Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
With the weather being pretty nice today (50 degrees and partly sunny) I went out and checked on my bees. They were flying around on cleansing flights so I removed the mouse guard and cleaned the dead bees from the entrance. As I reached in and swept them out with my hive tool I collected the bees in a small container and I counted 18 mites after rinsing the bees in alcohol (was just curious to do this as I know this isn't what an alcohol wash was designed for since they were not live bees from the brood nest)

- I started from a package and did an OAV treatment 2 days after they were in the hive so that I could knock down any mites already travelling with the bees.
- My mite counts were low all summer (alcohol wash had 0 mites in mid-summer and 1 mite late summer).
- I was travelling and didn't have a chance to keep up on my mite counts so in Late sept- Oct I did a series of 4 OAV treatments every 5 days to hopefully help out going in to winter.

So I would assume that these dead varroa on the bottom board aren't really a concern, but it made me think about doing an OAV treatment today. I just added some sugar (mountain camp style) to the hive.
1) Since you can't do a mite count/wash this time of year, would you recommend an OAV treatment now since they have minimal if any capped brood? or would it be unneccessary and a potential bother to the bees?

2) any problem doing OAV when there is a sugar brick on or mountain camp sugar? Can't think of any concern but wasn't sure.

Thanks for the help!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,296 Posts
best time of year to do it is when they are broodless. i would not do it on a day colder then today. I like them to have already broken the cluster on their own. No affect on the sugar. OAV only needs to be watched with honey you are going to sell/eat. I would be concerned if that was from the standard 1/2 cup sample size.
 

·
Super Moderator
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
6,313 Posts
My opinion is that this is a perfect time to give them an OAV treatment and help assure that you have no mites going into the spring build up. I gave my bees a treatment in Dec. and plan on one more sometime this month, weather permitting. I have sugar bricks on the nucs and feel certain that there is no problem treating with it present.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
My opinion is that this is a perfect time to give them an OAV treatment and help assure that you have no mites going into the spring build up. I gave my bees a treatment in Dec. and plan on one more sometime this month, weather permitting. I have sugar bricks on the nucs and feel certain that there is no problem treating with it present.
John, since it will be 70 degress in our area on Tuesday, I'm doing an inspection and OAV treatment on my three hives that day. It was low 60's today, and they were all flying. And I even saw some yellow pollen coming in a few, but i wonder if maybe that was just grain feed from the local farms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,274 Posts
John, since it will be 70 degress in our area on Tuesday, I'm doing an inspection and OAV treatment on my three hives that day. It was low 60's today, and they were all flying. And I even saw some yellow pollen coming in a few, but i wonder if maybe that was just grain feed from the local farms.
70º here today and the bees are thick on my chicken feed today. They are looking for protein and that's all they can find since there is nothing blooming here after the single digit temps a few days ago.
 

·
Super Moderator
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
6,313 Posts
Been down in Mobile and Tampa soaking up the warm weather. Refilled the pollen feeder before I left but expect it to be pretty well empty when I get home. I am anxiously waiting to see drone brood in the hives so I can plan when queen grafting can start. May go ahead and put the mini nuc frame builder boxes on my strongest hive to get those 20 frames drawn out if I see new wax. Pins and needles.

Beehoosier, when you are giving your bees their OAV, check pollen stores. As you can see, the bees are searching for protein now both here in VA and KS.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,540 Posts
It's likely your bees are already brooding again, but another OAV treatment (one dose) wouldn't be a bad thing. I regularly do them in the low 40s, with no issues that I can see. I'll probably do mine tomorrow or the next day, even though my last time was in late December.

All things being equal, I try to hit them with OAV and then put feed on them, but I'm pretty sure the only benefit to that picky-ness is in my mind.

If you are set up for sticky boards, you can watch them right after treatment, and then do a 72-hr count after about a week. Then continue to count them weekly. If not, just plan on doing a sugar roll count as soon as the weather warms up enough to make that safe.

Mites taken off of dead bees on the bottom of a hive are basically a low-information, kind of pass/fail test, because there is no way to know how many bees shed the mites you counted. For all you know, you sampled bees from the bottom of the pile which had accumulated dead mites from the bees on top of them, even if you carefully only counted exactly 300 mites in your sample. There's just no way to know. That kind of count only provides useful info if there pretty much no mites washed off. Then you can assume that either a) your living hive is in pretty good shape or b) your deadout died from other causes than mites.

Nancy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the info. I ended up firing up the varrox and did an OAV treatment today. I will wait until spring rolls around and do a wash for mite counts, but hopefully with this treatment today I will be in good shape. I plan to split my colony into a nuc to build up a second colony in the spring, so I can time that to help against mites too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
Been down in Mobile and Tampa soaking up the warm weather. Refilled the pollen feeder before I left but expect it to be pretty well empty when I get home. I am anxiously waiting to see drone brood in the hives so I can plan when queen grafting can start. May go ahead and put the mini nuc frame builder boxes on my strongest hive to get those 20 frames drawn out if I see new wax. Pins and needles.

Beehoosier, when you are giving your bees their OAV, check pollen stores. As you can see, the bees are searching for protein now both here in VA and KS.
It's 70 degrees today in Richmond, Va and I just did a full inspection of my three hives.

The 5x5 nucs are full top and bottom with bees, still have lots of honey stores left and the queens are laying... I saw eggs in the nucs. They are bringing in yellow (slightly green tint) pollen, maybe saw 5% bees with pollen on legs. Also a couple with bright red pollen, which kept fooling me as that's the dot color on my queens.

The main hive (deep, med, med) had lots of stores left, are bringing in pollen and some nectar too. Lots of bees there, with eggs and larva in the bottom two boxes and eggs in the top medium. She is a laying machine, that girl. Too bad she's lays horribly ****** girls. ;( I'm really tempted to replace her this year after the spring flow is done. Her only saving grace is I think she will create a monster hive and bring in lots of honey.

I had sugar cakes and pollen patties sitting on the top box bars, and their was a lot of clustering on the patties, but little interest in the sugar, which is opposite of what it was early to mid January. I'll leave the sugar in there for now, they can have if they want, or ignore it defiantly.

Question: the patties were drying out. do the bees really care much about the consistency of pollen substitute patties?

I will OAV them either later today or tomorrow, as I need to cut out some new sticky boards to put in the bottom board.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top