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Swarm Captures and Varroa Mites

995 Views 23 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  plantman
Going into my second year, I want to try my hand at swarm captures. I have built six swarm boxes and have them ready to go.

And here's my question. If I see a swarm has moved into my trap and I wait a week or so for them to settle in, should my next move be to fog them with OA before they have a chance to cap over any brood? That seems to be the logical step prior to relocating them to an apiary site.
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should my next move be to fog them with OA before they have a chance to cap over any brood?
Why, sure.
Or dribble them.

In fact, even if one is a TF operator - it just makes sense to take this preventative step to protect your existing TF assets.
 

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day 8 the brood is capped, the mites go in before then, like day 7 a week or so could end up being badd as most of the existing mites would go into the first batch of brood.
I would do day 4 and day 6 hope for 90% kill rate each time.
UNless you confirm you have a virgin, then you have a few more days.

GG
 

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Anyone worried about absconding on a new swarm that's boxed and then treated?
It's always a possibility, happened to me once. But if you put them on drawn out frames and wait till the queen is laying they should stick around for the brood.
 

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Going into my second year, I want to try my hand at swarm captures. I have built six swarm boxes and have them ready to go.

And here's my question. If I see a swarm has moved into my trap and I wait a week or so for them to settle in, should my next move be to fog them with OA before they have a chance to cap over any brood? That seems to be the logical step prior to relocating them to an apiary site.
Yes yes yes! My first two swarms ever both died horribly mite - infested that same year. Wish I had known what to do about that then. One was even split again and the split also died, so that was 2 brood breaks that did no good whatsoever. I had been spoiled by my other bees that were pretty good against mites so was not expecting the problem.
 

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If you capture a swarm a few feet from an established colony in a wall / roof / chimney / tree you can be pretty sure it came from there. If you capture it next to some managed hives, ditto, and you can ask the beekeeper abou their management practises. The houses round here are full of wild bees.

I can tell where about 70% of my swarms come from, the remaining 30% I monitor carefully. Sometimes there are other clues - like a marked queen.
 

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If you capture a swarm a few feet from an established colony in a wall / roof / chimney / tree you can be pretty sure it came from there. If you capture it next to some managed hives, ditto, and you can ask the beekeeper abou their management practises. The houses round here are full of wild bees.

I can tell where about 70% of my swarms come from, the remaining 30% I monitor carefully. Sometimes there are other clues - like a marked queen.
Well, you are blessed in that you don't know what is the "almond bees".
What you take for granted - the bee localization - most of us here (US/Canada) do not have.
The best approximation to the "wild bees" here is just an escaped swarm of "almond bees" or at best some other imported bees - true for most captured swarms. This has been repeated now umpteenth time.

Even talking about this is anathema - lately I get kicked and punched (virtually) over even mattering these words - because the "local bees do not matter".

It makes sense to take precautions no matter what bees have been captured.
 

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...
Even talking about this is anathema - lately I get kicked and punched (virtually) over even mattering these words - because the "local bees do not matter".
...
Starts to be interesting when you think:
  • your raised virgin queen flies to DCA
  • "local" drones coming form packages, nucs, feral colonies and established beekeepers hives compete to mate with your queen.
  • she gets mated and starts to make new bees in your hive
Then you ask the question first time I saw in Mel's work ( OTS guy ) and start thinking who won the competition. Almond drones or local beekeeper's mutts?

BTW the question was : Who is the daddy?

I bought couple packages back in 2018 and 2019. I started to raise my own queens from all those I bought. As of today all my queens are somehow grand, grand,... daughters of one super Carniolan queen from 2018 package. She lived 3 years. All queens I raised mated with "local" drones near my suburb. The bees look alike, something between Carniolan and Italian. They look the same except of size. One colony makes smaller bees. Who knows why.
 

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Well, you are blessed in that you don't know what is the "almond bees".
What you take for granted - the bee localization - most of us here (US/Canada) do not have.
...
Even talking about this is anathema - lately I get kicked and punched (virtually) over even mattering these words - because the "local bees do not matter".
European honeybees (initially Amm) have been in America for 400 years, plenty of time for local adaptation of bees / gut biota / epigentics if you're blessed to live in a relatively isolated area. So, not a city or anywhere near a migratory bee farmer.

However I take your piint. I note papers like this:


Which from a quick skim, seems to say Amm is essentially absent from mitichondrial DNA in American managed colonies. I recall older papers saying the gene pool is frighteningly small, the majority of colonies deriving from ~200 queens.

So, time for some more bee immigration? Being wary of course about disease.
 

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........
BTW the question was : Who is the daddy?
.............
These are some of my daddies (what's left of them) - job of the best over-wintered queens is to provide the daddies.
While you cannot do the 100% coverage, you absolute must do as much as possible to provide the coverage.
I had two dedicated drone producing queens in 2022.

Plant Wood Gas Art Font
 

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So, time for some more bee immigration? Being wary of course about disease.
Time to allow the local population to settle down - this is what in short supply.
Continuous disruption of the local populations doesn't allow to normal processes to take place.

This is a very old subject - look at the Russian Far East.
Several finite bee dumps took place.
Outside of that, the bees were left alone to settle down.
Now we have what is called the "Russian bees" - considered a unique, "primitive" subspecies (i. e. almost a new subspecies).
This was only possible due to absence of continuous importations.

Too bad - but now they again import bees into the Far East - Buckfast, etc.
 
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