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Discussion Starter #1
I recently had a lady allow me to place a hive in her yard where she has kept bees in the past but they all recently died and she says she doesn't treat and is getting 2 nucs soon. Are there any precautions with keeping my treated hives in the same yard? I know they intermingle all the time with untreated bees but I never have kept them in the same general area so I didn't know if my treatments would need to be done more frequently or anything to keep from being overtaken by mites if that is what killed hers?
 

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More importantly, would be for her hives to have robbing screens so your bees are less likely to end up robbing her weak hives of honey and mites.
 

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It seems that one of the key factors in a successful treatment free operation is isolation from treated hives. This is the exact opposite of that. I don’t think this will end well for her untreated hives.
 

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Hope she is the kind of person who won't blame you for her bees dying again. Mite check often and treat accordingly. The mite checks should guide you not how often. I would purchase robber screens for her hives and use the excuse of not wanting your bees to rob her smaller new hives out. Wouldn't hurt to put one on yours too.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info. I made sure she was ok with my treatments since I knew she was untreated but according to her it is only because she never has had to before although I would think that probably contributed to some loss last year or in the past.
 

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I can't see how it wouldn't have a negative effect on the rate of mite buildup in your hives. Drifting is very common meaning more mites coming in your hive after treatments from hers. Not to mention a virus/disease reservoir. But like fivej said maybe offer to help her treat her hives when you do yours? Best of luck.
 

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I've put essentially Varroa-free colonies into a heavily infested apiary (with 20-30 metres between hives, so well spread out) and have recorded Varroa in capped drone cells within 2 weeks and DWV-symptomatic workers within 11 weeks. Virus levels increase sharply. If she doesn't agree to treating hers I wouldn't put yours there in the first place ...
 

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Yes robbing screens on both her and your hives. Are your bees local? You could be introducing new viruses that destroy her bees. Meanwhile why don't you contribute by using local mite resistant bees?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I live about 30 minutes away but we both actually get our bees from the same guy who is treatment free but doesn't recommend we continue treatment free without good experience in it. Therefore, I've been treating each each with OAV and haven't lost any yet but it could be because of his mite resistant bees and my treatment combined. I was doing checks this weekend and noticed at least 4 bees total from my hives with mites on them so I know they have a lot more that I didn't see. I did a shot of OAV last night before they are ready for honey supers. I know it won't help the capped bees but only one hive has good capped numbers so at least it will help some.
 

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Mites visible on adult worker bees are a sign of a high amount of infestation. I think of it as an indication that all of the preferred mite biting places (tucked up underneath between the segments of the abdomen) are already occupied by other mites. That's probably not literally true, but still. Time to get out your sugar roll, or alcohol wash, gear and give it a test.

As soon as it's warm enough (it may be already if you're supering up) I would suggest considering MAQS, which can be used with supers on. It also kills mites under the cappings. At this time of year your daily highs would probably be OK for MAQS. High daytime temps are what make using MAQS in the summer in VA tricky, but now you'd probably be OK. My personal limit is no higher than 80/81 F for day time highs when using MAQS. I think the actual labeling is a little more liberal. It's not my fave treatment, but it works just fine when others can't be used. Read the label and follow instructions exactly. It's picky.

I'm up in northern NY, so I can usually find a week with those temps in late July/early August. But I once lived over in Rappahannock County, so I know you'd likely couldn't use MAQS in the summer.

Nancy
 

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Mites visible on adult worker bees are a sign of a high amount of infestation. I think of it as an indication that all of the preferred mite biting places (tucked up underneath between the segments of the abdomen) are already occupied by other mites. That's probably not literally true, but still. Time to get out your sugar roll, or alcohol wash, gear and give it a test.

As soon as it's warm enough (it may be already if you're supering up) I would suggest considering MAQS, which can be used with supers on. It also kills mites under the cappings. At this time of year your daily highs would probably be OK for MAQS. High daytime temps are what make using MAQS in the summer in VA tricky, but now you'd probably be OK. My personal limit is no higher than 80/81 F for day time highs when using MAQS. I think the actual labeling is a little more liberal. It's not my fave treatment, but it works just fine when others can't be used. Read the label and follow instructions exactly. It's picky.

I'm up in northern NY, so I can usually find a week with those temps in late July/early August. But I once lived over in Rappahannock County, so I know you'd likely couldn't use MAQS in the summer.

Nancy
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks, I'll probably try to get some MAQs in. I'll see how many varroa dropped from the OAV over the next few days. I was surprised to see any since I treated last winter after no brood and they all made it through winter with good numbers.
 
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