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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I watched a video of Ralph Buchler and read some of his articles on treating for varroa mites. I like his idea of total brood removal 2 weeks before the end of the flow with a trapping comb and oxalic acid dribbling afterwards. I think this might be better than caging as I would like to increase the number of hives I have. wondered if somebody has experience with this in a cold climate.Or has general thoughts on this technique.
Regards,
Joris

(video of Ralph Bucher explaining total brood removal)
 

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if you want increase then look at a fly back split, use the brood for a new hive with either a cell or ordered queen, dribble the old hive.

I personally do not have the time to remove all the brood, and am not really a believer.
IFD you are going with OA dribble, then a Vap or a towel is almost the same and does not require the brood removal.

For 1 or 2 hives it may be a great idea, but for 30 + not so much.

give it a try and let us know how it turns out.

GG
 

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Randy O did a trial of this Messin' With Varroa 2014 - Scientific Beekeeping

IFD you are going with OA dribble, then a Vap or a towel is almost the same and does not require the brood removal.
Brood on one dribble has the same impact as 3 vapes. That said, as a mater of course we should not be promoting off label treatments.

As GG suggests I a fan of the fly back for this.. Take that large forage force that is going to do nothing but hang out and eat honey till they die into 70% nurse bees building up your split, they start broodless so you get a sold mite kill with OA ..

on the brood side of the split if you let them rear there own (if your season has time, my flow ends mid july) or give them a cell they get a short broodless window for OA as well
 

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I like his idea of total brood removal 2 weeks before the end of the flow with a trapping comb and oxalic acid dribbling afterwards.
Personally this season I will focus on "clean starts" where I will create brood-less colonies and zap the mites using OA dribble during the absence of brood (example - manipulations done around the fly-back splitting).

Captured natural swarms also present perfect opportunity of the same brood-less state without any brood-removal busy work.

This is a preferred way, in my view, vs. the "total brood removal 2 weeks before the end of the flow".
It is advantageous to knock down the mite population at the start of the season vs. at the end of the season.
 

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.
It is advantageous to knock down the mite population at the start of the season vs. at the end of the season.

Sure, but an end of season knock down, even a mid season knock downs is needed in many places as well
 

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Sure, but an end of season knock down, even a mid season knock downs is needed in many places as well
Probably so.
Clearly, I am no expert in anything regarding effective treatments. :)
Just trying to learn.

I do like this picture from Randy O. though (From "Oxalic Acid in Varroa Management" presentation). If this holds true, that'd be great.

63269
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The studies that Ralph Buchler describes in the videos above just say the opposite, that by starting the season with low numbers you do not select drones that are more resistant to Varroa.
He says that just before the time the winterbees are raised numbers should be very low and not just declining as with for example 3 times OA vaporization. When vaporizing you go into winter and start the season with very low mite counts but the winterbees are raised during a period with higher amounts of mites in the hive.

The reason I am thinking of doing this not just to get nucs (that is an extra, not the main reason). But to get more hives to survive the winter here in southren Ontario.

What Randy O did is killing the brood but he left no trapping comb as Ralph Buchler explains is necessary to get good results... He did things like this for years. And seams to do sounds research on them.

I used to treat twice with formic acid after honey supers were of and do one last treatment with dribbling oxalic acid 3 weeks after the first frost (in Belgium this was the most likely moment to have no brood). I always had no varroa in the collonies afterwards, but still some during the formic acid treatments...
 

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If this holds true, that'd be great.
well ya... with no brood there is no mite reproduction
You go from 0 mites in a wash to 10.5% in 5 mounts of brood production

that by starting the season with low numbers you do not select drones that are more resistant to Varroa.
The reason I am thinking of doing this not just to get nucs (that is an extra, not the main reason). But to get more hives to survive the winter here in southren Ontario.
Ralph is a pro been at it for decades, uses inland mating stations to control the drones.... still treats, has made very little head way compared to US II programs

I think its unlikely you are big enuff for your drones to have any effect one way or another on your mateings and your getnic depth is likly too shallow to make any sort of progress...

Foundation as an IMP to suppress along with treatment to allow for bosting production of key drone mothers a long with drone feeding an holding colony's will likely have a much bigger effect.

despite what the TF gurus tell people, most of us are not engaged in any sort of breeding at all, or are having any sort of impact at the DCAs in the area.

One dead mite in April is 32 you don't have to deal with in sept
 

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well ya... with no brood there is no mite reproduction
You go from 0 mites in a wash to 10.5% in 5 mounts of brood production
At my place, a clean start will be typically done in June or (early) July.
Natural swarms can be as early as May.

This translates into 3 (maybe 4) months of brooding remaining.
So a single clean (re)start should not be too bad if combined with worthwhile VSH bees.
Something to find out!
 

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yes
to be clear the mite build up numbers are for "normal bees" and not high leves of immigration..

but by clean start, are you meaning nucs/new colonlys? I wouldn't expect you to get much honey off them at that time line
 

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yes
to be clear the mite build up numbers are for "normal bees" and not high leves of immigration..

but by clean start, are you meaning nucs/new colonlys? I wouldn't expect you to get much honey off them at that time line
Clean start - any brood-less colony that allows for an effective, single OA treatment (fly-back split, queen-less split, natural or shook swarm).

Honey - it depends.
Don't forget that the clean starts can be combined back again.
2-3-4 units can be combined back if the honey production is a priority.

Btw, I observed how the fly-back splitting creates foraging/rebuilding frenzy akin to a natural swarm.
A well timed fly-back can be quite a honey packer too.
As well as some units can be just sacrificed too for honey production.

Overall, nothing new - you grow some bees here and you pack some honey there.
These are always two different lines of business that go in parallel, but not at once.
 

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There are four videos in the series, and so I tried to watch them all - but couldn't - as I found these talks to be totally unconvincing. The first video did contain a few interesting snippets of information - such as evidence that bees sometimes open and re-cap already capped brood cells - in one documented case as many as seventeen times !

The second video I found to be pretty-much a sales-pitch justifying his research. He described in great detail a large-scale European-wide COLOSS non-treatment project in which 90% of the colonies died within 2 years. Some colonies died slightly less faster than others due to local adaptation which he kept stressing was an 'interesting' and 'significant' finding etc - sure, who would not agree with that ? - but the elephant in the room was the fact that close to a total wipe-out occurred as a result of not treating for Varroa. A couple more months and they would all have been dead.

Nevertheless, the third video focused on the 'need' for a Zero chemical strategy as Winter losses higher than 5% were considered unacceptable - but - 29 minutes into the talk he describes the need for an Oxalic Acid treatment following total brood removal. From then on I just couldn't hack it. In my opinion this guy is well behind the curve - if you're going to rely on Oxalic Acid anyway, then a VOA multi-dose sequence in early August will do exactly the same job as brood removal (i.e. reduce the numbers of Varroa to near zero at a crucial moment in the season), but without losing a whole brood cycle in the process. My own winter losses have been 0% for many years now, by simply adopting this method, plus one mid-winter VOA treatment.

I tried to watch the fourth video, but the guy strayed into Waggle Dances, nest site criteria and the whole host of "aren't bees clever" stuff - which we know well-enough - but what about the Varroa problem ? And so I gave up after just a few minutes.

A nice bloke who clearly knows his stuff, but there was nothing there that I could see which was of any practical use to the average beekeeper in the short term, Plenty of maybe's and perhaps's for bee scientists, but not for beekeepers faced with today's ongoing problem with Varroa.
LJ
 

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In my opinion this guy is well behind the curve - if you're going to rely on Oxalic Acid anyway, then a VOA multi-dose sequence in early August will do exactly the same job as brood removal (i.e. reduce the numbers of Varroa to near zero at a crucial moment in the season), but without losing a whole brood cycle in the process.
Must have had an off-day yesterday - it's not one brood cycle that's lost, but two. I'd not spotted that one brood cycle's worth of bees is destroyed prior to the brood-break - which is then a period when a second cycle is lost.

Losing two brood-cycle's worth of bees is expensive for a bee-farmer - not so critical perhaps for a honey-farmer.
LJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Must have had an off-day yesterday - it's not one brood cycle that's lost, but two. I'd not spotted that one brood cycle's worth of bees is destroyed prior to the brood-break - which is then a period when a second cycle is lost.

Losing two brood-cycle's worth of bees is expensive for a bee-farmer - not so critical perhaps for a honey-farmer.
LJ
Thanks for taking the time to check out those videos by Ralph Buchler. I did not like the other videos as much eather and I am always very cautious in taking advise from researchers that do not need to make money from their bees.
I like the way Mike Palmer manages his bees and he seems to be able to run a succesfull bussiness as well.
However, he uses Amitraz to treat for Varroa and that seems a little expensive here that´s why I was looking at alternatives.

Anyway, back to oxalic acid and brood removal... I just watch another video by Randy Oliver and he does not seem to like to vaporize oxalic acid and prefers to dribble it... link below.

I think I will try the brood removal with trapping comb and oxalic dribble on some of the hives and do 3 times VOA on the others and do an alcohol wash afterwards and see how it works and also compare strength in de spring of both groups...

 

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I think I will try the brood removal with trapping comb and oxalic dribble on some of the hives and do 3 times VOA on the others
You want to be doing OA during the natural or artificially-created brood-less period for the best efficacy. Otherwise, you need to "treat, treat, treat".
Not that I have practical experience in treating (not just yet), but that's my plan - treating brood-less bees (btw, as described by Randy Oliver).
 

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Not trying to get a whole "my bees your bees" thing going, but these Russians stopped laying before Thanksgiving and only the largest few colonies started brooding back in mid-Jan (if memory serves). Most didn't have a lick of capped brood until mid-to-late Feb. There was a gut-wrenching longing for frames full of brood, but this is arguably an excellent strategy to chew off any pestilence that might be plaguing you or your neighbor over the winter.

A lot of feral bees around here will blow up in April and swarm, giving the second brood break (though there may be a few drone cells).

I imagine a lot of varieties of bees employ this method. It also makes them completely mobile on the honey frames throughout the winter. How many times have you had bees starve 3" from food because they wouldn't leave a small patch on brood? I admire their parenting diligence, but it happens.
 

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I imagine a lot of varieties of bees employ this method. It also makes them completely mobile on the honey frames throughout the winter. How many times have you had bees starve 3" from food because they wouldn't leave a small patch on brood? I admire their parenting diligence, but it happens.

That's a good point, I hadn't considered this previously. Just another reason to always buy local northern bred, overwintered queens and their daughters.
 
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