Mite Control & Water Source Questions

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by 40 Acre Bees, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. 40 Acre Bees

    40 Acre Bees New Member

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    We probably will have to start thinking about adding our second brood box shortly on one of our hives, but we are unsure if this is the right time to add the green drone frame which we hope will help us with mite control.

    Second question is with regards to water. We have a small river which is approx. 250-300 feet from our hives, and a swamp about the same distance in the other direction, we are hoping these are suitable water sources, as we don't want to get into the practice of supplying them water.

    Any opinions greatly appreciated
     
  2. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    How much of the first box has drawn out comb? When about 80% drawn, add second box.
    Unless the river and swamp both dry up, you don't need to worry about the water supply.
     

  3. 40 Acre Bees

    40 Acre Bees New Member

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    I realize that at about 80% you add the second box, but when I add the second box is this the right time to add the green drone frame, in the second box, or do I put that frame in later in the season. Thanks
     
  4. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    Put it in when you add the next deep.
     
  5. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    Being a first year hive started from a package I wouldnt worry about mites. I would concentrate on getting them built up and the queen laying plenty of worker brood. It is usually the hives 2nd year when mites can get the hive in trouble. If you was to add the drone frames I would do so after 3 or 4 frames are drawn in the 2nd deep. However I have never used drone frames for mite control someone with experience with drone frames will chime in with advise soon.
     
  6. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    The water sources are fine.

    Like the rat said, no worry about the mites the first year. Add the drone frame next June.
     
  7. 40 Acre Bees

    40 Acre Bees New Member

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    This is a good thing, if we don't have to worry till next year - but would it make a difference because we started from nucs and not a package?
     
  8. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Not enough of a difference to matter.
    A mite check in Aug. would tell you for sure.
     
  9. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    "Being a first year hive started from a package I wouldnt worry about mites"

    I operated on that principle starting out last year and ended up with quite a mite problem this spring. I'd say after you take your honey off at the end of the summer do a proper mite check and decide if you need to do a fall treatment or not. I really wish I'd treated in the fall. I just started using the drone frames. It takes the bees quite a bit of energy to draw out the frame and raise the drones. you need a strong hive to do that. For now let them devote their energies toward raising workers and drawing comb.
     
  10. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Hey 40 Acre Bees:

    While you got your bees as a nuc, if I'm not mistaken they started out as packages from Australia.
    I am of the opinion that knowing your mite levels is more reassuring than assuming.
    It is probably a bit early to put in your drone comb, but when you hit a good flow, slip them in (once the second deep is on).
     
  11. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

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    They'll pick the dirtiest water source or so it seems at my place. I have a crystal clear pond about a 100 yards from the hives and I've yet to see a bee on the clear pond water. I have a dirty, overgrown, needs to be filled in, much smaller pond about the same distance in the opposite direction and the bees use it all the time.


    ​Go figure.
     
  12. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    pistolpete~
    I operated on that principle starting out last year and ended up with quite a mite problem this spring. I'd say after you take your honey off at the end of the summer do a proper mite check and decide if you need to do a fall treatment or not. I really wish I'd treated in the fall.

    just a comment on 'fall' varroa treatment, what you use and when it is applied. keep in mind, many varroa treatments disrupt normal hive activities (brood rearing for one), so read the potential effects to the hive when treating. it's important to treat early enough so the colony has time to build up their winter bee population before cold weather sets in.
     
  13. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Like Iddee and pistolpete say, check for mites. And be prepared to give any necessary treatment. Don't assume that the mites won't build up till next year.
    When you make your regular inspections, if you find some drone cells developing anywhere on the frames, open up a few and look inside to see if you find any mites inside. It'e easy enough to see the dark spots (mites) on the developing drones, especially if they are still young and white.
    Listen to Riverbee's comment about the possible effects of different treatments, but keep in mind that without treatment when needed, you could soon be without bees.