Please support Friends of the Bees to keep this forum free to use.

Natural Beekeeping International Forum
low-cost, low-impact, balanced beekeeping for everyone

 Forum FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileYour Profile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Please Read The Rules before posting.



(country selected automatically - UK/USA/CA/AU)
Chemically treated hive going natural

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    beekeeping forum -> Beginners start here
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
saskclaud
New Bee


Joined: 12 Apr 2014
Posts: 3
Location: Bristol, UK

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 7:15 pm    Post subject: Chemically treated hive going natural Reply with quote

Hello,

I have a friend who has been given some bees. They have just been treated with one of the aweful chemicals for varroa. This friend would like to go natural, and not use any chemicals. I'm worried that because these bees have already been treated, the varroa will drastically rise as a result of the weekened bees and strengthened varroa if not ever treated again. Can anyone suggest any additional steps to limit the increase in varroa from an already treated hive please?

Thanks so much,

Heather
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1581
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Heather and welcome

Firstly, if these bees have just been treated then at least they should be ok as regards varroa until at least next year.
I think it is important not to get too entrenched in the idea that all chemicals are bad. Whilst we try to move away from using them on this forum and find more natural alternatives, there are respected members here who still use them and to be honest, the whole world is made up of chemicals, so it really just depends on what level of treatment you are comfortable with.

I would imagine that most if not all of the bees we ALL own have originated from colonies that have been treated with miticides at some time or another (I certainly used to treat my own hives with them when varroa first arrived in the UK and I'm very doubtful that they would have survived if I had not, so I would encourage you not to be so radical in your views on them.

That said, I am currently starting my 6th year treatment free, although sadly I am going to see some losses this winter..... it seems that it has been a bad year for varroa.

Anyway, my advice would be to let them swarm next season (there is a thread somewhere on the forum about using a Russian Psion to lure/catch swarms) as having a brood break in the spring/summer is really important for the bees to help regulate the build up of varroa. Also, it will hopefully mean that your friend will go into winter next year with 2 colonies. In my experience young colonies from swarms can go a couple of years treatment free without too much difficulty, if allowed to swarm themselves the following season.

There are also various methods and more natural chemicals which can be used instead of the manufactured miticides, but in my opinion it is important to only treat the bees if and when the varroa mites are approaching a critical level, rather than doing it routinely. Some of the management methods like sugar dusting and shook swarm, seem like good "natural" options, but in fact are pretty disruptive and intrusive to the bees and I think the time of year is an important factor in using such techniques. I am reading good reports of using oxalic acid vapour, but I have not tried it myself and safety precautions need to be taken as it is hazardous stuff for people.

I am currently leaning towards a treatment free, live and let die approach but watching a hive in terminal decline is not a happy experience, so I may change my mind next year. Having done a shook swarm on a colony which had problems in August but has shown no signs of picking up, despite a mild autumn and lots of feeding, I would rather they died by their own hand than by mine, so to speak.

Hence, my caution not to be too entrenched in one idea or course of action or totally opposed to another. There is no right or wrong way, just what is best for you and your bees.

Best of luck to you and your friend and her bees.

Regards

Barbara
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Paul Reyes
Nurse Bee


Joined: 14 Aug 2014
Posts: 26
Location: Scottsdale, AZ, USA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice post Barbara, Thanks for the information.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    beekeeping forum -> Beginners start here All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

SPECIAL OFFER FOR UK FORUM MEMBERS - Buy your protective clothing here and get a special 15% discount! (use the code BAREFOOTBEEKEEPER at checkout and be sure to 'update basket')



Are the big energy companies bleeding you dry?


Is way too much of your hard-earned family income going up in smoke?

Are you worried about what could happen if the ageing grid system fails?

You need to watch this short video NOW to find out how YOU can cut your energy bills TO THE BONE within 30 days!

WATCH THE VIDEO NOW



(country selected automatically - UK/USA/CA/AU)

Conserving wild bees

Research suggests that bumble bee boxes have a very low success rate in actually attracting bees into them. We find that if you create an environment where first of all you can attract mice inside, such as a pile of stones, a drystone wall, paving slabs with intentionally made cavities underneath, this will increase the success rate.

Most bumble bee species need a dry space about the size a football, with a narrow entrance tunnel approximately 2cm in diameter and 20 cm long. Most species nest underground along the base of a linear feature such as a hedge or wall. Sites need to be sheltered and out of direct sunlight.

There is a spectacular display of wild bee hotels here

More about bumblebees and solitary bees here

Information about the Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum)

Barefoot Beekeeper Podcast



Now available from Lulu.com


Now available from Lulu.com


Now available from Lulu.com


4th Edition paperback now available from Lulu.com

See beekeeping books for details and links to ebook versions.
site map
php. BB © 2001, 2005 php. BB Group

View topic - Chemically treated hive going natural - Natural Beekeeping Network Forum