Hive loss's

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by rast, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. rast

    rast New Member

    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It's been a poor year for me in my micro climate. Very poor flow this year, too cold and dry. Been in a dearth for over a month now. Left what the bees made for them.
    Now mites and whatever diseases they infect the bees with to weaken them. Lost at least 30% so far and climbing. Even some of my April nucs that were up to 6 frames. I treated with Apiguard in Sept. I've never treated in the spring. I am treating now even though it's a little hot for it. Lots and lots of dead mites mites on the bottom board slides. Never had them like this before.
    I knew they quit drone laying early but put that down to a poor flow, now that is another external sign I will watch for in the future.
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hang in there Rast. I have never treated in the spring either and have been lucky (so far).
     

  3. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

    Messages:
    840
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I haven't learned to get a mite treatment into my hives in the Spring yet either. Even tho I know I should. Think about it. If you have a low number of mites in your colonies in Feb. or March and you cut their numbers down by 50%, that's alot better than doing so in Sept. when you have exponentially way more mites.

    50% of 100, compared to 50% of 10,000?

    I wish I knew better about the population arcs of honeybees in comparison to the population arcs of varroa mites. Seems I heard one time that the mites start out slowly, letting the bees build up to their apex for the year, and then, once the bees start on the downward part of their arc, the varroa is blooming into the greatest number of mites for the year. Not that their is any intent or planning on eithers part. It's just a natural occurance.

    So, anything we can do to interrupt the varroa in their annual growth pattern is going to be a good thing.

    rast, maybe next spring, you should get an early mite treatment into your hives, or, at least do some drone comb smushing to throw the varroa off schedule somewhat. Just find the drone comb and scratch the caps or actuall smash down on the brood so the adults will clean out the pupae.
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I am hearing more and more about dead hives after using miteaway 2. I am beginning to wonder if it is really the silver bullet it was thought to be. Several people have reported their hives died after treatment with it.

    I think there are enough resistant strains of bees being offered now that requeening with one or more of them may be a better idea than treating the "puppy mill" queens the large breeders are producing.
     
  5. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I see a lot of merit in what Mark suggests. I think most of us hold off treatment in spring because of the time it must stop before supers are added (other reasons I'm sure).
    Iddee, are you talking about miteaway II pads, or the new miteaway quick strips? We are not approved for use in Canada (quick strips) but I have heard rumblings along the line of what you suggest in regards to them.
     
  6. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Quick strips. A local dealer said every one he sold to reported back with dead hives.He won't sell any more of them.
     
  7. rast

    rast New Member

    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for the "heads up".
    The apiguard is working right now. Prior to it I was using oxalic vapor, but so time consuming and a pain.
    I think Mark has it nailed on the cycle.
    Perrybee hit the nail on the head as to why I haven't spring treated. The month long treatment time factor before supers have to be on during buildup.
    Anyway, let's blame it on Jack :D (brooksbeefarm). If he had posted his secret spray formula earlier in the year, I might have tried it :D .
     
  8. rast

    rast New Member

    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Oh Yeah Perrybee, I have my moment's. But I'll hang in there. Matter of fact I am currently working on a landowner :beg: for a gallberry out yard for next year. I may have to break down and buy some cells from Miksa. Or worse yet, laying queens ($ :cry: ).
     
  9. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

    Messages:
    840
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    rast, old buddy,
    when do you first start working your hives, early February? Are temps not good for the type of mite control you like to use? If you could treat w/ something before you even do anything except find out which ones are still alive, seems like that would give you a pretty good window.

    There are a number of materials that one can use. Apistan and Checkmite still are effective, to a greater or lesser degree. Whether one wishes to use them or not.

    75 to 90 percent of mites killed by any particular treatment are killed in the first 24 hours. So, what if one put the strip of choice in their hives for 24 hours and then retrieved them and stored them for future use? I bet that would be effective to some degree. Whether economically so or not, I don't know. Just cogitating.
     
  10. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Rast, contact Larry Tate on this forum and get a couple of "Wayne's bees" queens. Get them set up in nucs and raise some fall queens with them.If they don't survive without treatment, and die from mites, I'll reimburse your money for the queens.
     
  11. rast

    rast New Member

    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for the cogitating Mark. Build up starts in late Dec. with red maple and swamp willow depending on freezes. That's why the migratory commercials want in the lowland area's here. I started steady syrup late Dec. this year, patties in Jan. and had mostly pretty decent hives going into citrus. Hives need to be on citrus by late Feb. Bloomed early and short this year. Bloom fell of in 2 days. Next was blackberry and it was too dry. 1-3 frames per hive average. Then "some" wildflower and that's when the laying started to slow and I think the mites started to "overcome" them. I even grafted eggs out of a couple of hives I lost in early April.
     
  12. rast

    rast New Member

    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I thought of that IDDEE.
     
  13. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

    Messages:
    840
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    How do you monitor mite loads or do you? I don't really.
     
  14. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    mark writes:
    I wish I knew better about the population arcs of honeybees in comparison to the population arcs of varroa mites.

    tecumseh:
    the one or two graph I have seen suggest that the growth curve of the varroa follows along pretty close;y to the growth curve of a hive until the population of the hive peaks then the mite continue to grow while the brood numbers in the hive declines. thus the existing population of mites must resort to preying on less and less brood. I suspect if brood number were not declining and most especially if drones numbers were not dropping at the same time the economic effect of infestation would be somewhat minimized. I suspect this is largely why some folks think out growing the varroa is one solution to the problem <I would also suggest this may be why rast sees varroa infestation at a more severe rate this year as compared to past years.

    there are certain simply economic rules* to when you should treat. the basic idea is to treat when the varroa number are increasing at a decreasing rate. this follow with some basic micro economic logic which is... while the mites are increasing at an increasing rate (positive slope and increasing at the margin) their numbers are small and their total damage limited by lack of numbers, while increasing at a decreasing rate (positive slope but decreasing slope of margin) give you the opportunity to knock back the maximum number before you achieve a peak in population (negative slope decreasing at a decreasing rate) where by the damage is done and nothing can be reasonable done anyway.

    *this simple idea is that any growth curve can quite simply be broken down into three easily recognized part... the earliest stages of the growth curve the population is small but increasing at an increasing rate, the middle part where growth (population is significant but still growing) is still positive and the slope of the curve is decreasing steadily and the negative part of the growth curve when the population has peaked and the population is steadily declining.
     
  15. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

    Messages:
    840
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Actual illustrations would be nice, tec. Thanks.

    Yer statistical analysis education is showing. Which is a good thing.
     
  16. crackerbee

    crackerbee New Member

    Messages:
    554
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  17. rast

    rast New Member

    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Spray some cooking oil on a slide, put it in the bottom board and look at it the next day. No counting mites per square. Random number of hives. Usually late summer.
    The problem I have found with that is that the hives I have with "hygienic" queens will drop as many or more mites than the mutts.
     
  18. crackerbee

    crackerbee New Member

    Messages:
    554
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Rast I guess this says a lot regarding geographical location even just 50 miles or less apart and you're in dearth and I've got pollen and nectar pouring in the door.It never ceases to amaze me that such a short distance is so different.
     
  19. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

    Messages:
    840
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    rast, I think you need a more consistant sampling technique. What you get w/ your technique is what you pointed out, variablity caused by hygenic stock. By what you noted one would easily assume that those hygenic hives have more mites, which ain't necassarily so.

    I suggest that you do ether rolls, using a pint jar for the ether roll, a deep plastic pan and a measuring cup. Go into your hive. Find the frame you wish to sample from. One from the brood chamber w/ capped brood, lots of bees and no queen on it. Right?

    Shake the bees into the deep pan. Scoop a measured amount of bees from the pan. Dump them into the jar. Spray a short spray of starting ether into the jar. Slap on the cap and, holding the jar by the cap end, shake back and forth to the count of 50 or so. Stop. The bees will fall to the cap end of the jar.

    Open the cap and throw out the bees. Then examine the walls of the jar. Count the mites on the walls of the jar.

    Consistency is the key to a good understanding of what is going on in your hives. Always sample from the same area. Always measure the same volume of bees. You may also wish to always sample the same hives, if you sample hives regularly. W/ a randomly selected one every now and then to test the procedure and the analysis.

    By the way, I don't do this w/ my own hives. Though I used to do it w/ other people hives when I did Apiary Inspection. But we didn't use the pan and the measuring cup. We just scooped bees off of the comb right into the jar. I don't know if that is a very consistent measured sample. But we weren't really comparing yds under the same management.

    Good hunting. Sold many boats lately? Or is the economy to poor still?
     
  20. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    crackerbee writes:
    Tec is there a simple version of this you can post?

    tecumseh:
    the first thing I would like to suggest is that Mark is absolutely correct that first you need to get to is some reliable method of monitoring. I personally find all that stuff a bit much but I also determined from reading that each and every testing method has an potentially large error factor so I decided that plucking drones worked pretty well and required no specialized stuff. that works for me. next I would suggest you think about when might be good reason's to treat and consider alternative routes for administering some treatment. I am pretty much treatment less (whatever that means) so most of my concern about varroa at this time is more investigative and actually doing nothing. I have thought that some northern bee keepers might have to monitor and treat just to insure winter survival numbers.

    simple answer to crackerbee's quest. sounds like the context for another thread.