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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hope I get some responses as would like to keep this group of bees going.

A swarm this June chose a large tree on our property as their new home.

I sealed off the entrances by securely stapling #8 wire over it and then topped with black plastic. I have a tube going from this into a deep from which they enter and exit. I have not put brood in the deep yet as am not wanting to remove them. If they establish and thrive in this hollow tree I would put brood in the deep and use it for harvesting brood frames for nucs etc.

I am looking for ideas as to to best support them for winter.

How to varroa treat them...not practical to remove the screen as is over a large fork between 2 roots.

How to give them winter emergency stores?

Is it too late in the year to give them brood in the deep box...I think it is as my hives seem to have stopped pulling out foundation and I don't have drawn comb available for them.

Thanks
 

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On my active trapouts, I remove the trap when I am finished trapping for the year. (Normally about 1 July). Let them overwinter in the tree. During the Winter months, the bees will cluster, and most often in the tree, not the trap. When that happens, it leaves the trap vulnerable to mice, roaches, and other undesirables.

I have never attempted to treat a tree for varroa, and I am not a big fan of treatment unless you know you have a problem. I would say that it is unlikely that the tree would have a varroa problem the first year after a swarm moves in. Perhaps someone else could help you with that question. Michael Bush would be a good one to answer for you.

I would not introduce brood into a trap, this late in the Summer, in Kentucky, not sure about Vancouver. In Spring you can introduce the unsealed brood and let them use your trap as a brood chamber, and they will draw comb. But, for Winter, I would let them use the tree. Quite often if you supply drawn brood comb they will use the trap as a place for Winter stores. If there are not enough bees to cover the brood and comb, you will be inviting small hive beetles, (at least in Kentucky) and wax moths. (Do you have small hive beetles in Vancouver?) If not, be thankful.

Emergency Winter stores could be facilitated by open feeding near the site of the tree. If your trap is totally sealed to the tree with only one entrance, and, if the guard bees are at the front of your trap, you could put a feeder in the trap. If I did that, I would remove all frames so they would place honey stores in the tree, unless you see them start drawing comb inside your trap. If that happens, i would let them draw frames for me, until they quit drawing.

Hope this has been helpful

cchoganjr
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks.

I know I have to treat varroa in my established hives and as my nucs come from those I expect I will need to treat them.

I have seen wax moth larvae on occasion but not shb.
 

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Not sure how many nucs you are making from your established hives, but, the splitting of hives, and making nucs, is one method to help fight a varroa problem.

Before I just treated my nucs, I would do a mite count to see if treatment is needed.

SHB has not been a problem in my yards this year, but, has been in the past.

Keep your hives strong to ward off wax worms.

cchoganjr
 

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If you have the bees going in and out of the tree through the deep I would suggest putting an Apivar strip in the deep so the bees have to pass over it to get in and out. Apivar works as a contact pesticide. The label tells us to hang them in the brood area so the bees have contact with both sides.
Dave
 

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>How to varroa treat bees in a tree?

Leave the poor bees alone. I haven't treated a hive for Varroa in more than a decade...
I agree, let the bees be bees in the trees!!! Feel free to do a trap out in the spring/early summer as Cleo does, but let them go otherwise.

Its one thing to try and save your own hives, but a wild established hive?? I wouldn't.
 
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