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Discussion Starter #1
I have read a lot lately about using splits etc. for creating a broodless period that would, in turn, create a break in varroa life cycle. Then I thought about removing the queen to a 2 frame nuc for a period of time to create a broodless period and then reintroducing her. Then I figured this would be risking a laying worker situation so I now am wondering about using a queen excluder to remove her from the brood nest. I thought I could put her above the excluder with several drone frames she could lay in while nothing is being laid in the regularly used brood chamber. After a brood cylce the drone frames could be frzen and the queen excluder and additional box be removed and the queen would be back in her cozy hive with a ton of freshly polished cells to lay in.
Drawbacks please.
Thanks-Howard
 

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It's not about the method you use to get that period of queenlessness, it's about the timing. You want them queenless two weeks before the flow. I'd settle for immediately when the flow starts too, but two weeks before is perfect. It will actually INCREASE your honey production significantly to have a broodless period right as the flow starts. If you make them queenless you also get a new young queen out of the deal...

http://www.bushfarms.com/beessplits.htm#cutdown

I don't have Varroa issues, but timing this correclty can greatly enhance your honey harvest if you have the time to mess with it.
 

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Michael, am I correct to assume that the broodless period prior to the flow would release nurse bees from their duties so that they can become foragers? That would increase honey production, get a new queen, and break the cycle, very interesting concept that I personally have never thought of or have heard about doing.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I am given to understand the critical timing for varroa control is actually in mid to late summer. This is the time of the year where the varroa numbers are growing ate exponential rates because they have been given a huge number of hosts to prey upon and it is the time of year (other than winter) where the queen laying decreases due to nectar being hard to find. It is this combination that allows the varroa to cause hives going into winter to be underpopulated. It is also the reason more and more beekeepers are treating in late July and August. Please let me know if I have a misguided understanding.
Thanks-Howard
 

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where the queen laying decreases due to nectar being hard to find.

Some queens, like Italians and Cordovans, never shut down down in midsummer.

It is also the reason more and more beekeepers are treating in late July and August. Please let me know if I have a misguided understanding.

I'm not aware of honey producing beekeepers treating for mites in July and August.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Would it not be easier to fog with Food Grade Mineral Oil to help with the mite problem rather than remove the queen?
I suppose it would be however I am a NC non profit corp and money is tight. I understand the apparatus for fogging is expensive??
Thanks-Howard
 

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from what I understand they are expensive, however a wonderful lady in our association has one and offers it' use to pretty much anyone that might need it.
Maybe you'd find the same in yours? Just a thought.

this spring we lost our queen, she died ( I found her dead outside the hive by chance) and we went almost a month waiting on the hive to create their own. When it became apparent they weren't going too, I ordered a hygienic queen to replace her as we had a mite issue. The gap in cycle while slowing the mites did little to rid the hive of them.
They hygienic queen however is producing bee's that regularly clean out infected cells.
 

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In my area its recommended to have you're mites under control by Aug. 15. Or you won't have good bees to overwinter.

They say if hives have high numbers at that time, treat them even if it means pulling them out of production. The hives with lower counts can be left alone.
 

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>Michael, am I correct to assume that the broodless period prior to the flow would release nurse bees from their duties so that they can become foragers?

You are correct.

> That would increase honey production, get a new queen, and break the cycle

Correct.

>very interesting concept that I personally have never thought of or have heard about doing.

Every book on comb honey has the concept in it... and several studies back in the 60's and 70's are on the subject of "early recruitment of foragers".

>I am given to understand the critical timing for varroa control is actually in mid to late summer. This is the time of the year where the varroa numbers are growing ate exponential rates because they have been given a huge number of hosts to prey upon and it is the time of year (other than winter) where the queen laying decreases due to nectar being hard to find. It is this combination that allows the varroa to cause hives going into winter to be underpopulated. It is also the reason more and more beekeepers are treating in late July and August. Please let me know if I have a misguided understanding.

I have no Varroa issues so that's irrelevant to me. But if your only purpose for confinement is varroa control, maybe. But I would tread carefully. You want a strong population of young bees going into winter and you don't want to interrupt that too much. It seems to me the purpose of keeping bees is to make honey and doing the break just before the flow meets that purpose. If the side effect is less Varroa, that's great. Anytime you interrupt the breeding of Varroa you are going to lessen the number of Varroa. Why no do it at a time that it will make you more honey?
 
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