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Discussion Starter #1
I am new to beekeeping. When I set up my hive for the first time (packaged bees), should I do any sort of preventative measure for pests or diseases? Or should I wait until I actually see signs of something. SInce I am new to this, I am not sure I will recognize a potential problem until it is out of hand.
Thanks in advance
 

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Welcome to the wonderfully exciting and exasperating world of beekeeping! You probably need to decide if you're going chemical free, or if you're going to treat. That will determine what you'll want to do. There are definite opinions both ways. One thing that might help is to take some time and read the "Point of View" (pov) articles on the home page for this forum. It's listed on the left hand column. You'll find differing opinions there about nearly everything, but a raft of valuable information.
Good luck to you and welcome!
Steven
 

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Being able to recognize that something is amiss is an important skill to have in beekeeping. This is the primary reason that a lot of beekeepers recommend that, when beginning, its important to keep at least two, and preferably three or more, hives. That way you can compare them to one another, and determine which is "normal".

It's also an important reason to work with a mentor, or someone who can help you recognize something is problematic.

In lieu of this, you have numerous sources on the internet, numerous book, and few magazines. All at your disposal; use them. The answers are out there.
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Okay. With this in mind, you need to decide WHICH method of treatment works best for your core beliefs. (Did you know you needed core beliefs?):

Do you wish to subscribe to the belief that medications are necessary to keep your bees alive, and are you willing to medicate with drugs and chemicals, which costs time and money, and provides no hard guarantees?

Or, do you choose to treat ONLY when you see a problem, sometimes needing to use harsh chemicals to provide results, and sometimes treating a problem too late for it to be of any use?

Or, will you choose to medicate for nothing, with the belief that losses incurred will eventually help strengthen the overall gene pool, along with the bittersweet benefit of saving the money that would otherwise go toward medications?

The choice (or combination of choices) is yours.

Welcome to Farming.
DS
 

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When getting package bees, it is very easy to dust the bees with powdered sugar through the screened box the bees come in. I think it is a good idea to sugar dust packages to eliminate the chance of the package being overloaded with varroa mites to begin with. This helps allow the package to establish itself without the added varroa pressure.
 

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Funny, I just posted about this in another forum. I personally believe that package bees often suffer from Nosema and that frequently causes problems with queen acceptance and colony health. Since I nearly always feed new packages, I always add Fumagilin B to the syrup as a preventative measure.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks for all the responses! I read that somewhere else--dust the bees with powdered sugar and mite treatment mixed together, correct? I am going to delve into the POV section now.
 

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I would like for you to join a local bee meeting.Contact your local county ag agent for info about a local meeting or any other bee info.
 

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thanks for all the responses! I read that somewhere else--dust the bees with powdered sugar and mite treatment mixed together, correct?
Not correct. You will not be dusting your box of package of bees with sugar AND a 'mite treatment'. Someone mentioned adding a mite treatment to feeding syrup.
Needless to say, you should follow the treatment directions diligently any time you choose to treat bees with chemicals.

Personally, I would not spray/dust much stuff onto a newly arrived package of bees that were already under stress from being shipped. Certainly not pesticides/miticides. I'd at least let them settle into their new hive first for a couple weeks and make sure they were ok. Many packaged bees have been treated for various things right before they are shipped- you might want to inquire what your package has already been treated for. I'd avoid inflicting a double whammy on them, especially while they are under stress from being shipped and thrown around for days in a box.
 

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The most important thing to do is to buy your queens from a breeder that does not treat, if you buy from somebody that treats you will have to treat.
Bob
 
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