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Author Topic: An interesting varroa method  (Read 1637 times)
Cindi
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« on: February 28, 2007, 08:35:55 AM »

I was at our local bee club meeting on Monday night and we had a guest speaker who is a renouned queen breeder in our area.  He has quite a large operation and spoke to the topic of queen rearing.  To make a long story short, a very interesting evening and he made a few comments about control of the varroa mite.

One of his methods I will cite, I find it very radical and would want to check out the mite drop with my two colonies before I proceeded with what he told us.

He told us RIGHT NOW, before there is an enormous amount of brood present, to take out all brood in the hive.  Freeze it to kill it for two days and return it to the hive for the bees to clean up.  He maintains that if this is done now, there should be low varroa infestation.  I undestand that this may interrrupt the varroa cycle to have cleaner hives.  I don't know.  Just someone's radical method to help with the interruption of the varroa cycle.  This was his 2 cents and it seemed quite sound in practice.

By the way, I was speaking to another beekeeper that keeps bees on Vancouver Island, which is a short distance off our coastline.  He said that Vancouver Island has been virtually mite free until a short time ago when a beekeeper living over there got angry off for one reason or the other and brought a hive from the Lower Mainland to their Island.  This has the varroa now living on their once clean island.  They do not have big numbers, but nevertheless it has now infected Vancouver Island.  This man was discovered when an inspector inspected his yard and found that he had 11 colonies, 1 more than the 10 that he had registered and he was busted!!!!!!

Vancouver Island has a 100% quarantine on bees imported from other parts of our province, that has been in place for many years, to make the story short.  Importation can occur from Hawaii or New Zealand, for example.  But not from B.C.

I know this is fact about Vancouver Island now allowing B.C. bees to be imported to their island to be true because it is one of the topics that was discussed by our instructor in the beekeeping courses level 1 and 2 that I took in April of 2005.  This ban is still in place.  We talked about it indepth yesterday.  Vancouver Island will not even allow the importation of B.C. queens to their island.  I found that entire topic interesting.

Best of the best days.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Finsky
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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2007, 10:10:38 AM »

Cindy, I remember hat you handled your hives with oxalic acid or with something else?

There is no reason to destroy brood now .

You should first see a lot mites untill you do something again.

>>> He told us RIGHT NOW, before there is an enormous amount of brood present, to take out all brood in the hive.  Freeze it to kill it for two days and return it to the hive for the bees to clean up.<<<

Sounds panic disorder....That method is widely used but chemical stuffs are better. They save uncontaminated  brood.

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2007, 07:01:18 PM »

That would sure set a hive back in the spring.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2007, 07:15:33 PM »

That would not be practical to freeze all your brood.
You would be better served to use a product like this:

http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/products.asp?pcode=364

It is specifically Drone comb, which is where the concentration of the mites will be.
You would remove and freeze these frames once they became capped.
You could improve the speed they are cleaned by uncapping them.

Freezing brood frames would kill your worker population, which would impact your honey crop.

-Jeff
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2007, 09:09:17 PM »

Freezing any brood is going to hurt your honey crop because the bees will simply raise more of whatever you froze.  If you freeze drone brood they will make more drone brood, instead of spending the same resources making worker brood.

Levin, C.G. and C.H. Collison. 1991. The production and distribution of drone comb and brood in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies as affected by freedom in comb construction. BeeScience 1: 203-211.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Cindi
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« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2007, 10:13:29 PM »

Awesome.  There are good responses that support exactly what I was thinking.  I would not jeopardize brood this time year for sure.  I just wanted to see what response was.  Just as I thought was said in the posts for sure.

Yes, I applied oxalic acid on around December 10 and there were not a large amount of bees.  There was no brood at that time.  I would think that there would be no varroa mite present.

It is my intention to insert a sticky board under both colonies this weekend to check the natural 3 day mite drop.  I do not expect to see any, but then, one never knows. 

My agenda for the rest of my term with bees (if that ever ends) will be to monitor the mite levels and keep them low enough that they do not have any economic impact whatsoever on my bees.  I will try my hardest to keep them healthy. 

I am not entertaining the thought of ever regressing to small cell bees.  As it is said here so often on the forum, using the small cell creates mite free (and disease too I hear) colonies, but I just don't trust that train of thought and I actually like the regular sized bees from what I know of them.

I have been learning lots at the bee masters course.  Some of it so deep that I don't think that many parts will ever sink in.  We are being taught by masters of the profession,who have spent years at university to study the bees.   These people come from the U.S. and different parts of Canada to help with this course in the teachings.  They are academic folk who work with so many things, such as genetics, and other deep stuff that is beyond my understanding at this point in my life.  But, it is good to listen and try to learn.  Most of the information imparted has been easy to understand.  it is just the parts that go into the deep depths of the bee hearts and souls that are little befuddling.   Good stuff though.

I come home at night very tired and weary, the drive home is about 1-1/2 hours, as it is to drive there as well.  It makes for a very long day.  I have a wonderful husband who makes sure that there is dinner ready for me when I come home.  I am a lucky woman and I am grateful for that.  Best of the best days.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2007, 02:32:20 PM »

cindi, i have been told about the brood freezing also.  it is to break the mite cycle.  no brood, no mites.....however, like you, i find the logic unsuportable for my small operation.  it will not take long for the mites to find thier way back to the hive.  in the meantime, you have set your hive back just for the sake of saving a few bees.

the people who use this method seem to be those who will treat very agressively for mites during the year.  i can see how a queen breeder would be one of those people.  he would be less interested in honey, and more in lots of mite free bees.

you and i, if we are after honey, have a limited range of options for dealing with mites througout the season.  the honey has to be protected.  we are stuck with fall and/or spring treatments and things like SBB's.  smiley
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2007, 02:47:55 PM »

>I actually like the regular sized bees from what I know of them.

But they aren't "regular sized bees".  They are artificially enlarged bees.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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Cindi
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« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2007, 10:37:02 PM »

I understand that actually, just forgot.  Thanks for the correction.  Nothing more to comment, I don't mind correction one little bit.  Best of the best day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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