Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,631 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted this paper last year in someone's thread but think it is worth posting again in its own thread. It is a study of which management practices lead to improved winter survival, and which have little or no positive effect. Some of their results may surprise you.

It's a very long paper with lots of scientific wordiness that most of us can't follow, but the good parts are at the bottom, in their discussion section. Scroll down and have a look.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,836 Posts
Long, wordiness, most of us can't follow! I think you gave it quite an appropriate pedigree! Mostly about interpreting survey and research data and its implications. I would need the dumbed down version to pick up any pointers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,631 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Long, wordiness, most of us can't follow! I think you gave it quite an appropriate pedigree! Mostly about interpreting survey and research data and its implications. I would need the dumbed down version to pick up any pointers!
I read LOTS of science papers for school and my job. I skipped lots of this one. Don't need to know which statistical test they used to get each point! But the meat of the paper is summed up in section 4.1, Improved management practices. The basics are, get rid of old comb, split your colonies rather than buying packages, and kill those varroa. Nothing else seems to matter much. A long quote follows:

...Through the ranking and simplification process,we found that, globally,
a majority of beekeepers could expect the greatest reduction in
mortality risk by modifying their behavior in terms of comb management,
source of new colonies and Varroa management. This holds particularly
true for small-scale beekeepers, which represents the
majority of beekeepers in our respondent pool and in the stakeholder
community.
Concretely, small-scale beekeepers should adopt a more active beekeeping management,
actively replacing their deadouts throughout the
active season (Action on Deadouts).When brood comb was taken out of
production, it should ideally not been reused unless frozen for a period
of time (Comb culling and storage). The benefits of comb management
support previous research that showed that newer comb better support
honey bee colony health and reproduction (Berry and Delaplane, 2001).
Beeswax has been shown to accumulate pesticide residues (Calatayud-
Vernich et al., 2018; El Agrebi et al., 2020a), to levels that could result in
increased bee mortality (El Agrebi et al., 2020b). Though colony-level
effects (growth and survivorship) from wax contamination had not
been confirmed through field trials (Payne et al., 2019), where the authors
noted that Varroa levels were a far stronger predictor of colony
failure.
Small-scale beekeepers starting their colonies from packages should
expect a higher level of loss over the winter (New Colonies Technique)
compared to the ideal situation consisting of making splits
colonies. Colonies started from packages are also more likely to start on
undrawn foundation, which adds to the amount of honey the colony
will need as they build their wax, but also could slow colony growth
in the start. The production of splits (or nuclei) is also typically recommended
as a swarming prevention method, which if unprevented can
result in the loss of the largest fraction of the worker population, decreased
production and increase risk of queen events should the
requeening fail. Finally, splitting colonies is known to help reduce the
Varroa pressure in mother colonies (Maucourt et al., 2018). It is not unusual
for complete beginners to start from packages, but years of beekeeping
experience did not appear as a high predictor in our small
scale groups. This could appear to contradict European's findings
(Jacques et al., 2017), but only because they contrasted small apiaries
(with little experience) to professional beekeepers.
Finally, the importance of Varroa control is reflected by more than
one top ranking criteria (among others, Varroa Treatment Y/N, Varroa
products types (count), and various products use), highlighting the benefits
of applying a strict Varroa control program. This suggests that some
variability exists in the optimum Varroa control methods, but in any
case, the use of any type of Varroa control treatment is highly associated
with reduction of colony mortality risk compared to the no-treatment
option. A separate paper has been dedicated to the investigation of
Varroa control using this dataset (Haber et al., 2019). This data has
also been used to highlight differences in attitudes between respondents
who use Varroa treatments or not (Thoms et al., 2018;
Underwood et al., 2019). Though thiswork and others have highlighted
the importance of Varroa control, outreach specialists should still consider
that “hands-off” management are associated with core beliefs
that are unlikely to change without addressing their fundamental concerns
(Thoms et al., 2018). Knowing the limitations and drawbacks of
chemical treatments (Johnson et al., 2013; Rinkevich, 2020; Rinkevich
et al., 2017), outreach should still focus on comprehensive approaches
that do not rely on single “silver bullets”, but include preventive management
as well as curative, for example improvement of honey bee
lines through selection for hygienic behavior (Bixby et al., 2017; Evans
and Spivak, 2010; Wagoner et al., 2018)...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,836 Posts
Thanks AR1;

The recommendations in that section are well worth keeping in mind. Not too much disputed there. The idea of producing in the current summer the replacements that will be needed for the next winter, is something many do not do. In many climates it will be necessary to do supplemental feeding to get a split up to full colony wintering weight. Still a lot cheaper than buying a 4 frame nuc in the spring.

I think a lot of new beekeepers go in preprogrammed with taboos that handicap them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,229 Posts
When brood comb was taken out of production, it should ideally not been reused unless frozen for a period of time (Comb culling and storage).
I wonder what does this imply.
For sure I freeze my unused combs - keep them outside.
I must be set then. :)

But IF not frozen, then what?
The combs contain/develop toxicity?
Parasites not killed? (As if freeze kill much of anything parasitic to the bees).
Right there I have my doubts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,631 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I wonder what does this imply.
For sure I freeze my unused combs - keep them outside.
I must be set then. :)

But IF not frozen, then what?
The combs contain/develop toxicity?
Parasites not killed? (As if freeze kill much of anything parasitic to the bees).
Right there I have my doubts.
I wondered about that too, what is the benefit of freezing. Seems to me they advocate junking comb older than a year or two.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,659 Posts
Last time I checked, there was little effect in freezing comb. I have no idea where they got information that it changed anything other than slows down wax moths.

Crazy Roland
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
3,279 Posts
if you get the timing right the freeze will kill the wax moth eggs? will it not?

GG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,229 Posts
if you get the timing right the freeze will kill the wax moth eggs? will it not?

GG
I don't see freeze killing moth eggs.
Bring the frozen combs inside and give it some time - sure enough, the moth eggs will hatch just fine.
The moths hatch in my propolis scrapings (after being frozen through the winter).

Anyway, the moth are irrelevant to the bee winter survival.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,659 Posts
GG, There is data somewhere on how cold for how long is needed. Generally, in our latitudes, once you get below 55 deg F.in an unheated building, you are safe.

Crazy Roland
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,570 Posts
GG, There is data somewhere on how cold for how long is needed. Generally, in our latitudes, once you get below 55 deg F.in an unheated building, you are safe.

Crazy Roland

20 degrees F (-6.7 degrees C) for 4.5 hours
or
5 degrees F (-15 degrees C) for 2 hours.



-6.7 degrees C for 4.5 hours
or
-12.2 degrees C [10 degrees F] for 3 hours
or
-15 degrees C for 2 hours

Once those frames come out of the freezer, it's essential that they do not come into contact with either wax-moths or combs which have not been so treated - else you'll be back to square one.
LJ
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
3,279 Posts

20 degrees F (-6.7 degrees C) for 4.5 hours
or
5 degrees F (-15 degrees C) for 2 hours.



-6.7 degrees C for 4.5 hours
or
-12.2 degrees C [10 degrees F] for 3 hours
or
-15 degrees C for 2 hours

Once those frames come out of the freezer, it's essential that they do not come into contact with either wax-moths or combs which have not been so treated - else you'll be back to square one.
LJ
thanks LJ, I was thinking the freeze did me some good.
yes once out they are destined for splits or a jar to be sealed.

I had some wax moth on 1 or 2 hives this year, got the bee escapes on and had some bad weather for a few days, the moths somehow got in and when extracting I seen them and some webs, needless to say I had several supers to use as feed, they were in the room with the rest of the supers hence my concern.

will need to think on the schedule more next year.

GG
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top