as spotty). And then it dawned on me, (duh - ok Homer Simpson), and I looked closely all 30 frames. Anyone wanna bet what I found.

There on the bottom of one frame, hidden on the bottom of the comb that was not filled all the way out, there are two queen cells. And on the far side of that comb, another queen cell. All empty. Apparently there is a good reason the bee numbers dropped so fast. The hive swarmed you newbie.

:rolleyes:

Thought I was adding a new medium every to weeks with checkerboarding foundationless would make them think they didn't need to swarm. But they did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wish that learning curve didn't have so many sharp curves that you run off the edge of so quickly.
 
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