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My IPM

 
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Norm
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Joined: 15 Jun 2007
Posts: 2974
Location: UK in winter, Sweden in summer

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:00 pm    Post subject: My IPM Reply with quote

My IPM

With the knowledge that, left untreated, varroa numbers more or less double every month, my Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system to control Varroa Destructor comprises of:-

Small cell, well natural cell really but my starter strips are now either all plain or 4.9mm.
Quote:
8 hours shorter capping time halves the number of Varroa infesting a brood cell.
8 hours shorter post capping time halves the number of offspring of a Varroa in the brood cell.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnaturalcell.htm

Open Mesh Floor (OMF), the natural fall of varroa allows them to be trapped on a sticky board so that they cannot re-mount another bee.

Genetics, or bee selection, by only breeding from bees that are managing their varroa hygenically i.e. by grooming themselves or other bees. I have heard of a beekeeper near me in Sweden who claims he has very little varroa compared to other beekeepers here. It is my goal to get some genetic material from him, either a nuc or a queen.
Quote:
Breeding programmes in many countries are aiming to select and develop bees that are
more tolerant of varroa. These bees may either be able to naturally maintain better control
over the mite population, or may be more tolerant to the presence of the mites and their
associated pathogens.

http://beebase.csl.gov.uk/pdfs/managing_varroa.pdf


Drone Culling. By doing monthly full comb drone brood culling from May through to August, many varroa are removed never to breed(about 90% of all non phoretic mites are captured). I will be inserting a Top bar with drone foundation as a starter strip in April postioned at the edge of the brood nest. They will cap honey at the top and fill the rest of the comb with capped drone brood 4 weeks later. Cut off capped drone cells below the honey and replace immediately. Repeat in 1 month.
Quote:
1. A full comb removed monthly will generally keep mite levels below threshold.

2. Two full combs would be even better.

3. Two combs, alternately removed every other week, would likely be best.

4. Do not forget to remove the combs at 4 weeks, or you’ll be breeding mites!

http://www.scientificbeekeeping.com//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=40&limit=1&limitstart=3

Sugar dusting. Although I consider this very disruptive to the bees, I have developed a non intrusive method of dusting them in a TBH. Do this at the same time as the Drone culling. It is said that approx 30% of phoretic varroa are knocked down through the OMF within 1 hour. By counting these mites after one hour of dusting, you get a rough estimate of the phoretic mites in your colony.
http://www.scientificbeekeeping.com//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=40&limit=1&limitstart=6

Probably none of these methods alone are sufficient to control varroa sustainably but each component has a compound effect on the numbers of varroa and the cumulative effect of each is hopefully enough to keep mite numbers to a tolerable level without resorting to using chemicals within the hive. I have the timing worked out for Sweden but I am going to have to study it a bit more for Spain!


Last edited by Norm on Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:07 am; edited 3 times in total
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biobee
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Joined: 14 Jun 2007
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Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That seems comprehensive and sensible to me.

The only item I differ on is drone culling, which I only carry out if I suspect that other methods may not be enough for a particular colony. As a general principle, I like to let the bees decide how many drones they need, but I also appreciate that varroa tend to be attracted to drone cells - possibly because of their size, and possibly because they are generally on the outer (cooler) edges of the comb.
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Norm
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Joined: 15 Jun 2007
Posts: 2974
Location: UK in winter, Sweden in summer

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

biobee wrote:
...The only item I differ on is drone culling, which I only carry out if I suspect that other methods may not be enough for a particular colony. As a general principle, I like to let the bees decide how many drones they need, but I also appreciate that varroa tend to be attracted to drone cells - possibly because of their size, and possibly because they are generally on the outer (cooler) edges of the comb.


After quite a bit of study, and here the beebase pdf is very informative, I find that Drone culling is VERY effective in reducing mite numbers whilst other methods are only marginally effective.
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biobee
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting - I am willing to be persuaded. Do you have any citations I could read up?
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Norm
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Joined: 15 Jun 2007
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Location: UK in winter, Sweden in summer

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:44 pm    Post subject: drone culling Reply with quote

biobee wrote:
Interesting - I am willing to be persuaded. Do you have any citations I could read up?


Phil,

start by looking up fig 49 in:-

http://beebase.csl.gov.uk/pdfs/managing_varroa.pdf

The colouring block of the method of Drone Brood removal is on a par with chemical miticide in effectiveness.

Quote:
In this context, light control means using biotechnical methods or varroacides that have a relatively low efficacy and therefore have a fairly limited effect on the mite population. Effective control means using varroacides or biotechnical methods that are very effective and greatly reduce the mite population.
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gunther
Foraging Bee


Joined: 23 Jul 2008
Posts: 133
Location: UK, Devon

PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi everybody
my first steps for varroa control were:
1. made entrance slot 5" off the floor, inserted greased paper, counted 6 mites/24h.
2. 1 tray of apiguard for 4 weeks
regardless of mite count i will dribble with 3.5 % oxalic solution end of december(hope this is broodless time )
next may i want to smoke down queen, remove brood box (after letting nurse bees letting climb back through queenexcluder), let them breed emergency queen. treat with oxalic once broodless. if they are not happy with new emergency queen, let them supersede her.
original colony also gets oxalic treatment once broodbox removed.
then in august thymol again, or maybe 1ml wintergreen oil in syrup, then winter treatment with oxalic again.
how does that sound?
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Norm
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Joined: 15 Jun 2007
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Location: UK in winter, Sweden in summer

PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IMO too dependant on chemicals! Natural chemicals maybe but I feel we should be trying to wean our bees off these and to select for mite tolerant bees. Even though you will probably keep your colonies healthy and comparitively mite free, the continued use of these acids will eventually have a weakening effect.
The only reasonon I may be going to trickle oxalic late this year is because I have only just got them. I dont yet know their mite loading. In the next few weeks, I will be doing some mite monitoring and if I find the mite level quite low, I wont be trickling oxalic. Next year, I will be following the procedures outlined above from May till August then just sugar dust later. I will certainly not be using any of these compounds thereafter. Any bees who cannot survive with this IPM are not worth keeping anyway. Here the genetic component comes into play.
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gunther
Foraging Bee


Joined: 23 Jul 2008
Posts: 133
Location: UK, Devon

PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

very much appreciate your honest opinion. in the past i have only used apivar, so using soft chemicals is a step forward for me at the moment. my british national is now growing into warre size boxes, instead of drone brood cutting, i want to use warre's pioneering method, only next year i would use the brood for increase, a lot will depend on the mite count i guess. i do have:
natural comb
varroa floor( see hollow tree hive)
pioneering method before main flow, which on its own might garantee survival.
only if the mite count would suggest reinfestation in autumn, would i have to fall back to winter treatment with oxalic.
the wintergreen oil in syrup might be a very gentle alternative(no opening hive in winter)

cheers gunther
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Gary
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree 100% with you Norm and would like to add this IPM method used in conjunction with seasonal comb size monitoring and culling are exactly the combination needed to get colonies to a SELF sustainable status where concernes such as Phil's in relation to Drone comb culling can also be satisified!!!!!
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Norm
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Joined: 15 Jun 2007
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Location: UK in winter, Sweden in summer

PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking back at some of the older posts, I realize that I need to update this thread. I have now decided to adopt the 'Live and let Die' policy mentioned by Bernhard in other threads. Basically for two reasons:-

First I have always felt that beekeepers interfere too much in the lives of the bees and that anything we do in the end is counter productive. The Live and let Die thing really struck a chord with me and I think that perhaps bees have it within themselves to overcome any and all problems they may face if they are just left to get on with it. Look at surviving feral colonies for example. I know that is not very scientific and perhaps people may think that this is a case of hope rather than reality but I do believe it. There are now many reports of bees being kept untreated for several years in various parts of the world. I know I am going to have losses and I am prepared for them but with swarms and splits these can be easily made up for.

The second reason is more mundane and is because of my chosen lifestyle of spending half my time in different parts of Europe. Leaving bees for 6 months at a time in both Spain and Sweden necessitates a different approach. I have to leave a full set of top bars allowing the bees to expand and contract their brood nest as they require without me constricting them with divider boards. My 35mm top bars throughout the hive will be used both for brood and honey storage so allowing them sufficient space means they can move honey stores accordingly.

Will it all work out in the long run? I hope so and so far I am having some success, keeping bees without treatments, not even sugar dusting, not opening the hives but a few times in the year, yet getting some honey and wax. As long as I have bees without buying in new stock and get some kind of return, I think I can call it a success!
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Gareth
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Joined: 29 Oct 2008
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Location: UK, England, Cotswolds

PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Norm wrote:
The second reason is more mundane and is because of my chosen lifestyle


In my view, this is not a mundane reason. If we are to live with our bees, how we live is an important consideration. I suspect it is one that underpins a lot of our beekeeping decisions and philosophy but often goes unacknowledged.
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Gary
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Norm wrote:
The Live and let Die thing really struck a chord with me and I think that perhaps bees have it within themselves to overcome any and all problems they may face if they are just left to get on with it. Look at surviving feral colonies for example. I know that is not very scientific and perhaps people may think that this is a case of hope rather than reality but I do believe it.


If you do look at surviving feral colonies keep in mind they have the advantage of a natural nest that bees from packages will not have as bees fresh off foundation usually build something between foundation and natural comb.

Quote:
There are now many reports of bees being kept untreated for several years in various parts of the world.


Sure, but how did they get to a sustainable status prior to surviving untreated?

Quote:
I know I am going to have losses and I am prepared for them but with swarms and splits these can be easily made up for.


As long as losses in any one season are not 100%

Quote:
Will it all work out in the long run? I hope so and so far I am having some success, keeping bees without treatments, not even sugar dusting, not opening the hives but a few times in the year, yet getting some honey and wax. As long as I have bees without buying in new stock and get some kind of return, I think I can call it a success!



Good Luck! consider yourself a lucky man as much as i would love to do it that way it just does not work in my parts.
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DavesBees
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Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Posts: 564
Location: USA, Maine, Bucksport

PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Norm,
My heart sank a little when I read the first post in this thread. While I have the deepest respect for the heavy hitters in this thread, I felt like my education took a step backwards. I actually found this site while searching for info on Langstroth hives. Most of what I think I know came from you folks. While I’m sure some would think of me as a bee slayer for my do nothing approach… that is exactly what I intend to do. I went from 0-5 Chandler hives this first year and have given them some sugar, but that is it. I have never smoked or squirted them with anything and they seem to appreciate it as I have rarely been stung. I have a booming bee tree on my property that is safe until the tree falls, I’ll not touch them. I think the true measure of success will come in the spring and be the responsibility of the bees not me. The bees know what is best for bees and the only time they speak to me is when they are drilling me with a stinger. So Norm I’m with you buddy and all who are willing to try “live and let die”. With all that said I also hold in high regard the rest of the beekeepers that are exploring all methods of natural and more natural beekeeping. Keep up the good work.
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bridget
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Joined: 23 May 2008
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Location: new zealand

PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi. All very interesting. I would like to know more about the 'live and let die' approach, as it has always been difficult for me to decide the level of help (interference?) to give to weakening colonies. As bee 'keepers' aren't we responsible to keep our bees alive? If they are in the wild then it really is up to them, but if we 'keep' them and harvest honey from them then aren't we responsible? On the other hand should we keep a colony alive that would surely die in the wild? I don't know, but would like to think more on this topic. Can someone tell me where I might find the Bernhard thread that Norm refers to (or any other threads on this topic) ?
Thanks
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Norm
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Joined: 15 Jun 2007
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Location: UK in winter, Sweden in summer

PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bridget,

Bernhard has mentioned the policy now and agin on various threads all of which I cannot put my finger on so I hope he will be along and point them out.

I think this article written by Bernhard sums it up to a certain extent.
http://www.selbstversorgerforum.de/bienen/sustainable_beekeeping.pdf
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zaunreiter
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Joined: 26 Nov 2007
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Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bridget,

read the message from Africa:

http://www.biobees.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4188

I think it says all.

Bernhard
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zaunreiter
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is what happens to mite when getting dusted with powder sugar:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=funSTZOydok
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Che Guebuddha
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Joined: 31 Jan 2012
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Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An interesting old thread indeed Smile

Quote:
As bee 'keepers' aren't we responsible to keep our bees alive?


Maybe a bit OT but I'll add my few euros to it Wink

You call the person who works with bees or owns a hive a " Bee Keeper" while in Sweden such person is called a Biodlare which means a Bee Grower (meaning Breeder).
So no one in Sweden Keeps bees but Breeds them. "Keeper" is a very heavy word I suggest you start be a Breeder instead it gives you wings Smile no more heavy morality issues Smile ... (keeper ... guardian .. nah Wink Breeder feels smooth).
What responsability do we have as a Keeper and what as a Breeder?

What Im trying to say is that we often than not get cought up into our own (local) cultural conditioning and take it for granted. What means one thing in one country means totally different in another.
What Im trying to say is that intelectual is not always actual Smile

I feel Drone Culling is OUT of question in my practice.
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Che Guebuddha
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to add to my post above, this is actually very interesting Smile

Portugese - cultivador de abelhas - cultivator of bees
Afrikaans - byeboer - bee farmer
Italian - Apicoltore - Api Farmer
French - éleveur d'abeilles - farmer of bees
German - Bienenzüchter - Bee Breeder

Finish is a bit strange a must say - mehiläishoitaja - Bee Nurse (are the bees sick)
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zaunreiter
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In German a beekeeper is called "Imker". Not Bienenzüchter. That is an old term, not in use anymore.

But Imker is even more strange. The first part comes from the old word for bees: Immen. (Im-). The second part "-ker" actually means hive. So Imker means beehive or bee container or having bees. Sort of. I think the meaning is: someone, who "has bees".

Pretty amazing. I love to learn the meanings and history of words.

Bernhard
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Che Guebuddha
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bridget wrote:
I would like to know more about the 'live and let die' approach, as it has always been difficult for me to decide the level of help (interference?) to give to weakening colonies. As bee 'keepers' aren't we responsible to keep our bees alive?


I know this is an old thread and that Barbara and others have very likely read about John Kefuss Soft Bond Method (live and let die) but since this is a Sticky I find it importnat to link to this link Smile
http://survivorstockqueens.org/John%20Kefuss%20Keeping%20Bees%20That%20Keep%20Themselves.pdf

Cheers
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CharlieBnoobee
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Che Guebuddha wrote:
An interesting old thread indeed Smile

Quote:
As bee 'keepers' aren't we responsible to keep our bees alive?


Maybe a bit OT but I'll add my few euros to it Wink
What Im trying to say is that we often than not get cought up into our own (local) cultural conditioning and take it for granted. What means one thing in one country means totally different in another.


I agree entirely! And while, on the one hand, what you're saying is in fact OT, the basic concept is pertinent to so much of what we do and think and believe. This is particularly the case when the exchanges of ideas involve the speakers and members of a wide variety of languages and cultures such as we have here.

Required reading for you and Bernhard:

Language, Thought and Reality by Benjamin Lee Whorf.
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