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Varroa Control: Areas w/ year-round brood rearing

 
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EricConcE
Nurse Bee


Joined: 12 Mar 2014
Posts: 31
Location: Aveiro, Portugal

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:18 pm    Post subject: Varroa Control: Areas w/ year-round brood rearing Reply with quote

Living in a region with brood rearing lasting year round is proving to be difficult in regard to managing varroa levels. I'm eager to listen to more experienced apiculturists who would like to discuss strategies (even treatment free strategies) for managing varroa. I am currently working with the native portuguese bee: Apis mellifera iberiensis, actually a hybrid with some African genetics. All advice is welcome!
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box
House Bee


Joined: 30 Dec 2010
Posts: 14
Location: Aalborg, Denmark

PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi
I have taken out brood and making shook swarms and letting the bees rear a new queen as my only forms of "treatment" and i dont loose more colonyes
than the hard treaters.
when i take away the brood in a colony ,i know that i take away 100% of the
varroa in the capped cells ... how many cem. treaters can say that ?
there are a bit more nuances to how and why i must say, but time spendt i really think it is faster than most other forms of treating as : cems. or acid
and i can work and enjoy beekeeping without the protection suit and goggles and rubber gloves etc.
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+1

Take out brood, pool brood in a distant apiary. Treat with sublimated oxalic acid or dribbled.

Another good way to get there is Mel Disselkoen's MDA splitting method and OTS. Not for honey producers.
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi box, glad to see Danes on this forum, welcome! Its shame we dont live closer to each other I sure would love to visit your apiary and have a out-of-the-box chat.

I wonder when do you perform shakedowns (what month)? Also do you feed them with sugar to help them re-build combs? I would be very happy if you could explain in detail how and when do you do it Smile

Tak!
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EricConcE
Nurse Bee


Joined: 12 Mar 2014
Posts: 31
Location: Aveiro, Portugal

PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

box wrote:
I have taken out brood and making shook swarms and letting the bees rear a new queen as my only forms of "treatment" and i dont loose more colonyes than the hard treaters.
I was actually leaning heavily toward shook swarming, but was wondering the most effective way to proceed with the remaining brood frames - do you make multiple splits off of the parent hive /w some nurse bees? I would like to do this as the main flow winds down around here and swarming season is in gear (thoughout March) - but would like to know if another time of year is advisable.
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box
House Bee


Joined: 30 Dec 2010
Posts: 14
Location: Aalborg, Denmark

PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The swarm season starts in may
Our honey flow ends around the mittle of july exept for the beekeepers going to the heather in aug.
I think the latest, in my area you have to have a mated queen in the hives isthe early august.

That is the dates i work around.
I have made nucs like Mel Disselkoen and i like the simplicity very much.
my prefered "treatment" method last season was, taking away all capped
brood, and haveing a reciever colony in the yard, so i dont waste all the brood that arent infested with varroa.

The reciever have their capped brood taken too, new foundation placed to fill the box and a queen excluder on top of that ,then the boxes with the capped brood is stacked on top and the rest of the hive asempled again.
The ones who has lost their brood are now treated, as aprox. 80 - 90 %
of the mites are taken away.

the reciever has to have room to expand and you have to check for queen cells in the top / over the excluder .

All the capped brood and mites hatches ,the newbees where no mites have been, are healty and ready to help, and the mites will make
their way down to the broodnest below the excluder and get capped ,
and now we have to take this new capped brood under the excluder and this time it is put in the freecer ,and 2 days later melted .
before i am ready to call this hive treated ,i do a sugar roll with 300 bees
from the broodnest at the same time as i take out the capped brood.
The result will show if i have to take out another frame when it is capped.
if not the excluder is removed, and the hive is made ready for vinter.

I mostly try to have them on their own honey, that is not always possible
so i give sugar and again in jan. i give them a pac of apifonda / fondant
if they need it or not !

please comment where you see a potential problem.
This method is made out of ...hate is a strong word .. dislike of acid and especialy formic acid, I know that there is risk of reinvation to the other hives, but so far they havent ,maybee because the short time span?however i have only used this method since 2013 . so im still learning.

hope this was helpful and as seen on the spelling you now know why i only
have 11 posts.
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Dexter's shed
Scout Bee


Joined: 16 May 2014
Posts: 307
Location: Grays, Essex, UK

PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

as this is a natural keeping forum, I'll start with why do you feel the need to treat at all, why not let the bees sort themselves out?
after all, they seem to cope pretty fine without us.
I cant remember the exact date I started keeping bees, but the ones in my garden must be 3yrs old, they swarmed and are now two hives, but as a whole they are still the same colony, now I don't do any treatments what so ever for anything, ziltch, diddly squat, yet they carry on with life, happy as larry, producing good honey, it's only recently I came across this you tube clip, and after watching it, what the guy is saying makes perfect sense

https://youtu.be/5DFKqgWuCBA
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box
House Bee


Joined: 30 Dec 2010
Posts: 14
Location: Aalborg, Denmark

PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes its naturally ,but as you can see on this forum there is many ways to bee natural, this works for me ,and im glad to hear that your way works for you.

I belive what your bees did naturally by swarming is the same thing i have preformed in an artificial way, in the above.
I still think that swarming is the best way to split a hive only trouble is we got to catch em
When i do this i dont have to climb trees.
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BBC
Scout Bee


Joined: 11 Jul 2012
Posts: 398
Location: Bicker, Lincolnshire, UK

PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dexter's shed wrote:
as this is a natural keeping forum, I'll start with why do you feel the need to treat at all, why not let the bees sort themselves out? after all, they seem to cope pretty fine without us.


There's nothing remotely 'natural' about human beings keeping honey bees. 'Foundationless Beekeeping' would be a much better title for this forum, imo.

The downside of not treating your colonies (unless you regularly inspect and carefully monitor the health of your colonies - which is the approach I adopt) is that a) you're conducting an experiment upon the animals in your charge, and b) you may be spreading parasites and disease to your neighbour's colonies.

Randy Oliver has written a couple of good articles on this issue - one is:
http://scientificbeekeeping.com/the-rules-for-successful-beekeeping/

Another is: http://scientificbeekeeping.com/queens-for-pennies/ (the 'rant' at the beginning ... Smile )

Colin
BBC
_________________
Bees build Brace Comb for a reason, not just to be bloody-minded.


Last edited by BBC on Thu Apr 09, 2015 4:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1051
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The ethos of this forum is about exploring and discussing ways to keep bees that are more natural than has been typical for the last 150+ years. It is not to tell people what they should or should not be doing.

Please bear that in mind.
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dexter's shed wrote:
as this is a natural keeping forum, I'll start with why do you feel the need to treat at all, why not let the bees sort themselves out?
after all, they seem to cope pretty fine without us.


Dexter, how many years did you keep bees in Denmark? Denmark has no "natural" wild nature anymore. Denmark has killed its Nature long ago and is still making sure it stays dead with extensive pesticide laden mono-crop agriculture. How can one keep bees "naturally" in an utterly unnatural environment?

Those who know me here know that Im against treatments but I also dont have much experience with bees in unnatural environments nor beekeeping in general (going into my 4th year now). If bees are bringing back lots of pesticides, fungicides, etc into the wax, pollen and nectar how do expect they will fare? I wish I could still keep bees in the wild locality in Sweden where I kept bees before at least I would not have to think about what they forage on but only focus on Varroa. But that is not so anymore.

Quote:
There's nothing remotely 'natural' about human beings keeping honey bees. 'Foundationless Beekeeping' would be a much better title for this forum, imo.


BBC I could not disagree more with you. Foundationless Beekeeping can still be conventionally managed/manipulated; clipping wings, culling drones, treating with miticides like Apistan, harvesting all honey and feeding exclusively on high fructose syrup, swarm prevention all year around leading to no brood break, often inspections, artificial insemination, imported queens and non-local stock, migratory beekeeping pollinating non-organic produce, etc ...

"Natural Beekeeping" is the SPOT ON term imo. If you look closely you will notice 2 words Smile Natural and Beekeeping Smile As you see it is still Beekeeping right, so of course its not Feral because we have our fingers involved. Natural is only a guideline, and idea, a way to get inspired by something closer to the natural bee biology. One observes bees and learns from them rather than manipulating them for my own needs. Natural Comb is only just One aspect of the Actual Bee Biology, and there are so many other aspects to consider.

Last time I checked Randy Oliver was supporting Bayer saying that Neonics dont harm bees Evil or Very Mad I dont trust that bloke anymore! You go ahead and trust him if you like.

Quote:
a) you're conducting an experiment upon the animals in your charge,


Those who treat are conducting experiments upon the bees they are in charge. We have no idea what damage we are causing by propagating weak colonies since that is most definitely going against the way of the Natural which only selects for survival of the fittest.

Quote:
b) you may be spreading parasites and disease to your neighbour's colonies.


Laughing Laughing Laughing You sound exactly the same as all the conventional beeks in Scandinavia I spoke to. They even called my apiary "Mite and Virus Factory" yet they have never even seen my apiary Laughing childish indeed.
How can I spread something which is already here even before I considered keeping bees? Also if their 2 times a year treatments with Formic and Oxalic acid is working so great why are they concerned with my untreated bees? If those treatments are so effective why do we still have Varroa around?

And just in case my bees are "infesting" my neighbors hives how do they actualy do that? Lets say the Varroa comes in on the back of my bee/drone, but to mate and reproduce it needs bee brood right. So with them not treating their bees with a brood break Varroa can EXPLODE into hundreds Wink So how again am I not treating my bees when all my colonies get a Brood Break. I too treat bees no?

Its more that they are spreading weak genes through their drones which would not be able to survive without treatments. My queens are locally mated, and I dont breed from my dead colonies so only survivor stock goes into breeding next year.
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BBC
Scout Bee


Joined: 11 Jul 2012
Posts: 398
Location: Bicker, Lincolnshire, UK

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the principle meanings of 'natural' is "existing in or derived from nature; not made or caused by humankind". Apart from allowing bees to build their own comb without foundation - i.e. as they wish - what other physical aspect of a beehive can be considered 'natural' ? I would challenge anyone to identify just one other feature - just one.

But this thread is about Varroa. Varroa is not a natural parasite of the European honey bee. Perhaps in time bees will indeed evolve to cope with this new threat to their existence - but what happens in the meanwhile ? Is it acceptable to play Russian Roulette with one's bees ? I don't think it is - and so, although I don't treat my bees - I do treat Varroa. Varroa live, of course, externally to the bee and so it is possible to treat one without treating the other. If they were internal parasites, then the situation would be different.

I would ask you - what will you do personally, if Small Hive Beetle ever makes it into mainland Europe ? Will you treat this pest - or will you allow it to flourish unhindered to decimate thousands upon thousands of honey bee colonies, as it has already done in other parts of the world. This is not some abstruse academic exercise to consider - but something which each one of us may indeed be called upon to do.

And - while I am addressing the wisdom or otherwise of being 'treatment-free' - what would you do if you discovered AFB in one of your hives ? Would you destroy it, (as the law requires, here in Britain) or would you allow that hive to continue to exist in the hope that nature might find it's own cure in time, and risk decimating the Nation's entire stock of honey bees in the process ?

Being treatment-free is a great ideal, but one needs to consider the consequences - especially towards neighbouring bees and beekeepers - whilst pursuing that objective.

Colin
BBC
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Bees build Brace Comb for a reason, not just to be bloody-minded.
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Im not a TF beekeeper I just dont treat my bees. TF is just a part of my personal beekeeping inspired by the actual bee biology; brood break, swarming, local mating, no drone culling, natural comb, leaving them honey (feeding because new swarms and splits cant build up in environment with wheat, corn, OSR, oats).

You are mixing Feral colonies with Natural Beekeeping Smile which is still Beekeeping meaning managed by humans but with utter focus on respecting as many aspects of actual bee biology as possible.

TF beekeeping is only about not treating; I know of those TF beeks who artificially inseminate their queens or dont allow brood break for better honey yield, they use small cell foundation or normal foundation, etc ...
Such beekeeping is not inspired by actual bee biology.

Like in conventional beekeeping so is in TF beekeeping focus on honey production just without treatments. Of course there are those like Sam Comfort who do respect the bee biology and work with it rather then manipulate it and work against it.

Quote:
what will you do personally, if Small Hive Beetle ever makes it into mainland Europe ? Will you treat this pest


I will most defenetly not treat for it. Instead I will do what US TF beeks do; keep the hive strong (no small splits), make sure all the protein in combs is covered by the cluster (remove whats too much) and the colony will keep them out.

Bees are no stupid you know Wink if we stop enlarging their hive body and we keep it around 40-60 litres all year around bees will not have much issues with the SHB. But we like to super for our gain dont we now Wink

The only thing I treat is the environment; being an activist, starting an organic small scale farm based on biodiversity. As someone once said "No flowers, no bees! This ain't rocket science!"

BBC you and I have completely opposing perspective thats all and thats fine Smile humans have always been that way, having opposing views. Everyone to its own. Peace.
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Dexter's shed
Scout Bee


Joined: 16 May 2014
Posts: 307
Location: Grays, Essex, UK

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BBC wrote:
what would you do if you discovered AFB in one of your hives ? Would you destroy it, (as the law requires, here in Britain) or would you allow that hive to continue to exist in the hope that nature might find it's own cure in time, and risk decimating the Nation's entire stock of honey bees in the process ?



but what if you were not looking for it in the first place? and therefore didn't know it was there, would as you put it, still be committing a crime ?

surely treating anything with chemicals stops the host from being immune to it

as a for instance, I'm a pest controller, poison should only be used as a last result, but some areas chuck it down like there's no tomorrow, resulting in rats and mice that are immune to poison that would normally kill a cow, so more potent and harmful poisons need to be used to try and control and infestation that had it been handled correctly in the first place, would not be out of control.

are some bee keepers like this ?? at the first sign of trouble are they grabbing whatever is on the market to douce their bees in, just because joe blogg's up the road uses it and said it's good stuff, rather than taking a step back and thinking, lets see how the bees manage it first
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1051
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dexter's shed wrote:


are some bee keepers like this ?? at the first sign of trouble are they grabbing whatever is on the market to douce their bees in, just because joe blogg's up the road uses it and said it's good stuff, rather than taking a step back and thinking, lets see how the bees manage it first


Sadly, yes, some beekeepers will dump into their hives whatever is in fashion this year, be it Apistan, thymol, formic acid, oxalic acid or whatever someone else suggests.

What they too often do not consider is the effect their chosen 'treatment' may have on the incredibly delicate fermentation processes that permeate the colony, especially the making of 'bee bread' - a lactic acid fermentation - and the enzyme-promoted fermentation of nectar into honey. There are also vital processes happening inside the bees' gut, which can easily be upset, leading to reduced lifespan and immune system deficiencies.

We need to find ways of encouraging and enabling natural solutions to the parasite issue, and stop looking for yet more ways to kill them.
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Dexter's shed
Scout Bee


Joined: 16 May 2014
Posts: 307
Location: Grays, Essex, UK

PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Phil.... reassuring that I'm not mad
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