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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Reading up on regressing to small cell on M. Bush's website. Michael writes that under the transition period until things stabelizing you could monitor for mites - and if numbers get to high - use some non contaminating treatment. What kind of non contaminating treatments are there for varroa mites?

From Michael Bush's website.
"Another misconception seems to be that there are large losses in regressing. Dee Lusby went cold turkey, no treatments and only did shakedowns. She lost a lot of bees in the process. Many who tried the same also did. But this is not necessary.

First of all, there is no stress in letting them build their own comb. It's what they have always done. Second, it's not necessary to do shakedowns, it's just quicker. Third, you don't have to go cold turkey on treatments. You can monitor mites (and I would) until things are stable. Meanwhile you could use some non contaminating treatment IF the numbers get too high. I have seen no losses from Varroa from regressing in this manner and no increase in losses to stress related problems."
 

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The more I learn of the microbial communities in the colony, the less I believe there is any noncontaminating treatment. At the time I wrote that I was concerned about things like fluvalinate and cumaphos and amitraz. I think there are other things at stake.

But if you insist on treating (and I would not), the obvious things with small impacts like powdered sugar and FGMO might be worth considering.

Now that Mann Lake PF100s and PF120s are available, I think you can get them regressed in a year and never worry about treating.
 

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Rosecomb did a two year controlled test of small cell --
http://rosecombapiaries.com/2012/02/bee-research-2009/

Bush promotes a system, but as far as I can ascertain has never done a controlled test.

Hundreds, if not thousands of people have attempted to exactly replicate his conditions. Very few report any success.
May I ask why you felt the need to throw in the results of this flawed study, and your personal opinion of small cell/natural cell, when the OP's question was about using non-contaminating treatments during the regression period?
 

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May I ask why you felt the need to throw in the results of this flawed study, and your personal opinion of small cell/natural cell, when the OP's question was about using non-contaminating treatments during the regression period?
ALL studies are "flawed studies" and JWChestnut is as entitled to his opinion of small cell as you are to yours. Near as I can tell, nobody can prove any of the various theories on small cell vs natural cell vs large cell definitively. They are simply theories. Go with whichever one works for YOU. But acknowledge that since all beekeeping is regional, what works for you or me or Mr. Bush may NOT work for the next fellow that tries it and we don't really know why that is!

JMO

Rusty

edited to add: When I have to treat (and I don't always have to) I use OA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sorry, but I did not want to start a discussion about whether to go SC or not. I wanted to hear about different ways of non contaminating treatment.
 

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Fair enough. I do sugar shakes religiously. Early in the season if I find anything then I do powdered sugar 3x a week for 2 weeks. Late in the year when broodrearing is about stopped, I do a final sugar shake and if I find even ONE mite I do an OA dribble. This last year I added VSH genetics and did not find that one mite, so I didn't treat. The hives are looking strong this week, so that seems to have worked for me and is what I plan to continue doing.

HTH

Rusty
 

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that's awesome rusty and i think the kind of answer that masarin was looking for. i've forgotten, how do you look for mites? where did you purchase your vsh genetics?
 

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How effective would just sifting sugar over the bees be to eliminate mites? Obviously this would have to be done a number of times as brood was emerging. Is sugar the only medium that can be used to dislodge the mite?
 

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>Very few report any success.

Thousands report success to me and to other's in other places. Quite a few report success here on Beesource as well. I would find it more accurate to say that some, but very few report failure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Great news Rusty. I have been thinking about sugar dusting to keep the mite load down in the begining or in case of invasion from nearby beeks, in hope to give the bees time to figure out how to handle the mites. Guess there have to be a certain amunt of mites so the bees have to take care of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
"Thousands report success to me and to other's in other places. Quite a few report success here on Beesource as well. I would find it more accurate to say that some, but very few report failure."

Yes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
"Thousands report success to me and to other's in other places. Quite a few report success here on Beesource as well. I would find it more accurate to say that some, but very few report failure."

Yes!
 

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Great news Rusty. I have been thinking about sugar dusting to keep the mite load down in the begining or in case of invasion from nearby beeks, in hope to give the bees time to figure out how to handle the mites. Guess there have to be a certain amunt of mites so the bees have to take care of them.
In the interest of full disclosure, I live in an area with VERY few beekeepers and none within a 2-mile radius. Also there are few if any feral bees either. (I maintain Cordovan bees using open mating--that's how few bees are around me!) This HAS to lessen the mite impact on my hives.


Rusty
 

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Thousands report success to me and to other's in other places. Quite a few report success here on Beesource as well. I would find it more accurate to say that some, but very few report failure.
As a result of my experience, Bush's statement causes cognitive dissonance. It is so far from my observation of the results of collapsed "natural comb" TF attempts where I have been called to perform post-mortem, I have no real capacity to respond. Bush is obviously confident in his system, but real-world coastal California results provide no confirmation.
 

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When you do a shake down it is possible to remove better than 90% of the mites riding on the adult bees by multiple dustings of powdered sugar, using drone brood trapping of the mites, or a combination of the two. I would use the combination of the two and do 3 dustings minimum during the first week of the shakedown. When the bees have no brood to harbor the mites is the best time to treat using any of the bio-tech methods.

Ace, the particle size of regular sugar is too large, you must get down to the size of powdered sugar to be effective. You can use flower, but the bees will take a full week to clean the flower from the hive. They will have the powdered sugar removed in 24 hours or less.

JWChestnut, it does no good to cast pearls here. Let the beeks that want to try small cell do their thing. If they are lucky they will have a bee that can handle varroa and they will then tout their success as due to cell size, instead of the genetics of the bees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thank you for the link about 'why I dont use treatments.
I hope my bees too will be able to handel the varroa.
 
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