Author Topic: VHS Queens  (Read 273 times)

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Offline Bakersdozen

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VHS Queens
« on: May 14, 2023, 09:34:55 am »
As requested, this thread is to discuss VHS queens.  If you have experience, questions, or breed VHS Queens, feel free to post your results here. 

Offline Gypsi

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Re: VHS Queens
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2023, 01:51:06 pm »
I have VSH queens - The nucs I bought in 2012 came with VSH queens, and except for one California Italian queen who lived about a day before the hot bees threw her out of the hive, all of my purchased queens have been VSH.

My best survival rate is with BeeWeaver queens - They seem to be a bit tougher, they are from south of me so they handle the heat well, they make a small winter cluster, do a quick buildup in spring, make a lot of honey, glue the box shut, and retain their VSH properties for 3 or 4 generations.

My favorite method of checking for mites is stealing the drone brood and opening the capped cells to check for mites. I don't find them very often.

I treat a couple times a year with OAV. I was going in below the screened bottom board, but a trusted beekeeper advised me to treat above the screen for better effectiveness, so I do that now. I drilled a hole in the back of the hives and bought corks for them, modified my wand so I can just send that vapor in the back of the hive, with no bee traffic, and be above the screen.

I quit doing removals in May 2019 - the final one being the bees from my neighbor's house and queen was replaced with a Beeweaver queen.  They were a wild bunch robbing my apiary for years and probably bringing me mites.   So when I quit bringing home dirty bees and stopped the robbing life got manageable.

This year is my first to buy even queens since 2019. I haven't bought a nuc or any other hives since 2012

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Offline Jen

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Re: VHS Queens
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2023, 12:48:47 pm »
Thanks Baker, and Hi Gypsy
    Over almost a 20 year span I have always had mites to some degree or other, maybe 3 or thousands. I agree with Gypsy on bringing home dirty bees, OR, other people in the neighborhood within a 2 mile radius Are Not taking care of their bees and the drone drift keeps everyone's apiary constantly mite challenged. About 3 hours south of us is commercial bee businesses galore. Three huge bee and queen breeding companies, and some other smaller operations. One of my bee friends runs about 800 hives, he drives hundreds of miles to let his bees pollinate the almond industry, makes good money. He uses one of those smaller operations to requeen every year. Last spring of 2022 was a treacherous spring with a warm spell in February and the greenery started to bloom. I knew were were going to be in trouble. Then the 2 month deep freeze killed all the blooms and many of us had to keep feeding the bees all summer and all of last winter.
    For some reason, many queens in upper northern Calif bit the dust. So I decided to change out my queens and try something new. I ordered 4 queens, $25 ea, from the company my friend uses.
    Let me tell ya, I haven't had mites since I installed those queen early last summer. I'm just astounded! but I keep doing OA, one fog about every 6 weeks-ish just to keep track. These queens must be VHS. I'm tickled pink ~
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Online The15thMember

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Re: VHS Queens
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2023, 01:26:08 pm »
    Let me tell ya, I haven't had mites since I installed those queen early last summer. I'm just astounded! but I keep doing OA, one fog about every 6 weeks-ish just to keep track. These queens must be VHS. I'm tickled pink ~
So are you vaping them and seeing not a single mite now?  Or are you just seeing a huge reduction in your drop counts?
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Offline Jen

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Re: VHS Queens
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2023, 02:59:20 pm »
I vap with a sticky board, have been all me bee years. Been vaping/stickboard since last summer, absolutely no mite drop to date.
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Online The15thMember

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Re: VHS Queens
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2023, 05:07:14 pm »
I vap with a sticky board, have been all me bee years. Been vaping/stickboard since last summer, absolutely no mite drop to date.
Wow!  At what point are you going to stop treating them, or at least not treat them so often? 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Jen

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Re: VHS Queens
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2023, 12:38:46 am »
I will always treat, for ever and ever amen! ;)

   Reason is, is that I live in town. Anyone at any time can bring a hive to their home here in the city. If that home is within 5 miles of my house, then their possible dirty hive can make my hives sick.
   About 4 years ago, I was mentoring a young gal who lived about 8 blocks from me. For the first year she followed my instruction on how to treat for mites. The second year she did not. It was in August when I did my usual 6 week one time fog just to see if any mites dropped. Low and behold my 5 hives had been going thru a 'Mite Bomb' and I had no idea. They were very sick and many with deformed wing virus. I know they came from my mentees hive.
   So mites can come unannounced at any time.




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Online The15thMember

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Re: VHS Queens
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2023, 12:01:49 pm »
I see.  I guess I'm just wondering if it might lead to increased resistance to OA, since you are treating when it's not really needed.  Wouldn't it be better to do a sugar roll to see if mites are present before treating?  I'm just thinking about the way parasite management is handled in farm animals, like my sister's goats, and with their internal parasites, people always recommend you only treat when necessary and never on a schedule, because the more you treat the faster the parasites can become resistant.     
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: VHS Queens
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2023, 09:20:13 am »
I see.  I guess I'm just wondering if it might lead to increased resistance to OA, since you are treating when it's not really needed.  Wouldn't it be better to do a sugar roll to see if mites are present before treating?  I'm just thinking about the way parasite management is handled in farm animals, like my sister's goats, and with their internal parasites, people always recommend you only treat when necessary and never on a schedule, because the more you treat the faster the parasites can become resistant.     

Good point, 15th.  I found this article by Rusty Burlew.  She talks about the potential for varroa resistance to OA.  https://www.honeybeesuite.com/prevent-resistance-to-miticides-rotate-treatments/
Some beekeepers in my area are experimenting with Randy Oliver's OA extended release method using swedish pads. https://scientificbeekeeping.com/instructions-for-extended-release-oxalic-acid/.  I also know that they do other treatments during other times of the year.
Some, like me, still do OA dribble in the early winter during broodless periods and other treatments during the period after the main nectar flow. (July 1)
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Offline Jen

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Re: VHS Queens
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2023, 01:34:10 am »
Hi Baker and 15th again :) took me awhile but I found the research that I was looking for here on this forum that I gathered from Randy Oliver and Scientific Beekeeping. It was on the thread Oxalic Acid 2022. There is more recent comments from Randy that still proclaims that there isn't any proof that the mites are growing resistant to OA. However, if I want to switch out a treatment in the Fall it would be with Apivar. I have done that and it's a breeze.
   Here we go:

   It seems that the jury is still out on using OA solely for mite control through the extent of our beekeeping years, saying that we should be alternating treatments in spring and fall each year. However, it is leaning more to the positive side of the mites Not getting resistant to OA.

Randy Oliver, Scientific Beekeeping ~ https://scientificbeekeeping.com/varroa-management/varroa-ipm-strategies/

Development Of Resistant Mites
   I’m often asked the question; won’t varroa develop some degree of resistance to oxalic acid?  The biological answer is that one would certainly expect so if oxalic acid were applied over many generations without rotation of treatments.  But that does not appear to be the case.  In a recent study, Dr. Matías Maggi [[15]] compared the susceptibility to oxalic acid between two Argentinian mite populations:

    1. One that had been exposed to 64 consecutive treatments of oxalic acid dribble (8 times a year for 8 years) as the sole mite treatment, vs.

    2. A control population that had never been exposed to beekeeper-applied organic acids (the beekeeper had used coumaphos, flumethrin, or amitraz in a rotation scheme).
He found that the oxalic-exposed mite population didn’t exhibit any sign of resistance—in fact, it surprisingly appeared to actually be more susceptible to oxalic than the oxalic-naïve population.  This is good news, since it suggests that whatever the mode of action of oxalic acid is against mites, that it’s not easy for them to develop resistance.


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Online The15thMember

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Re: VHS Queens
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2023, 10:58:45 am »
Hi Baker and 15th again :) took me awhile but I found the research that I was looking for here on this forum that I gathered from Randy Oliver and Scientific Beekeeping. It was on the thread Oxalic Acid 2022. There is more recent comments from Randy that still proclaims that there isn't any proof that the mites are growing resistant to OA. However, if I want to switch out a treatment in the Fall it would be with Apivar. I have done that and it's a breeze.
   Here we go:

   It seems that the jury is still out on using OA solely for mite control through the extent of our beekeeping years, saying that we should be alternating treatments in spring and fall each year. However, it is leaning more to the positive side of the mites Not getting resistant to OA.

Randy Oliver, Scientific Beekeeping ~ https://scientificbeekeeping.com/varroa-management/varroa-ipm-strategies/

Development Of Resistant Mites
   I’m often asked the question; won’t varroa develop some degree of resistance to oxalic acid?  The biological answer is that one would certainly expect so if oxalic acid were applied over many generations without rotation of treatments.  But that does not appear to be the case.  In a recent study, Dr. Matías Maggi [[15]] compared the susceptibility to oxalic acid between two Argentinian mite populations:

    1. One that had been exposed to 64 consecutive treatments of oxalic acid dribble (8 times a year for 8 years) as the sole mite treatment, vs.

    2. A control population that had never been exposed to beekeeper-applied organic acids (the beekeeper had used coumaphos, flumethrin, or amitraz in a rotation scheme).
He found that the oxalic-exposed mite population didn’t exhibit any sign of resistance—in fact, it surprisingly appeared to actually be more susceptible to oxalic than the oxalic-naïve population.  This is good news, since it suggests that whatever the mode of action of oxalic acid is against mites, that it’s not easy for them to develop resistance.
Interesting, and good to hear that OA may not be easy for the mites to resist.  We beekeepers need something that will keep us one step ahead of them!
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Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: VHS Queens
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2023, 12:17:59 am »
They have been using OA across the pond for better than twenty years, and the mites have not gained any resistance to it...   AS I UNDERSTAND IT....   It is because the OA is not ingested, it kills through crystallization and penetrating the mites SOFT PARTS, feet joints etc...  Back when I was trying to decide if OA was the way to go, I looked up a LOT of the research that was then being done.   Some of the resdearchers wre vaping OA every three days, some very week, for months, and seeing no side effects to the bees themselves, while still keepiong their hives clear of mites.   At that time, it was unclear the effects of vaping with uncapped honey, the concern was adding OA to the open cells...   THey did state that honey had OA IN IT naturally...   I still try nbot to vaporize when they are making honey. Early in the spring, Late summer, and then november.
   This is where I posted some of the stuff I had found at that time.

http://www.outyard.net/treatments.html

   The inability of mites to become resistant to it, the lack of side effects on my bees, and the ease of application. made me decide to try it. I have never looked back.   I still see a lot of people advocating using an insecticide, to kill a little insect, on a bigger insect, and I often wonder how they justify it. I had issues using some of the prescribed methods. I have seen my bees bearding heavily after applying some of those insecticides, they did NOT want to go back in the hive. I see some people that stil use Liquid OA to treat. I tried it, it works, mostly, but it also shortens the life of the bees dramatically, because they clean themselves after getting drenched, and ingest it. I decided I didn;t like that, and went the Vapor route. I will test4ify formally that it works. It is easy to do, quick and painless, and the bees don't seem to mind. The hardest part of it, is paying for a decent vaporizor. I own two Varox vaporizers, they both still work like the day I bought them. It was VERY worth the money. I can;t ven begin to guess how much I have saved, despite the initial cost of the vaporizors. Amazon sells OA, I always buy the 99.6% pure or better if I can find it. Brushy mountain is now out of business I guess? Sad, they did a LOT of work getting OA legalized...
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Offline Jen

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Re: VHS Queens
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2023, 08:23:58 pm »
Lazy! Great Post on OA!!
   "It is because the OA is not ingested, it kills through crystallization and penetrating the mites SOFT PARTS, feet joints etc..."

I knew this info about .. why .. the mites don't become resistant with their feet, joints, soft parts, and they don't ingest it, and something about their exoskeleton! I just couldn't find it before I made the post above. Nice!
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