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21
Are you in a bee club? Do you know any new and younger beeks in the area? I know what I would do if one of our members called me and said they needed a hand. I'll bet there are some folks near you who would help out. Don't bee too proud/stubborn/fearful to give someone else the opportunity to help you. It could be a blessing to them. "It is more blessed to give than to receive."
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GENERAL BEEKEEPING - MAIN POSTING FORUM. / Logic and mite counts
« Last post by chux on Today at 09:46:18 AM »
My mentor is a commercial beekeeper. He uses chemical treatments for mites every year. No need to check for mite counts. Everybody gets the treatment.

I have read behind and listened to many beekeepers with varying numbers of hives and experience. Most seem to encourage the use of a mite count. Get a mite count by sugar roll, ether roll, or sticky board. Treat if you are over threshold X. Don't treat if you are under the threshold. On a smaller backyard scale, this seems to make sense. On a larger scale, not so much.

Now I have run into something new to me. Beeks who claim to be treatment free, who still do mite counts. I heard one beek make the statement that he will change nothing in his management strategy, regardless of the mite count, even as he loads bees into a jar to shake. I guess I am missing the logic here. If I do not plan on changing anything in my management of the hive, why should I do a mite check? It's just a number in my head, if I won't do anything about it. And, I am probably killing or injuring a handful of bees in the process. And I'm wasting my time to get a useless number.

I'm not trying to say you shouldn't do mite counts if you don't plan on doing anything with those numbers. I just don't understand why you would, and I'd like for someone to explain the logic to me. Personally, I have followed the plan of my mentor in treating automatically. I have 30 hives now. I think that I will continue to treat these hives with the same management style. I also hope to start another yard with treatment-free hives. I don't plan on doing mite counts in that yard, sense I will not be treating them, no matter what. Let the strong survive, and weed-out the weak stock. Should I rethink this issue of mite counts in that yard?   
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RAPID BEEYARD GROWTH / Re: Keeping only a few hives
« Last post by Michael Bush on Today at 09:23:34 AM »
I run all eight frame mediums.  My tops and my bottoms are the size of the box.  If I put another eight frame medium nuc on top of a hive (an eight frame medium is the same volume as a five frame deep) the neighbors will never know that is a hive and a nuc.  The way I see it, it's just like having a dog where you're only allowed to have two dogs.  if you dog has puppies have you violated the law?  When a hive is about to swarm do you think the neighbors would rather you did a split and setup a nuc?  or let it swarm.  A nuc is a "baby hive".  Soon they will get combined or they will grow and you may do something else with them.  Maintaining a few nucs is how you keep them from swarming and how you keep some "spare parts" to fix problems.  Parts, like open brood or queens are essential to solving queen issues or laying worker issues.
http://www.bushfarms.com/beespanacea.htm
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THE COFFEE HOUSE ((( SOCIAL - ROOM ))) / Re: The Night Watchman
« Last post by Michael Bush on Today at 09:16:28 AM »
>Tell that to a bean counter, gummit or corporate.

I know.  But the majority of problems are imaginary and the majority of solutions are illusions.
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GENERAL BEEKEEPING - MAIN POSTING FORUM. / Re: Mites
« Last post by Michael Bush on Today at 09:13:54 AM »
>They are not that hard to see are they?

Yes.  Until you see them, they are very hard to see.  Usually they are in the cells (where you can't see them) or on the abdomen of some bee between the tergites.  Once you see them they aren't nearly as difficult to see.
http://www.bushfarms.com/images/Varroa2.jpg
http://www.bushfarms.com/images/Varroa3.jpg
http://www.bushfarms.com/beespests.htm#varroa

> I have no problem seeing eggs and have even taken a loupe to check out drones.

Have you pulled out any drone pupae and looked at them?

> Before I started I read up and thought for sure that I would get mites even using no foundation and small cell size.

You have bees in North America.  You had mites when you started.  You have mites now.

> I have 4 eleven frame ( 1 1/4 spacing for brood  with 1 3/8 spacing for supper) and one top bar hive.
 I guess the question is am I missing the mites, or just lucky?

You are missing them.  But you may or may not have any significant number of them.  A sugar shake or a sticky board would answer the question of how many.
http://www.waldeneffect.org/20100913mite.jpg
http://www.waldeneffect.org/blog/How_to_count_varroa_mites_with_a_sticky_board/
http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/bees/varroa_mite09.jpg
26
A frame at a time or get some help.  If you're harvesting, maybe make some two frame boxes to hold the honey.  Or, again, get some help.  It is a little different than asking your friend to help you move some furniture.  The furniture usually doesn't sting...
27
Ya, don't take any chances, my brother had a detached retina from cataract surgery, twice! Offer future indentured servitude, whine, beg, whatever you need to do to get some help.. You don't want to have complications, I can assure you.
Oh yeah, your not supposed to be reading this, right? :cheesy:
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GENERAL BEEKEEPING - MAIN POSTING FORUM. / Re: Mites
« Last post by monarchis on Today at 02:47:58 AM »
Gene welcome to the forum. I think the way that you checking for mites is not reliable. Try the varroa test with sugar shake.

There is a video from Bill:

https://m.

29
 Do not take any chances with your eyes, do whatever it takes to not lift more than you are supposed to.
call a friend,  get help any way you can or do it one frame at a time.
Good luck
Gene
30
GENERAL BEEKEEPING - MAIN POSTING FORUM. / Mites
« Last post by Eugene Willson on Today at 12:00:46 AM »
 I feel I have been lucky, I have not seen one mite all year. They are not that hard to see are they? I have no problem seeing eggs and have even taken a loupe to check out drones.
  Before I started I read up and thought for sure that I would get mites even using no foundation and small cell size.
 I have 4 eleven frame ( 1 1/4 spacing for brood  with 1 3/8 spacing for supper) and one top bar hive.
 I guess the question is am I missing the mites, or just lucky?
Thanks
Gene

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