First of all, you don't know that they will die for sure this winter if you don't treat. I go COMPLETELY treatment free, and I have had DWV(deformed wing virus) in some hives for a couple seasons already. All hives have mites to some degree, you can't avoid them. My hives still have great brood patterns, are strong in bees, and produce lots of honey. The only time I see bees with deformed wings they are on the ground crawling, I have never seen them in the hive or on the entrance board. I have even seen healthy worker bees in the grass trying to carry away live deformed bees from the hive. I have plain Italian bees, no Russians, or any type of hygenic strains. I still say that the only solution to conquering mites is to let the bees handle the problem. Treating in my opinion only prolongs the mite problem we are going to have in the beekeeping community as a whole. Sorry I sort of got off topic a bit, but I had to vent. JohnYou have to weigh the pros and cons of treating now or keeping the flow. If you do not treat, your hives will surely die in the winter....is that an acceptable loss if you get all the honey you can?
Then i have to ask, what is your honey production like? Is it in line with your state or area average? Or is it higher or below? And if you see the DWV bees on the ground, how is it you do not see them in the hives?. I go COMPLETELY treatment free, and I have had DWV(deformed wing virus) in some hives for a couple seasons already. All hives have mites to some degree, you can't avoid them. My hives still have great brood patterns, are strong in bees, and produce lots of honey.
Didn't Intend to just compare the last to sentences but if you are shooting to have survivor bees. Just not treating for mites don't make survivors.I don't think I understand. Arn't these two statements contradictory?
A good young laying queen for a period of time can lay more brood than what the mites can breed . the % of mite infection is way down if this happens just at the right condition and timing for instanceVelbert,
Do you think it is possible for the average common honeybee (excluding Russians, or any other recently developed hygenic strains) to become hygenic if left to their own instincts over some period of time, YES I Do without human interference (treatments)? I would venture to guess that most people would say NO WAY. I cannot pinpoint exactly why my bees that have mites continue to not only survive, but prosper. As you say, there are many factors that contribute to a colony's survival year after year. My management style and goal is doing things as natural as possible, and still be able to run a large number of hives as my sole income. I let my bees build all comb naturally, foundationless, I don't feed sugar syrup to build them up in spring, or to boost their stores for winter, I leave more than enough honey on the hive in the fall to get them through any winter scenario. If I need to feed for any reason, I feed them frames of their own honey that I keep in reserve. I don't feed pollen substitute either or any other nutritional formula's. I eventually plan to trap my own pollen for that purpose.
Another thing, you seem to think that a good queen can out produce mites, thus the hive can stay ahead of them and survive, I don't think so. The answer is not in out producing the mites progeny, you will lose every time. John
That hive that survived the winter may been more mite resistance but it may have not been any more than the one that died.my bees started as Russian, the new queens were open
mated. the new queens(that I found) are dark, mabey
a Russian/Carni mix. should be a prety hygenic bee.
also I have seen the bees with deformed wings inside
the hives. what I like is the 2 oposing views telling me
to do 2 different things. I'm torn, I'd hate for my bees
to die off from not treating, but, I think I'll have to
agree with the treatment free method.
that said, I treated 4 hives and left 3 untreated.
I went middle of the road with it.
but not treating makes sense for future mite resistant
I love this forum!! thank you VERY much for everyones