Author Topic: Today was the day.  (Read 2570 times)

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Offline LazyBkpr

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Today was the day.
« on: August 08, 2014, 05:59:19 pm »

   Today was the day I combined the exceptionally weak hives and the queens I was not happy with got axed..  I also did a thorough inspection..
   I have been fighting a couple of aggressive hives, planning to let them overwinter and then requeen them..   Hive #7 has been the WORST of the two, but today they wee just as gentle as kittens..  Hive #4 on the other hand was off the wall... I gave them a little smoke, and waited an extra 30 seconds just to make sure, puffed them again and cracked the cover..   Got stung six times in about three seconds. Three on my right hand, one on my left hand and two through the jeans..   So..  Today was the day..  I put the gloves on, put the hood up, and ripped the hive apart looking for the queen.. Her head came off, and the two mediums got split up among hives that needed them, and the deep was torn apart and tossed in the weeds for the other bees to rob out. One less deep in my equipment, and one less pain in my side to deal with. Everything else went well..   I combined five hives with weaker hives, and put two weak colonies down into nucs..  So I counted my hives to see what I had and hoped to go into winter with....   Counting the nucs I have 43..  and I thought I had 45 when I started...    :eusa_think:   So apparently I still don't know how to count..  It comes from trying to figure out BEE math...
   Fall prep is started. Feed on the colonies that need it, and I even added supers on a few hives that were chuck full of bees with all but one or two frames drawn. With luck they will draw a few more I can use to re distribute when the end of October arrives. Next week no inspection, but OAV treatments start.  Yep... its that time... The final countdown!

   
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Offline riverbee

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Re: Today was the day.
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2014, 06:10:43 pm »
gee scott sounds like you need a pirate drink?!........... :D

yes, the countdown has begun to prepare our bees for the the upcoming months.   >:( the older i get the less i like cold and s##w.  summer months fly way too fast for me anymore. 

bee math?....... :D
i flunked math, excelled in science and biology.......... but when it comes to bees, i do seem to do a little better at it!

thanks scott!
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Offline Jen

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Re: Today was the day.
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2014, 06:13:27 pm »
Love The Hair Vid!!! But No Way!!! No Way Mr. LzyBkpr!!! Me And My Bees Are Not Ready!!!

Arms crossed in front, pouty mouth !!  :no:
There Is Peace In The Queendom

Offline lazy shooter

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Re: Today was the day.
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2014, 07:09:02 pm »
the other Lazy:

Is OAV your only treatment for vorroa?  It's something I have considered.

Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: Today was the day.
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2014, 08:25:11 pm »
It is all I use. I have a package of Hopguard left, but am sure it is expired by now.
   I tried OAV after a LOT of reading.. and no one seems to know exactly how it kills the mites. In most reports and tests they claim that   "observation would suggest"  that the crystals penetrate the mites soft parts and the acidity kills them, at least with vaporization..   

   A quote from Randy Olivers Site at;
   http://scientificbeekeeping.com/oxalic-acid-questions-answers-and-more-questions-part-1-of-2-parts/


OK, so OA spreads and kills by contact—that’s why heat vaporization (to be covered in the next installment) works well. We still don’t know how it gets into the mite’s body (no one’s proposing that mites crawl around licking the stuff up). We do know that oxalates in plants form spiky crystals that can penetrate animal tissue, similar to those of boric acid (commonly used for cockroach and ant control). Boric acid forms abrasive spikes that can penetrate the soft integument at the joints of the insect exoskeleton, and apparently desiccate the insect. It also acts as a stomach poison to ants.

Could oxalic acid work in the same manner? Heat vaporized OA does form tiny spiky crystals, as does OA evaporated from a water solution.

   End Quote

   this seems to be the general consensus, and as such, the only way varroa could become resistant or immune would be if they grew hardened plates over their soft joints.. which, would render them immobile...

   If you read the site, you will read about how organic OA is, and how many common plants etc it can be found in, including natural honey from hives that are not treated with OA dribble or OA vapor.
   So after a lot of looking and reading, I decided to try it...
      All I can say is..   WOW!
   If the effectiveness in treatments continues, I will continue to use it. No resistance has been reported from the countries that have been using it for some time with excellent results.
   The dribble method does have some drawbacks and effect on the bees, and the vapor method has its dangers to the beekeeper if they were to stick a hose in the hive and try to breathe the stuff while treating.
   I have always made sure I was well clear and upwind when treating, though I have been told that if you were to breathe it, you would close up and start coughing long before you could inhale a dangerous amount. I really don't care to test it.
   No harmful residue to the bees the wax or the honey.  In one test they treated weekly for something like six months, with no adverse effect on the bees, but they did say they could not find any mites in the hive at all at the end of the test.
   "I have hope, that one day it will be approved for use here in the US..  but until someone puts up a lot of money and time to get it apporved, it will likely remain a method of bleaching the wood frames of your hives.
   I have a vid and other info on my site if your interested.

   http://outyard.weebly.com/treatments.html
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Offline DonMcJr

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Re: Today was the day.
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2014, 08:37:23 pm »
I thought you weren't gonna treat at all? What changed your mind?
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Offline Slowmodem

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Re: Today was the day.
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2014, 09:07:40 pm »
it will likely remain a method of bleaching the wood frames of your hives.

The more I read about this, the more positive it sounds.  I may have to start bleaching my woodware.
Greg Whitehead
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Beekeeping at 26.4 kbs

Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: Today was the day.
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2014, 09:13:20 pm »
Keeping my bees alive.   I am buying resistant queens and adding genetics to my Apiary every year. I keep close tabs on the mite levels. When I get hives that seem to stay below the tolerance level, they get moved to an outyard and not treated. I keep a close watch on them. If they go over the tolerance level I still do not treat until it looks like they are on the verge of crashing. At which point I treat and move them back to my home yard or one of the other yards where I keep "treated" bees.   
   The problem is, that in order to develop resistant bees in my yards, I also have to raise the resistance in the hives of the other beekeepers nearby, AND the feral colonies..  At least if I ever want to raise my own queens..   A faster solution would be just to requeen ALL my hives with proven resistant stock every two or three years. With 50+ hives that becomes a little expensive. Then there is the consideration of failure of at least a few of those 50 queens, so I will have to order replacements if they pooch out or If I manage to harm one during an inspection etc...  Provided any are available when I manage to step on the queen that fell off the frame I was looking at....
 Originally I only planned to have a dozen hives, maybe a few more. Just for the wax and honey..  Plans have changed, so my methods and intentions have as well.   Reality has also played a big role..  When you pop 20 drone cells open and average 5 mites per drone cell you need to do something rather soon.  Giving them a queen that has better resistance is SO MUCH easier when they are alive.   ;D
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Offline kebee

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Re: Today was the day.
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2014, 06:47:12 am »
What I have been using this year and very pleased with it, only thing I have seen is the bees are tiee after for being closed up for the 10 minutes after.

Ken

Offline Lburou

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Re: Today was the day.
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2014, 08:31:47 am »
Scott, you are doing just about what I intend to do in the long term to manage mites.  The Englishman who proposed the so called 'bond' method of mite management later revised his plan to keep only a few hives treatment free in the hope of finding resistant bees while treating his other hives as needed.  Hence, the 'soft bond' method.  Makes practical sense to me.

I had a drone laying queen late last fall and a little bunch of bees I took from the wild about the same time.  I combined them (after pinching the drone laying queen and putting a BeeWeaver queen in there) in late fall.  They overwintered well and made 9 gallons of honey so far this year.  Taking losses in Fall heads your apiary into winter with healthier bees than waiting for the cold to kill them, it gives them a leg up on early spring.

Some people think that the bees get testy when they are in the process of requeening themselves....Could that have been a possible explanation for those bees growing more aggressive?  I guess that explanation works only if they settle down on their own as time goes by, eh?

RBee, I lost my affinity for the cold too...now I live real close to hades here in north central Texas.  ;)  Thing is, the heat causes the queen to stop laying for two or three weeks each summer, giving the mites a brood break.....One must look for the good in everything.

Lazyshooter, we are going to talk about mite sampling next Tuesday evening at the bee Club.  I'm actually bringing bees to wash and see how many mites hitchhiked to the meeting.  :)
Lee_Burough

Offline Perry

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Re: Today was the day.
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2014, 08:58:34 am »
"One must look for the good in everything"

Often as not when you do, you can find it.
Well said!
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Offline lazy shooter

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Re: Today was the day.
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2014, 09:48:20 am »
I'm still in a thing mode.  At this time, the only chemicals I have introduced to my bees are those contained in sugar syrup and the Mann Lakes Pro Health liquid vitamins or whatever. 

I do think that treating bees with toxins is producing mites that are more resistant to the toxin.  And I sure don't want to eat honey that has toxic poisons embedded in it.  I am in a quandary, and my engineering principals tell me not to make a change until I have a clear view of the expected result of said change. 

I have two hives left in my three year old apiary, that at one time consisted of three hives and two nuclear hives.  I believe those hives are now dying.  I think that by autumn, I will have zero bees in this apiary.  But, in retrospect the bees in this apiary were plain Jane Italian bees with no claim to mite resistance.  These bees also went through three continuous years of drought.  They were fed lots of 1:1 and 2:1 sugar syrup.  They never had a good environment.  So based on the above, it was akin to turning loose three packages and two nuclear hives with an unexperienced beekeeper in a deplorable natural environment. 

My other apiary in the town of De Leon consists of three hives that were started last year from big nuclear hives.  They are doing well, and I have collected honey from them this year.  I have one other big hive in a watermelon patch and across the road from a cotton patch that is in full bloom.  This hive is doing well also. 

I now have four great hives, and a lot of dead bees in my rear view mirror.  My current bees are all daughters of BeeWeavers mite resistant bees.  So I cannot compare my current bees to the ones that I lost. 

At this moment, I am not ready to treat, but all of my questions are about exploring options.

Thanks to everyone for their patience.

As a sidebar, I am not interested in anything other than making honey.  I would like to make a few hundred pounds of honey for my friends and some charities.  I'm 75 years old and this is just a fun thing for me.  It's like my season tickets to the Texas A&M football games, there is no profit incentive.

Offline riverbee

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Re: Today was the day.
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2014, 02:20:17 am »
"RBee, I lost my affinity for the cold too...now I live real close to hades here in north central Texas.  ;)  Thing is, the heat causes the queen to stop laying for two or three weeks each summer, giving the mites a brood break.....One must look for the good in everything."

very true lee, in all aspects....."One must look for the good in everything." 
i don't treat my bees much anymore, not since i started keeping russians. the queens stop laying at any hint of pollen or nectar dearths or sometimes other environmental changes.  there are some drawbacks sometimes, but the drawbacks in the long run outweigh having to treat the bees and being concerned about and deal with the effects on them and the queens.

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Offline Jen

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Re: Today was the day.
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2014, 09:33:12 am »
Lou- "Thing is, the heat causes the queen to stop laying for two or three weeks each summer, giving the mites a brood break.....One must look for the good in everything.

     In the case of upper northern California where I live, we have three strikes this summer... the drought, fires, and heat. The scorching heat subsided about 3 weeks ago when the smoke layer filtered the sun. All four of my queens are laying just enough to survive. There is plenty of pollen and pink hummer food in the hives, but I believe the queens have a smoke headache ~
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Today was the day.
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2014, 11:17:20 am »
Thanks for the Randy Oliver link.  That's good reading.  I know some local beekeeps that use OA exclusively. 
The article quotes work my M. Ellis.  I presume that's Dr. Marion Ellis?