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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Was interesting...

Hives A and B have rocking queens. I don't know how I got so lucky to get two good queens as my starter queens, but I'm so grateful. Both hives still have eggs and brood in all stages, although they are already pushing B's queen down. Hive A had capped brood in the third medium chamber and a few drones in the fourth.

I gave them some empty frames a few weeks ago, when I took a handful of capped frames for our use, and they have done nothing with them. So I'm guessing there isn't anything out there, just like I was told...I was hoping my bees had access to something unusual, but apparently not. What they have is what they have, so I opted to just leave everything in the hives as is as far as stores, and I might feed them to fill those empty frames before winter.

Hive C is giving me a headache. This hive is queenless again. Again! The last queen did build up the population before vanishing, but they only have capped brood at this point, and little of that. They are packing in the syrup though, as I've been feeding; very little stored pollen though. I gave them a frame of eggs again and left them to it. I do not know what keeps happening to this hive's queen. I'm worried now, as those eggs, should the bees choose to do anything with them, will be some time before a queen is laying. Drones are still in the hives; I saw several. UGH. This is their last chance...if they aren't queenright by the end of September, I'll combine with a nuc.

I did sugar rolls on all big hives. Of course, hive C has had a long brood break, so they didn't have any. Hive A didn't have any either. There were three in hive B. I found this interesting, as three weeks ago all were negative, and drops have been negative. So this is new information for me to use.

Last time I inspected I saw SHB, just a few on the inners. Did not see any this time in the big hives, a few in one nuc, and none were in the traps. I redid the traps and every hive and nuc now has one.

Nuc 1 is busy raising queens. Too bad the capped cells are all close together on one frame or I'd have given a few cells to Hive C. They are busy storing syrup while waiting around. This is the nuc where I saw a few SHB.

Nuc 2 has an excellent local queen. Always tons of eggs and brood. Her nuc is storing up plenty of syrup too. I saw her, determinedly walking away from me. I tried to catch her...she needs to be marked..but I failed.

So now, the question is...to treat or not to treat. I'm all for not treating if there isn't a problem, but I also can't see letting the bees suffer and die from what is essentially a bee parasite that I know they have, albeit in relatively small numbers. I do fecal egg counts on my horses, and only if they reach a particular threshold do I deworm. I see this as the same idea. So I'm thinking about what I'd like to do.
 

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Three mites!!!! Everyone should be so lucky! Sounds like you don't have a problem--yet, so I would not treat at this time. Keep monitoring, keep doing what you are doing now. Sounds like you have a good plan.
 

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this is my first year and all summer during inspections I would open drone brood and never found a mite, did sugar rolls last week and found counts of 11, 9, and 7, ( 3 hives) I treated right away, I was shocked at the counts treatment period ends tomorrow and plan to do at least 1 more sugar roll test to see if it worked ( formic acid)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, I'm planning to monitor....but ordering MAQS just in case ;) The bees are still raising brood, so the potential for a big jump in varroa population exists.

I e-mailed a local beek about queens but haven't heard back. I don't know if I'll be able to get into the hive tomorrow to check on whether or not hive C has done anything with those eggs -- rain is expected -- but I kinda want to have the possibility to go get a queen if necessary in my back pocket, kwim.

Hopefully that nuc's QC hatch here in the next few days...next week looks to be good mating weather. I also recently learned one of the larger beeks in our area has placed some hives about 5 miles away as the bee flies...hopefully some good drones out there.

I managed to get poison ivy while crashing around out there...time to weed whack. The hives sit on carpet, but I do have to walk through some stuff to get there. I'd almost rather be stung by bees than get poison ivy...

ETA: I read about cases like that...where a sugar roll showed a few mites but treatment resulted in a veritable hailstorm of mites! It did make me wonder if more are hanging out in there than I could see....hence I'll keep a close eye on them. Might try doing a roll every week instead of every 3. If the numbers go up, I'll treat. If I had 20 hives, I could likely try going TF and splitting survivors, but alas, not the case.
 
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