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Need to freeze drone/varroa brood?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Matt, Oct 21, 2012.

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  1. Matt

    Matt Pupa

    My freezer is on duty as a grow cabinet at the moment for my vege seedlings (yes, just veges). Took a couple of frames of drone brood out yesterday. Left them in a spare box outside last night. I suspect as they are beeless and it was 13 degrees or whatever last night the larvae will be dead by now. Guessing the mites as well? I will pop the frames back in next fine day we have so the bees can recycle the larval protein.... Can anyone confirm that its not necessary to freeze drone brood to kill the mites in there?
  2. Dave Black

    Dave Black Guard Bee Donor 2015 Silver Donor '17 Hobbyist

  3. Hobbler

    Hobbler House Bee Donor 2014 Hobbyist

    Found this


    The relevant part

    mites produced in the summer live 2 to 3 months, and
    those produced in the fall live 5 to 8 months. Without
    bees and brood, the mites can survive no more than 5
    days. They can, however, live in a comb with sealed brood at 68°F for up to 30 days.

    68°F is about 20°C

    I wouldnt rely on them being dead until about 5 days time assuming once the larvae died they couldnt feed. As Dave said

  4. kevin moore

    kevin moore House Bee Semi Commercial

    Interesting i was always off the onion that once they left the bee they had only 2-3 hours to get back on a host - that was way the screen bottom board was used it made it harder for them to get back into the hive
  5. AdamD

    AdamD Pupa International Beekeeper

    I don't like the idea of feeding the dead back to a colony. It's certainly not common practice in the UK. Drone comb is usually cut out and removed. Chickens love it!#

    One colony of mine on a mesh floor had a high varroa load. It was sitting on a pallet 4" off the ground, on concrete. In hindsight, I suspect the varroa that fell out may have crawled back. The same site ALSO had a high mite count the previous year. (Different hive on the same pallet).
    It's usually suggested that the hive should be 12" off the floor to minimise crawl-back.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. yesbut

    yesbut Field Bee Donor 2015 Hobbyist

    Yet our resident expert Dr MG recommends min 50mm drop ??
  7. Kiwimana

    Kiwimana House Bee Donor 2015 Supplier


    I have seen them alive after a few days away from the hive, so I would say overnight isn't long enough to kill the mites. Thats why we remove them from our hives, and our freezer is not big enough for frames and its full of dead seagulls (but thats another story) :)
  8. Janice

    Janice Guard Bee Donor 2016 Hobbyist

    I want the seagull story please.
    • Like Like x 4
  9. Derek

    Derek Hive Management Non Beekeeper

    So do I :)
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Kiwimana

    Kiwimana House Bee Donor 2015 Supplier

    That’s one of Margarets stories, it involves a rescued bird that died, that we haven’t buried yet. Which freaks me out everytime I’m looking for something for dinner J.

    It was hit by a car, and no not ours and we brought him/her home but alas the bird still died.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Trevor Gillbanks

    Trevor Gillbanks Field Bee Donor 2016 Semi Commercial Gold Donor '17

    OOOHHH!!! Is that all. I was thinking of a story in the likes of a Dave Black letter.
    Maybe next time.
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