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Author Topic: top entrance and Miteaway II...  (Read 1818 times)
SteveSC
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« on: October 09, 2006, 08:34:48 AM »

I have some hives I'm going to treat with MiteAway.  The instructions are to close off all entrances ecept the bottom entrances.  Most of my hives have top and bottom entrances.  The bees normally use the top entrances.  

Will there be a problem closing off the entrance that they normally use or will the only problem be they'll have to come in from the bottom.......?  My only concern is , will there be any disorientation of the bees or will they work it out easily.....  Thanks.
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Steve in SC


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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2006, 10:11:23 PM »

the bee prefer the top entrance.  chaning to a lower one should be treated the same as moving the hive because the entrance has been moved--they need something to cause them to reoientate.  Even at that expect bearding at the top of hive where to top entrance is.  You'll need to brush them down like capturing a swarm.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
SteveSC
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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2006, 09:26:53 AM »

Brian...  Seeing that the bees are used to using the top entrances will they become trapped in the hive not knowing how to get out....?  

Should I close the top entrances up and start treatment on the bees in the late afternoon when most of the foragers are in for the night or would you do it at mid day when they're busy going in and out of the hive....?

Decisions....decisions... huh

Thanks.
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Steve in SC


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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2006, 06:34:23 PM »

Personally, well personally, I wouldn't use the formic acid, but IF I were using it and had top entrances, I'd just close off the bottom (tray if you have a SBB etc.) and reduce the top to bare minimum for the hive (probably a couple of inches wide) and do it.
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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
SteveSC
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« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2006, 07:14:29 AM »

I didn't want to experiment with the mites this late in the yr. and that's the reason  for using the Miteaway. Three of the hives I have were new this yr. from swarms and the others were donated to me from a family who's beekeeper dad died.  I never talked to the guy so I didn't know anything about the hives and\or they're mite treatment history or if there was a history at all.   I never actually saw any mites but I wanted to make sure going into winter that they were mite free.

Next yr. will be different.  They did have a pretty good # of SHBs...any idea how to control them other than the squash'm method..?  Thanks.
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Steve in SC


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Ginger Bush
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« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2006, 12:56:31 PM »

Steve,

See West beetle trap discussion.

Also, a method for mite control that an organic beekeper gave me follows. He swears by it; I'm going to try it. As it seems to use aromatic menthols as a component, it may work.

Recipie follows

1 cup olive oil

Heat oil over med heat. Break up 1 oz beeswax and melt in oil. Add 1 tsp wintergreen oil, 1 tsp clove oil and 1 teaspoon eucalyptus oil. Pour into jar and cool to room temperature. Take cloth or hand and smear oil on top of brood frames, but not on outer frames or frame bar ends.

I've read about using aromatic menthols on a paper towel and laying it on the brood frames. I think instead of rubbing this on the frames I may try using the paper towel application method. As I don't have a vaporizer the FGMO method for controling varroa mites isn't one I can use right now.

A question for Michael Bush: The beekeeping catalogs recommend small cell foundation only for experienced beekeepers. In your opinion, why is that? And do you think menthols work in controling varroa's?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2006, 03:31:13 PM »

>A question for Michael Bush: The beekeeping catalogs recommend small cell foundation only for experienced beekeepers. In your opinion, why is that?

IMO they are afraid of a newbie buying the foundation, not worrying about the mites, losing their hives and blaming the supplier.  They don't want to explain regression or monitoring so they just distill it down to "experienced beekeepers".  When I first heard of it and found that statment I was confused.  I had been keeping bees for 27 years, so I thought I WAS experienced, and yet I had no idea what experience I would bring to bear on using a different size foundation.  I'd never even paid attention to what size foundation was before.  After a lot of research, I STILL don't understand why they say that.

>And do you think menthols work in controling varroa's?

No.  menthol, which I have never used,  is for tracheal mites.  It will NOT control Varroa.  It will kill tracheal mites.  It will also drive the bees right out of the hive.  Smiley  Thymol has shown some promise on Varroa and will also drive the bees right out of the hive.

Some of the mint essential oils (which have menthols in them and which I have tried but am not currently using) in syrup have shown some control, but I'm guessing they are just helping the bee's immune system and confusing the Varroa's pheromones.

The method you specify has oil involved.  OIL helps with varroa mites.  Hence the variations from vegatable to FGMO on every thing from top bars, cords, shop towels and in foggers.

The most effective thing I've found is natural cell size and no treatments.  If you want to go organic, why do you want to treat?
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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
Ginger Bush
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« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2006, 11:58:52 AM »

Michael,

I am just learning and need help with my thinking. I'm not sure who or what to listen to, there are confusing and conflicting ideas regarding varola treatment, so I am at the mercy of others and whatever advice they give. I am glad to know that you didn't understand either.

I want to go organic, but I don't want to lose my hive. If I can do that without treatment, then that's ok, better than ok, thats great.

I've read here and on your site about small cell foundation. I am going to order brood foundation for the spring and am going to try it. Thanks so much for your thoughts.

Also, your observations about small cell comparisions in feral bees is really interesting, as are your feelings about genetics and natural selection. I tend to agree with the latter, feral bee colonies that make it tend to be strong, so something's working well there.

And if I miss catching a swarm, well, I've added to the natural diversity and to the feral bee population. I think there's something to be said for that.
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A lie travels halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2006, 09:24:47 PM »

>I am just learning and need help with my thinking. I'm not sure who or what to listen to, there are confusing and conflicting ideas regarding varola treatment, so I am at the mercy of others and whatever advice they give. I am glad to know that you didn't understand either.

You best bet on Varroa is to not take anything on faith.  Don't do anything and assume it works.  There is a lot of resistance to Check mite, Apistan etc., so even if you are doing conventional chemical treatments they may fail.  If you monitor the mites, with either a SBB with a tray or some other method, you can tell if what you are doing is working.  If it isn't, you can take other steps.

>I want to go organic, but I don't want to lose my hive. If I can do that without treatment, then that's ok, better than ok, thats great.

I'd have some kind of treatment as a backup plan and monitor the mites.  Even for people who DON'T want to go organic, it's better.  If everyone had monitored and only treated when needed, the mites would not have built up resistance to the chemicals so quickly.

>I've read here and on your site about small cell foundation. I am going to order brood foundation for the spring and am going to try it. Thanks so much for your thoughts.

You are welcome.

>Also, your observations about small cell comparisions in feral bees is really interesting, as are your feelings about genetics and natural selection. I tend to agree with the latter, feral bee colonies that make it tend to be strong, so something's working well there.

Nothing succeeds like success.  Smiley
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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
Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2006, 09:43:47 PM »

A sugar shack series is a good natural method of mite treatment.  Sugar is preferred because the bees can convert it to stores as they clean themselves up.  Otherwise any fine powder will do: powdered sugar, flour, talc, etc.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
tom
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« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2006, 11:40:07 PM »

Hello

  I am currently using apivar-life and it has not driven my bees out of thier hives and they seem to workk harder with it in the hives i have never seen hive two work like they are working now. And you can smell it about six feet away and my girls don't mind it at all they do hang out some and they have more gaurds on duty then they have before. Hive three has picked up the pace a whole lot to me it seems to make them work harder and less hanging around the hive.

Tom
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