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Author Topic: New Beekeeper. What fall treatments?  (Read 2018 times)
jmdowd
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« on: September 30, 2010, 01:49:53 PM »

This is our first season to be beekeepers.  We have two hives that seem to be strong going into winter.  I was wondering what I needed to do as far as any disease treatments.  Any advice would be helpful.  I feel really lost on this subject.
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caticind
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« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2010, 02:11:06 PM »

You should definitely do a check of your varroa mite levels.  If those are low and you don't see other signs of disease, then you may not need to treat at all.  First year is usually the easiest - it gets harder later.

Some more information will help us answer:

Are you using a screened bottom board?
Do you know what your 24-hour average mite drop is?
Have you seen any signs of diseased bees or dying larvae?
Any foul smells coming from the hive?

Basically, have you seen any signs that you need to treat?  Prophylactic treatments are often suggested in catalogs that sell medication, but I think consensus here is that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
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The bees would be no help; they would tumble over each other like golden babies and thrum wordlessly on the subjects of queens and sex and pollen-gluey feet. -Palimpsest
L Daxon
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« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2010, 10:51:32 AM »

caticind has it about right.

I made the mistake a month or so back mentioning the possibility of prophylactically treating for AFB with terramycin powder, and for nosema with fumagilin-B. Oops.  Most bkeeps on this board are against treating prophylactically--and probably rightly so.  So the terramycin and fumagilin-B I had already ordered are sitting in my closet.

Mites are a different story. I wouldn't really treat prophylactically for them, either, but they can jump up in numbers on you mighty quickly, especially this time of year.  I tried two powered sugar treatments and the screened bottom board but my mite counts were still way over 100 when I check with the sticky boards so now I have Apigard on both my hives.  I think that is the mildest of the chemical treatments.  But a lot of people on here us oxilas (sp?) acid treatment.  I'll know in 2 more weeks if the Apigard did any good (just put my second tray on yesterday--you treat with 2 trays put on 2 weeks apart to make sure you catch the capped brood emerging).

It is also good to talk to your local beekps to see what they are having issues with in your area and how they handle it.  The supply house catalogues make you think your should be treating all the time but that is how immunities/chemical resistance get built up.  Bottom line:  Don't treat if you aren't aware of a problem.. . . . . . Hope you have had fun your first year.  The harvest should get bigger from here on out!
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linda d
kathyp
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« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2010, 12:06:22 PM »

Quote
I made the mistake a month or so back mentioning the possibility of prophylactically treating for AFB with terramycin powder, and for nosema with fumagilin-B. Oops.  Most bkeeps on this board are against treating prophylactically--and probably rightly so.  So the terramycin and fumagilin-B I had already ordered are sitting in my closet.

don't think if it as a mistake!   grin  we all do things differently and for everything you mention you'll get 20 different answers.  weeding through the answers and finding what works for you is part of the learning process.  i hope no one is ever afraid to throw out questions or ideas.  if they were, this place would no longer function as a learning/sharing site and would become just another place to chat.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
L Daxon
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« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2010, 03:05:57 PM »

Kathy,

You're right, of course.  It wasn't a "mistake" as in I should never have asked.  I did learn a lot from the answers, as I usually always do.

But actually, I don't remember if anyone really addressed my original question, which was should I have more than one kind of chemical treatment on at a time.  The responses turned into, "What are you using chemicals for."  (I had asked if I should treat prophylactically with terramycin and fumagillian-B at the same time.)

The longer I am on this board posting and reading others' posts/responses, the more I am learning about the different posters/personalities on here.  Some approach bkeeping from one perspective, others another.  What I notice most, however, is that there are a bunch of cut-ups on here and everyone seems to have a lot of fun and enjoy interacting.

linda d
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linda d
Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2010, 12:00:52 AM »

You need to decide what you philosophy of beekeeping is:

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesphilosophy.htm
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
bee-nuts
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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2010, 03:04:09 AM »

there is not right or wrong really but opinion on what is righr or better or good or bad.

Like Mr bush says, you need to figure out what your philosophy is. 

Maybe you dont want to take chances and treat for mites, noseam, and foulbrood's

Maybe you want to be part of the treatment free club.

But, if you dont have a mentor, and a good one, how do you know if you have or dont have problems.

I would treat for mites, nosema, and foulbrood.  I go to the doctor, I take medication, i have had vaccines.  People here can scream all they want.  Im not going to lose everything on a natural philosophy that i dont follow in my own life.  I will however use organic methods as much as i can as long as they have real results, not just some trumped up wives tale.

Examples of organics are: oxalic acid, formic acid, thymol all for mites.  And Honey be healthy made from organic oils in a drench for nosema.  There is supposed to be some real studies which will have results in the coming year that will hopefully show that it can knock out nosema.

Brood diseases are another matter.  For American foulbrood all you can do is shake n bake (shake bees on new hive of foundation and burn everything from old colony) or treat preventatively and hope you never see it.  If you use tylan spring and fall, you should never see it.
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The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory

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tecumseh
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« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2010, 07:12:47 AM »

beyond philosophy the origin of your bees might be important.

if you purchased bees that are treatment free... then no treatment except when you see a problem is likely the way to go.

if you purchase bees that come from stock that is treated for everything you might want to 1) monitor closely and have one or two items on hand for treating when the signs say you need to do so or 2) treat in the same manner as the folks that originally reared the stock you now have.

personally I think it is wise to keep one or two soft treatments for the problems common to bees.

 
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I am 'the panther that passes in the night'... tecumseh.
L Daxon
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« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2010, 11:15:04 PM »

It is great if you know where your bees come from, but if you expand by catching swarms, as I did this year (caught 3) you take a chance in what you are getting and/or what they could be bringing with them from their old hive.
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linda d
kathyp
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« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2010, 12:27:01 AM »

my feeling is that if they are healthy enough to swarm, the risk is low.  some people quarantine their swarms and cutouts. 
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
tecumseh
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« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2010, 07:24:46 AM »

my notion of swarms is the same as kathyp.

for many folks if you obtain a start of healthy bees then there is a low risk in year 1 which (may) rise significantly in year 2.
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I am 'the panther that passes in the night'... tecumseh.
L Daxon
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« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2010, 10:58:47 AM »

I agree that swarms can be healthy and low risk, that is why I added 2 of them to the package I hived in May to help get the population built up faster.  However, since August I have been fighting a bad (high counts, lots of deformed bees, etc.) varroa infestation i am having trouble bringing down.

If  bees swarm because the mother hive was healthy and just overcrowded, great. Even better if it was from strong feral survivor stock.   But they can also swarm because of disease and infestations and bring those problems with them.  It is a bit of a crap shoot.

Kathy, if you quarantine them, how long would you do that for?  A month or two? Longer?
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linda d
kathyp
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« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2010, 11:37:53 AM »

Quote
Kathy, if you quarantine them, how long would you do that for?  a month or two? Longer?

i don't.  don't want to have to bother of two bee yards.  maybe someone who does can answer that for you.

as for mites, some years are bad.  this year was lite for me and i don't treat.  last year seemed heavier.  i had a 1/3 or so loss over winter and i consider that acceptable.  i doubt it would have been lower if i'd treated. 
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
Michael Bush
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« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2010, 09:38:22 AM »

I've never found a swarm that was because of disease or infestation, but I'm sure with SHB this happens occasionally.  But those swarms are usually small.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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