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Author Topic: First hive failed, what now?  (Read 542 times)
doormaster77
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« on: April 22, 2013, 11:18:16 AM »

After I encountered a large increase in varroa mite activity in late Fall 2012, my first hive failed over the Winter and now I have cleaned up the dead bees and preparing to try a new package in May. What steps should I take in re-using the old hives and pierco frames? I assume the old comb and honey can be left for the new package, or should I remove the honey? I'm looking for some feedback on what to do next. I need info from folks that have experienced this problem before in the Northeast United States. Thank-You.
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2013, 11:38:17 AM »

Put the drawn comb, whether it has honey or brood or pollen and freeze it for 2 days and then take it out and put it in sealed plastic bags until you get new bees. This will kill any moths, beetles or eggs that are in the comb. I recomend that if you can, build a 5 or 6 frame nuc or 2 and make them into swarm traps. Put a frame of empty drawn comb and then fill them up with foundation frames, add a small plastic bag with a Q-tip soaked in lemon grass oil (seal the baggie and cut a 1/4" off a corner) and use a rope over a limb to hang it as high as possible. Try for 12-15' high. If there are any hives in your area, there is a good chance you will get a free hive. Keep an eye on them. Don't pull it down the first bee (scout) you see go in, wait until you see a swarm and let them get established for a few days. Then you can yes the old hive to help them out.
Jim
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"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain
derekm
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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2013, 12:03:58 PM »

Buy a high density polystyrene hive so that you new set of bees will build up quickly and winter well.
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If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?
Finski
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« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2013, 12:49:54 PM »

.
Bees will clean the old combs like they do in nature.

Now you know that varroa treatment is worth to do.

In varroa treatment there are two phases:

1...When the hive is rearing winter cluster bees, then bees need a thymol treatment or formic acid. It protects that mites do not hurt winter cluster bees.

2....In winter, if you  have a broodless period there, oxalic acid trickling hits down the numbes of mites that they are not able to multiply too much before next fall treatment.

3... if you have swarms, they are good to clean with oxalic acid trickling. very easy.


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sterling
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« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2013, 04:09:14 PM »

Drawn comb and some honey will give a new package a good start. I don't freeze mine unless there is evidence of something like waxmoths on them. The winter freeze should have already taken care of that. Scratching the cappings on a couple frames will get the bees to use the honey.
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dfizer
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« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2013, 08:55:49 PM »

I have experienced exactly what you are going through two winters ago.  I reused all the frames of drawn comb after a week or so of freezing.  I also fed the package and treated for mites as Finski suggests in the early fall.  I did not have a robust mite count however I treated all of my hives with ApiGuard (thymol) exactly as the instructions stated in the box.  The difference is that last winter all 4 of my hives (3 on my property and 1 remote) made it through the winter with flying colors. 

If there is anything else I could help with please don't hesitate to ask. 

David
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doormaster77
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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2013, 01:38:51 PM »

Thanks to all members for feedback and instructions. I will try out the swarm trap idea and use the old combs and honey for the incoming nucs. Early treatment for mites will be on my calendar this year for sure! Any other tips/suggestions are always appreciated. Full speed ahead!
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Ken
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« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2013, 08:11:46 PM »

Mid August is a good time to knock down the mite population before they raise the brood for winter bees.
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