Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1681 - 1690 of 1690 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Russ,

First of all, may you and yours have a most blessed Thanksgiving as well. This goes to everyone. :) We are most fortunate and I once heard it's hard to feel gratitude and feel anything else.

I think a worthwhile goal might be to set a minimum of 5 in one place, from the best stock and let them deal with mites and other things in their own way. I'll consider this. I'm also thinking more data, more better. So some mite counts wouldn't hurt.

On the subject of more data, I recently read on one of the forums where someone had purchased some inexpensive bluetooth temp and humidity sensors. I asked for the source and after a while they sent the link. They are made by Govee and sold on Amazon. I paid 13.99 each for 2 of them. They are now around $12ea. I put them in yesterday, one in my Italian 6-frame poly nuc, and one in a Russian 10-frame wooden double deep with 18 frames.

Right now it's 36 (F) outside and 56 inside both hives (center top). They have a phone app and I can check from my kitchen window. It sends a signal every 2-3 minutes. So far both hives are within 1 degree of each other, and roughly 20 above the outside temp. I'm thinking of using a lot more of them. May be common, but I didn't know you could do it affordably.

Thoughts?

Thanks Russ,
Joe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,241 Posts
Discussion Starter #1,682 (Edited)
Thoughts?
By day I am an engineer, so I firmly believe there is no such thing as too much data- provided of course it does not lead to the dreaded 'analysis paralysis'.

On October 9th of this year, I installed temperature and humidity sensors along with a scale on a single hive in the yard (#2011). My thoughts were to hopefully use one 10-frame Langstroth in the apiary as a 'reference' colony to get a sense of timing relative to brood rearing, flows, etc. At the price you are talking about, I would see little harm and a lot of upside to being able to take a peek inside a particular hive without lifting the lid- particularly at this time of year.

For what it is worth, here are two charts of the last seven days worth of data from #2011- looks like this colony is tracking fairly well with your colonies. Is the cluster in the double deep currently in the bottom box?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
provided of course it does not lead to the dreaded 'analysis paralysis'.
That's good. I've never heard this one but I know exactly what you are talking about. :) I looked at the WiFi unit made by the same folks for $32. Then I thought I would end up looking at it at work, the gas station, etc. Better stick with BlueTooth limited to when I'm home.

Looks like your bees are indeed similar. As far as mine being in the bottom box, I hope so because they started lagging by about 6-7 degrees over the last 2 days. Relatively sure they are down below. Outside temp was 37 when this snapshot was taken. js
61303
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,241 Posts
Discussion Starter #1,685 (Edited)
Here is another detailed survey of the contemporary research into the mechanisms of resistance courtesy of Mr. Les Crowder.

Natural selection, selective breeding, and the evolution of resistance of honeybees (Apis mellifera) against Varroa

Two interesting tidbits stood out to me:

1. Regarding Resistance- 'We call a bee colony resistant when it is able to limit the population size of Varroa, to a density that does not cause mortality.'

While I suppose it would be easy to poke holes in this definition, it does underscore the point that resistance (at least at present) is not precisely defined in terms of MPG or some other similar metric but represents checking mite population growth 'enough' for a population to survive in a self-sustaining fashion.

2. Regarding Cell Size- 'A possible explanation for the variable outcome of studies on small cell size is an interaction between cell size and VSH behaviour. Smaller cells may enhance brood signalling, i.e. in smaller cells suppression of Varroa reproduction by the worker larva, or recognition of cells with reproducing Varroa could be easier. Hence, the variable outcome of studies on small cell size could be caused by variation in VSH behaviour of the bees used in the different studies.'

Thus suggesting that relative success or failure with changes in cell size may reflect the multi-factorial nature of SMR.

Resistance Relationships.jpg Traits to Explain Resistance.png
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,142 Posts
I have enjoyed this thread a lot. I am not Treatment Free, but I am treatment light. I have never used apivar. or thymol or a host of other things. I have been using OAV since about 2014 a couple of times a year. And I've had hives robbed out, plenty, there was a wild colony in my neighbor's house between floors, when I removed it there were about 6 feet of hive horizontally on one wall and 4 ft length by about 18 inches width, by about 9 inches tall, on the other wall at that corner. so it was big and it killed many of my cutout hives, but not all. I removed it in 2019, and life has been much better since, both for hive robbery (although I still have a stacked nuc box suffering from a couple of attempts during our August dearth), and from mites.

When I removed the wild hive I brought it here, half a block away, stuck it in a stacked nuc and requeened with a Beeweaver queen. That was May of 2019, and my mite count has dropped dramatically since, on all hives. I've treated with Oxalic Acid Vapor a couple of times, once in late winter 2020, fall 2019, and this September I think. I run screened bottom boards with a solid cover board underneath, nice gap for paper or sticky board, and I use some aquatic filter floss to slow the winter wind but allow some air exchange in winter.

I highly recommend hygenic queens, although my largest hive came in as a large swarm in 2018, and they also are doing quite well. I've been keeping bees here since 2011, and I suspect my drones dominate the air space a bit because there are few other beekeepers within 5 miles, possibly none.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,241 Posts
Discussion Starter #1,687
That was May of 2019, and my mite count has dropped dramatically since, on all hives.
I highly recommend hygenic queens, although my largest hive came in as a large swarm in 2018, and they also are doing quite well. I've been keeping bees here since 2011, and I suspect my drones dominate the air space a bit because there are few other beekeepers within 5 miles, possibly none.
Gypsi:

First off, thank you for your kind words- and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

I enjoyed and appreciated reading about your beekeeping efforts to-date, and it sounds like you have figured out a system that is working in your situation.

Your write-up reminded me that our efforts at selection for resistance are dictated in large part upon the bee population around us, and the more control we can exert over it (be it hiving feral swarms or dominating the DCA's) the closer we come to being successful at maintaining a modicum of resistance traits.

Have you been evaluating mite population growth in any of your colonies over the years to see if any are making progress at keeping mite counts under catastrophic thresholds?

It would be interesting indeed to see how your apiary might respond to the approach outlined in the A shift in message? thread that MSL started. The crux being:

... be TF when you can, and only use pesticides when pest monitoring hits a threshold that indicates it is needed to head off loss.
Now that you have a good handle on controlling robbing, you could monitor mite levels in each colony and only treat (and possibly re-queen) the individual colonies that cannot pass muster. Just something to think about if you haven't already.

Again, thank you for your encouraging feedback- best of success to you in your overwintering efforts.

Russ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,142 Posts
Gypsi:

First off, thank you for your kind words- and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

I enjoyed and appreciated reading about your beekeeping efforts to-date, and it sounds like you have figured out a system that is working in your situation.

Your write-up reminded me that our efforts at selection for resistance are dictated in large part upon the bee population around us, and the more control we can exert over it (be it hiving feral swarms or dominating the DCA's) the closer we come to being successful at maintaining a modicum of resistance traits.

Have you been evaluating mite population growth in any of your colonies over the years to see if any are making progress at keeping mite counts under catastrophic thresholds?

It would be interesting indeed to see how your apiary might respond to the approach outlined in the A shift in message? thread that MSL started. The crux being:



Now that you have a good handle on controlling robbing, you could monitor mite levels in each colony and only treat (and possibly re-queen) the individual colonies that cannot pass muster. Just something to think about if you haven't already.

Again, thank you for your encouraging feedback- best of success to you in your overwintering efforts.

Russ

Russ,

I think I have won the mite war for this year. I did treat in late winter/ early spring with Oxalic Acid Vapor. Once. And once in September. And I checked the sticky boards (really just heavy water color paper), and I had chewed wax, and a very little wax moth poop, but I didn't have any mites. I am very pleased. I haven't lost a hive in winter since about 2014 either. or in fall. I haven't lost one except to robbing, and I do mean vicious robbing, in several years. I am fortunate. There are no other beekeepers nearby, not enough forage to make it profitable. And with grassy prairies instead of wildflowers, few wild bees except around my gardens. My ordered queens are from mite resistant hygenic stock and that one survivor hive that came in is nice and gluey, lots of propolis, they do have larger clusters than my Beeweaver girls, but seem to be resistant or hygenic. I'm not changing anything for now, except monitoring for mites via my sticky board. I had a lot of brood in the survivor hive when I changed the bottom board last week, when that brood hatches will be when I will again look for mites below the hive, on that water color paper...

Alice
61345
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,241 Posts
Discussion Starter #1,689
I'm not changing anything for now, except monitoring for mites via my sticky board.
Alice:

Nice post- your results are enviable. As a friend of mine often reminds me, "If it ain't fixed, don't broke it."

Were you surprised to find brood in the survivor colony this time of year in your locale? At least in my specific situation (Climate Zone 7a) it seemed like the girls shut-down earlier that I had noticed in the previous couple of years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,142 Posts
I knew they would have brood Russ, she's a very strong queen and we have had flow, been thru ragweed, goldenrod and aster recently, they are still bringing something in. I actually swiped a couple of frames to build up my stacked nuc that this hive has pulled a robbery on once or twice. The nuc is the only hive I will have to feed this winter probably, going to put some 2:1 on and see if they will take it for the next day or 2 to get them a little better set. Our first freeze is probably Monday night, I'm in Texas
 
1681 - 1690 of 1690 Posts
Top