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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Varroa+DWV or Chilled Brood? (or both?)
That is the question.

We're having a little cold snap right now (a rainy one at that), so I can't (shouldn't) open up the hive in question. But for fun (and education) I figured I'd solicit opinions anyway before I do a mite count and look for signs of DWV on newly emerged workers, which I will do as soon as possible (work and weather permitting).

I'm not sure which it will be, but I'm interested to know what the rest of you would say or do with the observations so far.

Let the games begin!

Here are the observations:
1) Strongest hive (of 4) this spring, which wintered the best (very few dead bees out front and lots of stores), has thrown ~20 nearly fully formed, but still mostly white, pupa out of the hive.

2) The pupa are all workers, not drones.

3) Very mild late winter/early spring here in the Pacific NW, but nighttime temps dipped down to 30 a few times during the last 6 days. The pupa were kicked out just after the first cold night.

4) Of the 10 pupa I collected, 8 have perfectly formed and smooth little wings, while 2 look like they might be a little deformed, but they have been outside for 4 days in the wind, rain, and cold. I opened the hive 3 weeks ago and saw no signs of DWV.

5) When it's not raining, daytime temperatures are plenty warm for this colony to be active. They are from a feral cutout I did and surprisingly (to me) the first bees are out flying at 43 degrees.

6) Foundationless; all comb was drawn by this colony. There was an equivalent of 6 deep frames of brood 3 weeks ago.

What say you?

~Reid
 

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Chilling, but check the varroa counts.

That said, i was just at our bee convention. The University of Manitoba has been studying viruses of bees alot. Studying the RNA sequence and such. They and some others in Canada have noticed that DWV has jumped ship and no longer needs varroa to act as a vector to the bees...just a thought.
 

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honeyshack, that is not a very comforting thought!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
....DWV has jumped ship and no longer needs varroa to act as a vector to the bees...just a thought.
No, not comforting at all. It looks like Sunday will be the next reasonable day to open the hive. Mite check to start tomorrow.
~Reid
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I was finally able to do a rough mite count and dig into the hive a little.
-Mite count after 24 hours was 22 mites. I didn't use anything to assist in the mite drop and I haven't looked up the multiplier. If I remember right, it's like x5 for powdered sugar and up to x8 (?) for other products.

-No DWV seen on any young brood or the couple I watched emerge.

-No additional pupa tossed out on the porch either.

-Interestingly this very close (and statistically the same) to what the mite count was in the fall (26).

I didn't treat in the fall and they survived winter as my strongest hive. I'm not going to treat. I am curious if any of you know what the multiplier is for an unassisted mite drop is?

~Reid
 
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