Our experiment

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Mama Beek, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    I've tried until I feel like I'm going blind but I haven't been able to find any information anywhere about using colloidal silver to help bees with any type of illness. My husband makes it for our use and it is a wonderful tool for our family so I was curious about the bees.

    Last week (don't remember which day, have to ask Baby) we got into the hives and found 2 that looked pretty bad, both of them had looked really good the week before so we were concerned since usually things that happen suddenly are worse than a gradual onset. The population was way down, one was clearly queenless, and the brood was dead/dying in several frames. We also saw bees with very deformed shriveled wings.

    The first hive (we'll call it A) had gone from having a beautiful queen with an excellent laying pattern to queenless with a severely diminished population. They had some stores and still had a couple frames of brood that looked healthy. I argued with myself for awhile over whether or not it was worth trying to save because the population had decreased so much. We decided to steal a couple of queen cells (ended up using 3) from a hive that is requeening now and put them in the hive. Then because the situation looked so bad and we really didn't have much to lose by trying it we made a jar of syrup and added some colloidal silver and peppermint oil.

    The second hive (B) still has a laying queen but has all the same symptoms as A does but to a much lesser extent. We gave them syrup as well but instead of adding the silver to the syrup we simply sprayed a silver/syrup mixture onto the bees and equipment while we worked.

    There is a third hive that is a split from the first one that isn't showing any symptoms so they are being watched very very closely.

    I'll keep y'all posted as we watch to see what (if any) effect the silver has on the situation. I just thought it was worth trying.
     
  2. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    Sounds like you had a hive swarm on ya.
    What is colloidal silver? What is it used for in humans?
    Is it really silver? If yes, sounds kind of expensive.
     

  3. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    deformed shriveled wings sounds like you bee got parasitic mite syndrome. Caused by a heavy varroa mite load. It will cause a hive to crash quickly
     
  4. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I agree with RR, check for heavy mite loads this will cause deformed wing virus (DWV).
     
  5. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    Mark, colloidal silver is a natural antibiotic, antifungal and antiviral. If we were going out and buying it then it would be VERY pricey, but my husband made a great little generator and makes it by the quart for pennies. Until the more modern antibiotics came out colloidal silver was given by doctors. It is still used in various forms in medicine and is extremely effective.

    http://www.silvermedicine.org/scientificstudies.html
    http://www.tuberose.com/Colloidal_Silver.html
    http://www.naturalnews.com/010038.html
    http://www.wishgranted.com/Colloidal_Si ... istory.htm

    There are of course plenty of folks who put up quite the fuss and claim that it is dangerous.... but then those are always the same people who would never argue the point if it was sold by a pharmaceutical company instead of made at home. There are also a few cases of people turning a blueish hue, but it is because they were abusing a silver product that was improperly made by taking an excessively large amount.

    I'll leave each person to make their own decisions because that's what I believe is right. I'm not here pushing colloidal silver but I did think that since there are a great many people (and their critters) benefiting from the use of it that surely someone other than me was curious about it's effectiveness for the honeybee. The bottom line is that it can't hurt the bees so I'm willing to try it and see if it helps them :)

    RR & G3, we know that this is usually attributed to a heavy mite load and we are trying to find out how this happened considering that we have always had an unusually low mite count in the hive that is the worst off. Some of the articles and such that I've read indicate that it may not necessarily be the number of mites, but the bacteria and viruses that they can carry.... like ticks and lyme disease. At any rate we are doing a sugar shake (in just awhile) and will consider the best course of action for the mites. Thanks so much for your thoughts though, me and Baby both have spent nearly a week second guessing ourselves at every turn!
     
  6. certaut

    certaut New Member

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  7. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    Well, after a sugar shake on hive A and hive B I'm even more stumped than I ever was about whether the cause is the mites themselves or something that they carry. Hive A is the hive that's in the worst condition..... we got ONE mite from the jar for that hive. Hive B had 43 :(

    Both hives are on the same equipment, sit side by side on the stand, and are bees split from the same hive last spring. I reckon that it's possible that the mite population exploded as the brood increased but why only in 1 hive and 2 are sick? :dontknow:

    We don't want to use chemicals, are afraid to take long to order something and wait for it to be delivered, and are not wanting these hives to crash completely. We are considering going out first thing tomorrow (our mornings start later than most folks since our day don't end until your morning starts) and dusting the hives with powdered sugar and a board on the bottom board to catch the junk.... we'll burn it all tomorrow afternoon. Then Friday either doing another sugar shake and/or fogging with FGMO and thymol and repeating as needed until fall.

    My concern with the sugar dusting is that it's supposed to be somewhere between 101 and 103 degrees here tomorrow and I don't want the bees to be hurting worse than they already are. I need information and I have tons of questions.....but I am running on about an hour and a half of sleep each night this week and my poor little brain gets about half way through a sentence and gets stuck!

    What are the risks with the FGMO & thymol fogging? With the symptoms that the bees have will simply cutting the mite population down decrease the problems or will the hives continue to crash? Is there something else that we need to do right now that I'm not thinking of..... except all the yucky chemical junk that I really wouldn't want my kids handling? Isn't it awful early for the mite population boom? Am I wrong to want to requeen these hives really badly? Should I treat both hives for mites even though we only found 1 of the nasty critters in hive A.
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    the first think I will tell ya' mama beek is that no matter what the testing procedure there has always been a VERY large error term in the recorded results. Therefore the number of mites present in hives A and B may be exactly the same???? At the end of the day the number of mites matters less than a particular hive's ability to cope with the mites.

    you have told us what is alike in the hives but what was different? Did both have queens from the same stock?

    sounds more and more like hive A may have swarmed?

    another biological product you might wish to add to you tool bag is sucromid. it is a bit time involved to use, but shouldn't be such a problem if you are doing a small number of smallish hives.
     
  9. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    I suspected that there would likely be a large error rate in any test method....so what test method will give me the best overall picture of the mite load? Up until now we have cut out drone comb sections and counted mites on the drone brood and done a sugar shake either late in August or early in September.

    Both queens should have been the same as best I know. They were both reared from the same queens eggs.

    I had wondered about that too, but had seen no signs of them preparing to swarm beforehand.

    I'm not sure what sucromid is, or how to use it.

    Thanks for your help Tec!
     
  10. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    Sucromid (sp) can be acquired from Dadant and others. you mix a small amount up in a sprayer with water and spray the bees down one frame at a time. you do this on a 10 day to 2 week interval (I think I got that correct)... then repeat. three application in total which if you have number is very time consuming. one or two hives likely not so big a deal. sucromid is modified sugar molecule but it is only effective on adult mites clinging to adult bee (which is the reason for the three staggered applications).

    At this point in time I tend to trust random plucking of drone brood more than any other method that I know of besides an absolute lab examination of a sample.

    best to ya'...