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Author Topic: Varroa Mite, Hive placement and TBH  (Read 2763 times)
jgarzasr
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« on: March 24, 2006, 02:56:34 PM »

I have a few questions before spring hits full force.....

This will be my second year beekeeping.  I started with two hives and one has survived the winter - we still have a cold snap to get through - but I believe it should still make it as this is a nice strong hive.  Anyway - I know it over wintered with Varroa - I see them on the dead bees on the hive floor. Does anyone have any suggestions on spring management to reduce the #'s?  I used Surrocide last fall - should I continue to use that?  I don't believe I applied enough applications last summer/fall to eliminate them (if that is possible).  Looking for some advice.  Thanks.

Next Question:  I purchased some vacant land for our future home - this is where I will be placing my new hives.  This lot is all wooded.  Is it ok to place the hives in the woods - or should I put in the open for more sun exposure?

Last Question:  This is directed at anyone who has experience w/ TBH's.  I just finished building two - and will be getting packages for both hives.  Do I install the packages the same as I did my Langstroth, and let the queen cage hang between two bars?.... and once installed and they start building - what am I looking for to know that comb is being drawn correctly, I mean on the bars, and bee space.

Thanks in advance for any info.  Appreciate it.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2006, 07:34:04 PM »

>Does anyone have any suggestions on spring management to reduce the #'s? I used Surrocide last fall - should I continue to use that?

Powdered sugar is cheap and if you use it every week for four weeks or so it will knock down the numbers some.  Drone magnet can knock down the numbers but costs the bees a bit of resources.  Sucracide does some good, but isn't any more effective than cheaper things like powdered sugar.  Oxalic acid last fall would have been a good plan.  Now that they have brood it's not as good a plan, but it still might be worth considering.

>Next Question: I purchased some vacant land for our future home - this is where I will be placing my new hives. This lot is all wooded. Is it ok to place the hives in the woods - or should I put in the open for more sun exposure?

Bees have survived in woods for centuries.  They will do ok.  You will like working them better.  They probably won't produce as much as they will in full sun.

>Last Question: This is directed at anyone who has experience w/ TBH's. I just finished building two - and will be getting packages for both hives. Do I install the packages the same as I did my Langstroth, and let the queen cage hang between two bars?

I would direct release the queen, just like I do with the Langstroths.  If you don't they will start the first come on the queen cage and they will be off.

>.... and once installed and they start building - what am I looking for to know that comb is being drawn correctly, I mean on the bars, and bee space.

That's why I'd direct release her.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Apis629
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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2006, 02:48:52 PM »

Michael Bush,
     What is your sucess rate wtih direct releasing queens?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2006, 03:13:06 PM »

> What is your sucess rate wtih direct releasing queens?

With packages?  My only problem is the queen flying when I try to release her.  I just stay where I am and she usually oreients on me and ends up on my veil or my arm or back in the hive.

I've only had one package abscond on me, ever, and all the rest were accepted.  I assume that one accepted the queen but not the hive.  Smiley  I'd say it's 100 percent with packages.

The reason is the package only has one queen and they've been smelling her for the last three days or more anyway.  AND the package is not a coherent group when they shake bees from many hives into box and then dump them into a package, so they have formed a group WITH this queen.  Acceptance just isn't an issue with a package, unless you picked it up and they made up the package as they gave it to you.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Jack Parr
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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2006, 06:45:33 AM »

with a good mixture of honey water.  In the receiving box that is.

I just this past week hive a swarm in a newly built nuc box and after awhile the bees showed very active sign of " buggin' out ". They were leaving rapidly.

I placed a blocking screen at the landing board entrance and sprayed everything and everybody with honey water.  Things calmed down almost immediatly and the day, and the bees, was saved.

Suger water is recommended in the books and that would probably work also.  

However I have not hived a package.
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jgarzasr
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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2006, 08:58:02 AM »

Thanks for the info.  I actually was thinking that if I hang the queen cage - it would cause the bees to start building from it...  I had the same problem with my Langstroth last year - I just pulled out the comb, and they began building out correctly.  Is there any other way around direct releasing the queen?  What if I dump the bees inside the hive - close up, and then release queen at hive entrance?  or is this a bad idea?  I know it's direct releasing - but if I could make so she doesn't fly away.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2006, 07:06:07 AM »

If you dump all the bees in and let them get clustered (just a few minutes).  Then pull the staples on the cage (if it's that kind of cage) and aim the opening down towards the cluster and close to the cluster while you pull back the screen then touch it to the cluster so she can crawl out, she probably won't fly.  If she does fly, don't painc.  Just stay standing right where you are for ten minutes or so and I'll bet she'll find her way back.  She will orient on you as the closest large object, if she does fly.  So just stay there.  The cluster will be giving off Nasonov like crazy.  She's bound to smell it.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Chad S
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« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2006, 03:57:22 PM »

Michael,

Can you be a little more specific re: powdered sugar.  How much, where, and how do you put it on them?

TIA

Chad
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2006, 06:43:06 PM »

I'm on natural/small cell so I don't treat at all and I have not done powdered sugar.  I have seen several presentations on the subject, but that hardly makes me an expert.

Basicly you just need to get sugar on the bees.  It dislodges the mites because they can't hang on.  One easy method is to get an old baby powder "bottle" and fill it with powdered sugar.  Just sprinkle it on top and down between the bars.  Some people just use an old flour sifter.  Same concept.

The presentations I saw they ran the bees out with Beego into a screened box and put the sugar in and shook the bees well.

This method probably works better with some kind of Screened Bottom Board (SBB) so that the mites that fall off can't climb back on a passing bee.
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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
Jack Parr
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« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2006, 06:59:03 AM »

Quote from: Chad S
Michael,

Can you be a little more specific re: powdered sugar.  How much, where, and how do you put it on them?

TIA

Chad


application is a PITA, if, you want to do a good job.  

Doing as MB suggest, shaking some chuga on the top bars while they are in the box will not cover or even touch many bees, which is what the exercize is all about. The bees ahould have chuga on 'em, all o dem, or, as many as possible. The powdered chuga is sugar and the bees have a little feast, at least, if nothing else.

Really, you should pull ALL the frames, with bees clinging and sprinkle or sift some chuga on the whole shebang, both sides, for an effective application. That way you will get most of dem.

The exercize is better done if two peeps do it, one holdin', one siftin'. It's rather difficult to sift or sprinkle chuga by yourself without dropping the frame. Now you could devise a rest for the frame and do one side, flip it ovah, to do the other side.

The amount of chuge sprinkled is LIGHTLY. But again it's sugar and the bees will eat it so no harm will be done.

I have not read, or, heard about the shakin' out all the bees inna a seperate box to sprinkle them with sugar. That would probably work but does require manipulation of ALL the frames also. Seems to me to be just as effective to sprinkle the chuge on the bees and frames while holdin' em
and probable less traumatic for the bees.

You should also have screened bottoms with a clean slide out board to check, before and after, the mite drop. After, you should see a significant increase of mites.

Make no mistake, doing a complete sugar application, correctly, is quite an exercize, and, will require at least one hour or more if your hives are highly populated with hopefully, gentle bees. If your bees tend to be defensive and aggressive add that to the PITA factor.

The liquid Sucrocide treatment should be done in the same manner.

Personally, I use standard beekeeping practices.

Good luck.
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Apis629
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« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2006, 11:41:54 AM »

Quote
application is a PITA, if, you want to do a good job.

I'm not to fluent with abbreviations and "internet speak".  What does PITA mean/stand for?
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thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2006, 12:59:48 PM »

um... er.... discomfort in the derriere
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