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Author Topic: overwintered colonies  (Read 2280 times)
backyard warrior
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« on: January 16, 2012, 09:19:36 PM »

How many of you beeks that get colonies threw winter had any issues with mites in early spring.. I did mite away quick strips last july should i be concerned about mites early in spring ?? Chris
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2012, 11:04:42 PM »

In the spring is when the mites are at their lowest.  They have not been able to reproduce all winter and have been dying off.  But then last time I treated for mites at all I think was 2002...
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Vance G
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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2012, 12:17:09 AM »

Hope this is not off topic or hi jacking BUT!  If a brood break is very good for knocking down mite populations in a hive, are you saying that winter works the same way Mr Bush?  Do the phoretic mites all pile into the first little cold country brood cycles and kill themselves and the hosts?   It seems like mites are part of the answer to every question about beekeeping! 
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Finski
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2012, 02:08:50 AM »

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If the hive has in March 10 mites,they achieve a critical level in September, 1000 mites.
Next month 2000 and douple every month.

It depends how long is you brood season.

Thymol and formic acid is ment to spring treatment.

If you have false swarm, it is good opportunity to clean the colony in Summer.



Hmmm. Michael's " do nothing"  advices  ... Brave...
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BjornBee
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« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2012, 07:31:32 AM »

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If the hive has in March 10 mites,they achieve a critical level in September, 1000 mites.
Next month 2000 and douple every month.

It depends how long is you brood season.

Thymol and formic acid is ment to spring treatment.

If you have false swarm, it is good opportunity to clean the colony in Summer.



Hmmm. Michael's " do nothing"  advices  ... Brave...

Blanket statements are usually not correct in many situations.

This is why so many beginners are automatically told at beginner classes to treat hives every spring, every fall, use antibiotics without needing them, and all the other stuff. Usually from a crowd of folks that do nothing more than constantly treat by a "calendar" approach, while losing half their bees every winter, and then order packages every spring to cover their losses while complaining that they can't be "sustainable".

I've done thousands of sugar shake, mite boards, and other mite testing. And half the hives even in the worst yards do not need treatment. Contrary to the belief that all hives will have issues due to "leveling", and that all hives not one thing or another, will crash, that simply does not happen without extenuating circumstances.

You can have hives in your yard that are naturally dealing with mites and need no treatments. Other hives are less fortunate.

My advice.....there is no automatic or standard "advice" that all hives starting with 10 mites will have 1000 at some determined future date. Those that start to show mite pressure should be requeened. That means upgrading your genetics, as well as a brood break involved in the process. And if you can read the instructions on the package of chemicals, follow instructions, and do what is needed to actually complete what needs to be done by treating, you should be smart enough to find a queen and requeen a hive. Way too many beekeepers say "But I can never find the queen" and "I don't know how to requeen". But they can pour in chemicals easy enough. Maybe it's a "dumb and dumber" approach. grin

I just had this conversation with a 1st year beekeeper yesterday. based on "advice" from some of the folks at a club, having him use terra patties, mite treatments, and all the other treatments....just in case! The best part was advice suggesting he use the inner cover between the brood chamber and the supers. Why? No clue.  What happened, and I can only guess, but at some point after filling the supers last year the bees pulled back their area of defence to that below the inner cover. (They will shut the hole in these cases.) Then late summer all the comb was destroyed by wax moths and beetles. What a mess. And what lousy advice.

Anyhow.....Know what is going on in your hives. Have an IPM plan in place. Think it through. You should be helping the bees, while also allowing the bees to help themselves. Treat or act for only those hive needing it. And let the rest get stronger on their own.

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Vance G
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« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2012, 08:16:15 AM »

Bjorn, I heartily agree with most of what you just said, but it was not responsive to my question.  My bees are in all probabliity starting to raise little clusters of brood.  I was asking if, the phoretic mites are going enmass into the cells and dieing with the pupae that their large numbers kill. 
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BjornBee
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« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2012, 08:54:27 AM »

Bjorn, I heartily agree with most of what you just said, but it was not responsive to my question.  My bees are in all probabliity starting to raise little clusters of brood.  I was asking if, the phoretic mites are going enmass into the cells and dieing with the pupae that their large numbers kill. 


That is what should happen, especially if you have good hygienic bees with SMR/VSH traits. The mites that survive the winter all rush into the first series of cells once brood rearing starts up. These cells are overloaded and the pupae under distress, are then cleaned out by the bees. This is why winter brood breaks are a good thing and bees that brood all winter are not seen as a good thing in the north.

You can see this in requeening and other brood breaks in the summer. Mites build up, then brood rearing starts, the mite drop spikes as the cells are cleaned out and you can lose a good bit of brood, and even DWV can be seen to increase. But after the first cycle, the mite load levels out and the bees (If good) will keep things under control.

If you got bees coming out of winter with mite issues, you were lucky they survived. High spring mites counts are an indication of weak genetics. And not to be confused with labeling these bees as "survivors" for the mere fact they made it through winter. Even weak genetic hives make it sometimes. Colonies should not be having mite issues in spring. And if they are, requeening should be considered. For healthy hives, no spring treatment is needed.
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Vance G
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« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2012, 11:41:05 AM »

Thankyou! 
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Finski
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« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2012, 02:34:58 PM »

.
Björnbee thanks to remind me, my blood pressure pills....

Varroa douples itself in a month says Antonio Nanetti.  
no one believe that  mites are now 10 and in calendar date 1000.
Yes Björn, when we debate, they will be 2000 and we have not a slightes agreenment about that.

First, we do not know are they 3, 7 or 12,7.

Then we do know are they 500, 1500 or 300.

I just illustrated the fact that  they multiply with hige speed. Drones carry mites and drift frm hive to hive.


Björn, you may knock down my every sentence, but it does not make me more stupid.
I know about varroa 5 times more than you ever will learn.

.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2012, 04:09:05 PM »

 lau
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Finski
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« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2012, 04:51:26 PM »

 
rolleyes    ....... You pills,  Björn.
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backyard warrior
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« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2012, 05:29:54 PM »

 pop soapbox piano
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T Beek
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« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2012, 12:23:33 PM »

What a shame some guys always reach for their zipper first grin

I've only been keeping bees 'alive' for the last 7 seasons (after a 35 year layoff) and mites have never been an issue for my bees.  I keep between 2-9 hives and have never treated for anything, except feeding syrup and/or sugar as might be needed.  Well, I tried powdered sugar dusting once and didn't like how my bees behaved.

I started w/ foundation but went to foundationless 5 years ago.  Although I saw a few mites the first couple years (100 or less) I've seen even less since going foundationless.  

Is there a connection?  I don't know, but my bees seem content enough cool

thomas
« Last Edit: January 19, 2012, 08:01:34 AM by T Beek » Logged

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2012, 11:55:06 PM »

If a brood break is very good for knocking down mite populations in a hive, are you saying that winter works the same way Mr Bush?

Winter is a very big brood break.
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Michael Bush
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T Beek
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« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2012, 08:12:03 AM »

It then seems quite logical that 'the longer/colder the winter' the 'longer the brood break (including mite loving drones)' which can expectantly result in fewer mites. 

Makes perfect sense to me and perhaps explains why my bees have had so few mites. 

I wonder then if NOT insulating hives during winter also assists w/ limiting mite populations.  Just a question.

Not trying to start 'this' argument all over again, but it seems like a reasonable conclusion, and my own (uninsulated)bees (relatively mite free) are the proof, for me anyway.

thomas
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Finski
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« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2012, 02:13:41 PM »

It then seems quite logical that 'the longer/colder the winter' the 'longer the brood break (including mite loving drones)' which can expectantly result in fewer mites.  

I speak here at same altitude as Anchorage of Alaska.

if you are beekeepers, you must know with experience what your bees do. It makes no sense to play with logic.

Here hives must stop brood rearing at the beginning of September, otherwise the colony dies.
New born bees must do cleansing flight before clustering. They cannot be 6 months in cluster with arse full of poo.

What mites do here is not a secret. Varroa has been 30 years here.  Here is no mites resistant bee stocks.

Colonies start brood rearing in February, even if the out temp  is -20C. They are few but however they are.
Brood rearing stops because bees do not get food from flowers, because there are no flowers.
It has nothing to do with cold. But plants start to prepare themselves for winter what ever the weather is. But cold arrives sooner or later.

If I bye queens from Italy or from New Zealand, they perhaps do not  stop brood rearing. They kill themselves with eating stores to end.
.
The adaptation to local environment and to nature's cycle is the first thing  what wintering demands.

Varroa weakens winter cluster and the smaller the cluster the harder is winter to the colony.
But varroa may kill the hive before clustering. That is why the most popular treament is the period when the hive rears its winter bees.

.
.


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T Beek
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« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2012, 08:49:47 AM »

Anchorage is actually milder than N/W Wisconsin in an average winter.  Altitudes, latitudes and longetudes are only 'part' of what makes weather.

So...if 'cold' (or logic huh) makes no difference in brood rearing and according to Finski 'only' a lack of available 'food' triggers an end to brood rearing, then what were my bees doing laying/caring up brood (not much but some) into mid-December this year, a full 2 1/2 months 'after' our original killing frost and the end of any flowers/food up here? 

We experienced the 'warmest' November and December (into January) ever recorded.  I believe Finland did as well.

thomas
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Finski
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« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2012, 12:45:59 PM »

Anchorage is actually milder than N/W Wisconsin in an average winter.  Altitudes, latitudes and longetudes are only 'part' of what makes weather.

So...if 'cold' (or logic huh) makes no difference in brood rearing and according to Finski 'only' a lack of available 'food' triggers an end to brood rearing, then what were my bees doing laying/caring up brood (not much but some) into mid-December this year, a full 2 1/2 months 'after' our original killing frost and the end of any flowers/food up here? 

We experienced the 'warmest' November and December (into January) ever recorded.  I believe Finland did as well.

thomas

yes here only lack of food stops the brooding. We have such beestock. If the hives get food as they got 5 years ago from dew up to end of August, they continued extra moth brooding.

When I give winter feeding, the queen start lay in  every hive. When feeding last only one week, laying stops and the hives makes only 2-3 brood frames.

Helsinki is warmer place than Anchorage. Now we have here -3C.

Bees stops brood rearing too in May if there is over 2 weeks bad weater and bees cannot fly to willows.

.....yes I know that weathers are different in different places. And every year we have different weather. And next week it will be different weather than this week. Yeas I have learned something during my life.

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Finski
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« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2012, 12:57:22 PM »

.
Bee races have a natural habit that they slow down brood rearing if they cannot forage for long time. Bee strains are different. Elgon bees did not care what was the weather in Spring. They had all the time top speed in brood rearing. But they were often near to starve.

If package bees have selected so that they do new brood all the time, so they do not react  on coming winter. That is why many beekeepers in Alaska kill they hives after summer and bye new in Spring.

I have had many races. I know their habits. Best queens I have got from north because severe winters select weak strains.
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Vance G
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« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2012, 12:59:54 PM »

Finski, I respect and acknowledge your knowledge and wisdom.  But all beekeeping is local and your wisdom and knowledge are not the only answer everywhere.  Here in the great cold center of the North American Landmass, what you says is very applicable and thank you for your constructive words.  In your experience, how much does your long brood break from cold weather affect the mite load of your colonies?   Is that figured in to when you do your oxalic drizzle?  Thanks in advance.
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