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Oxalic and glycerine

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8 hours ago, Alastair said:

I have a question as a first time user, I've put staples in the hives and about to start the 4 week replacement round. I took a sneak peek at some hives today and most of the staples still look almost like new. Do I remove them and replace, or leave them?

 

I’ve noticed that hives seem to go from mild chewing to ravenous chomping when the population steeply increases. I’m at maybe 10-15 frames of brood in a couple of hives and they are taking apart staples in a fortnight. My slower hives haven’t touched the staples.

I wouldn’t replace, but would follow the brood.

Sugar shakes have gone from 13 to zero, with one still at 2. That seems too good for a month of staples so I’ll recount soon.

 

The most varroa infested hive looked fine and had a nice brood pattern a month ago. Now it has a terrible pattern and less bees, so suspect the treatment and OA has been hard on them.

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@Matt I’m the same, I’ve stopped worrying about crystals on the staples, I just leave them on and the bees seem to deal with it.

 

OA staples are a very different proposition to synthetic strips. Strips we just banged in at a set time and walked away. The staples we take account of hive strength, food availability, stage of the season and as always we want young strong queens, low disease/varroa pressure and healthy living conditions.

 

At times I’ve come across hives that I know the staples are going to hit hard - say the hive already has issues with varroa or disease or the queen is not as strong as she should be. Even if I give them fewer staples around the edge of the brood instead of straight though the middle I expect they’re going to struggle. I mark these for replacement (queen or nuc or whatever) next visit - if I turn up next time and they’ve bounced back, that’s great, if they haven’t I replace them and move on. My hope is that over time I end up with hives that have settled at low varroa/disease incidence and uniformly handle the staples well.

 

I also still have formic in the arsenal for use between now and the flow, if I need to go for the nuclear option.

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1 hour ago, M4tt said:

not sure where this replacing them so frequently came from 

 

I think people will still be making it up as we go along for a while yet .

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@jamesc, I’ve been thinking about your bees .

 

The first thing that’s obvious is something killed them . You can virtually rule out varroa because they just don’t seem to survive with correctly prepared staples in .

 

It could be virus, but I doubt it. There would be more of a difference  between apiaries, rather than over 50% dead outs spread over your operation . 

 

I believe it’s the Oxalic acid. It is toxic to bees , and the way you diligently followed the brood into winter, you may have killed them with love 💖. What I mean by this, is , based on my own experience , bees will tolerate one leg of a staple per seam of bees, and thrive. Two legs per seam and they quickly abandon that part of the hive and  it definitely reduces bee numbers fast .

 

Do yourself a favour and experiment on some hives, strong and weak, with one staple per seam, both using the @Stoney method at the edges of the brood towards the ends of the frames, and across the centre like @Philbee’s method 

 

I believe you’ll be pleasantly surprised by both methods😊

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Thanks for your thinking Matt.

These bees are coming along.... not a patch on last year.... but with more luvin’ will get to look like...

07FA5259-570D-4769-B22A-3C07A6C37702.jpeg

F2168707-B1E3-46B3-8F6B-4A6C01827B34.jpeg

We lost most of the bees in February  this year after the staples had gone in. We placed them right at the ends of the frames , two at each end of the box, several frames apart. As we moved into the autumn and replaced the staples, we started moving them ...... ring fencing the  brood.

The glycerine came from Farmlands, the O/A from NZ beeswax.

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6 hours ago, M4tt said:

@jamesc, I’ve been thinking about your bees .

 

The first thing that’s obvious is something killed them . You can virtually rule out varroa because they just don’t seem to survive with correctly prepared staples in 

😊

First rule in the battle with varroa is never take you eye off the enemy. Their is no doubt that the mites have now brought their a game to the battle field.

 

In late summer if your mite washes are above 30 - 40 I really don't think it matters what you do the mites have already won.

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53 minutes ago, Jamo said:

In late summer if your mite washes are above 30 - 40 I really don't think it matters what you do the mites have already won.

Here is a cut and paste from a trial done somewhere by someone using one treatment or another, designed and Audited by someone qualified to do so.
As I read it, these are all the hives in the trial from one particular site close to other commercial sites.

Reading the background data it is clear that Varroa dont kill hives by themselves

Its the Viruses that they vector that do the real damage.

Take a good look at it.

 

Hive 38.

Site 3

Single Brood Box

Initial Count. 06-04-19,        15 Mite  / 300 Bees      5 %

+ 4 weeks      05-05-19,         8 Mites / 226 Bees     3.54%        

+ Week 8,      04-06-19,          0 Mite / 193 Bees        0 %          

 

 Hive 39.

Site 3

Single Brood Box

 

Initial Count. 06-04-19,        85 Mite  / 260 Bees      32.7%

+ 4 weeks      05-05-19,          8 Mites / 302 Bees      2.6%        

+ Week 8,      04-06-19,          3 Mite / 300 Bees        1%          

 

Hive 40.

Site 3

Single Brood Box

Initial Count. 06-04-19,        60 Mite  / 300 Bees      20 %

+ 4 weeks      05-05-19,          7 Mites / 320 Bees      2.19 %        

+ Week 8,      04-06-19,         3 Mite / 262 Bees        1.14 %          

 

Hive 41c Untreated Control Hive.

Site 3

Single Brood Box

Untreated

 

Initial Count. 06-04-19,        32 Mite  / 270 Bees          11.85 %

+ 4 weeks      05-05-19,          100 Mites / 360 Bees      27.77 %       Killed Hive due to severe risk of trial contamination

 

 

 Hive 42c Untreated Control Hive.   

Site 3

Single Brood Box

Untreated

 

Initial Count. 06-04-19,        40 Mite  / 308 Bees         13%

+ 4 weeks      05-05-19,          80 Mites / 380 Bees       21%     Treated today    

+8 weeks       04-06-19           1 Mites / 312 Bees          0.32%

 

 

 

Hive 43c Untreated Control Hive.

Site 3

Single Brood Box

Untreated

 

Initial Count. 06-04-19,        36 Mite  / 362 Bees          10  %

+ 4 weeks      05-05-19,          88 Mites / 290 Bees        30.30 %   Treated today

+ 8 weeks       04-06-19           0 Mites / 245 Bees          0 %       

 

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Hmmmm ..... we was doing  sugar shakes a few weeks ago and getting fifty plus mites.  The population of the hive was probably only 3-5000 bees. And they were ticking along.

So as a percentage of population, a count of 30-40 in  late January is'nt all that high .

 

Right ..... or not ?

4 minutes ago, Philbee said:

Here is a cut and paste from a trial done somewhere by someone using one treatment or another, designed and Audited by someone qualified to do so.
As I read it, these are all the hives in the trial from one particular site close to other commercial sites.

Reading the background data it is clear that Varroa dont kill hives by themselves

Its the Viruses that they vector that do the real damage.

Take a good look at it.

 

Hive 38.

Site 3

Single Brood Box

Initial Count. 06-04-19,        15 Mite  / 300 Bees      5 %

+ 4 weeks      05-05-19,         8 Mites / 226 Bees     3.54%        

+ Week 8,      04-06-19,          0 Mite / 193 Bees        0 %          

 

 Hive 39.

Site 3

Single Brood Box

 

Initial Count. 06-04-19,        85 Mite  / 260 Bees      32.7%

+ 4 weeks      05-05-19,          8 Mites / 302 Bees      2.6%        

+ Week 8,      04-06-19,          3 Mite / 300 Bees        1%          

 

Hive 40.

Site 3

Single Brood Box

Initial Count. 06-04-19,        60 Mite  / 300 Bees      20 %

+ 4 weeks      05-05-19,          7 Mites / 320 Bees      2.19 %        

+ Week 8,      04-06-19,         3 Mite / 262 Bees        1.14 %          

 

Hive 41c Untreated Control Hive.

Site 3

Single Brood Box

Untreated

 

Initial Count. 06-04-19,        32 Mite  / 270 Bees          11.85 %

+ 4 weeks      05-05-19,          100 Mites / 360 Bees      27.77 %       Killed Hive due to severe risk of trial contamination

 

 

 Hive 42c Untreated Control Hive.   

Site 3

Single Brood Box

Untreated

 

Initial Count. 06-04-19,        40 Mite  / 308 Bees         13%

+ 4 weeks      05-05-19,          80 Mites / 380 Bees       21%     Treated today    

+8 weeks       04-06-19           1 Mites / 312 Bees          0.32%

 

 

 

Hive 43c Untreated Control Hive.

Site 3

Single Brood Box

Untreated

 

Initial Count. 06-04-19,        36 Mite  / 362 Bees          10  %

+ 4 weeks      05-05-19,          88 Mites / 290 Bees        30.30 %   Treated today

+ 8 weeks       04-06-19           0 Mites / 245 Bees          0 %       

 

Ok ... so I'm interested in these untreated hive mite counts.  Four weeks later the mite count after treating is down to zero.

We did a mite count two weeks after treatment with staples and the count was climbing.

 

Why ?

Was I a bit premature and should have waited another two weeks before doing a mite count ?

 

There is no doubt O/A has  a place to play in mite control, but I need more confidence of success to persuade me to  re enter the arena.

What I should maybe add to the previous photos is that all the hives were treated with Apivar in the autumn of 2017 and then nothing but O/A through the following spring.

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That post is in reply to Jamo's theory about critically high counts

My understanding is that this set of numbers demonstrates that high summer/autumn counts dont need to be a death sentence.
Nothing more nothing less

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Jamesc Your choice of the farmlands glycerine may be the reason for your losses, the glycerine they sell now is very thin compared to the shine glycerine they used to sell.

 

I used to get my glyc from farmlands , but when they changed supplier the new product was a lot thinner and that puts the final solution out of kilter ( the solution leaches out of the strips)

 

I now purchase my glycerine direct from bell booth in Palmerston North 200l at a time Shine USP/BP grade , also if you used the ovaboard product, that could also be problematic as

that stuff is made from recycled board and so could have anything in it. I would suggest that you find a supplier of what used to be called food grade fiber board  but now called food contact board , this can be obtained here in the Waikato at Attwoods in hamilton and they will get it cut to size .If there is an Attwoods down there in CHCH they may be worth a visit

Check their website under greyboard I think.

 

 

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Huh .....well thanks for that Olbe ..... many rivers run into one ocean and you never know what sort of a fish, if any , you gonna catch ....

The staples came from Philbee .... so I have confidence in those .  

 

Any offer for 150 ltrs of farmlands Glycerine ?

Edited by jamesc

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26 minutes ago, Philbee said:

 

That post is in reply to Jamo's theory about critically high counts

My understanding is that this set of numbers demonstrates that high summer/autumn counts dont need to be a death sentence.
Nothing more nothing less

Fair enough. We did washes on about 20 % of our hives and all the hives with high visual mites when we pulled the honey and put in apivar.

We found 5 hives above 35 and they all fell over during the treatment period so perhaps my theory regarding high mite counts being a death sentence needs to be specific to when treating in autumn with apivar. 

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What time of year were you pulling honey ?

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1 minute ago, jamesc said:

What time of year were you pulling honey ?

Feb

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Ah yep .... same same ..... one of the mysteries of life.

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2 minutes ago, Jamo said:

Fair enough. We did washes on about 20 % of our hives and all the hives with high visual mites when we pulled the honey and put in apivar.

We found 5 hives above 35 and they all fell over during the treatment period so perhaps my theory regarding high mite counts being a death sentence needs to be specific to when treating in autumn with apivar. 

Here is a question for the scientist.

Do viraly afflicted Bees recover to participate constructively to the Hive once the Mites are removed?

I suspect that they do not, rather they can contribute to the ultimate demise of the Hive .

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25 minutes ago, Philbee said:

Here is a question for the scientist.

Do viraly afflicted Bees recover to participate constructively to the Hive once the Mites are removed?

I suspect that they do not, rather they can contribute to the ultimate demise of the Hive .

Mine all fall out the front & die

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9 hours ago, Philbee said:

Here is a question for the scientist.

Do viraly afflicted Bees recover to participate constructively to the Hive once the Mites are removed?

I suspect that they do not, rather they can contribute to the ultimate demise of the Hive .

 

I'm saying no they don't participate constructively and add to the demise of the hive.

We have always been told that the bees die from the viruses that come from the varroa bite, but we have also been told that the varroa feed on the bee blood.

since conference and Dr Sammy Ramsay showed that the varroa actually feed on the fat body of the bee, and the fat body is used for most things that control the health of the bee. I'm wondering if just saying the viruses kill the bee is to glib, and the fact that the bee has been compromised by the damage to the fat body, that the bee can no longer handle the viruses due to a compromised immune system, like us when we are run down we are more prone to come down with a cold or other sickness.

 

 

Edited by Trevor Gillbanks
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1 hour ago, Philbee said:

Here is a question for the scientist.

Do viraly afflicted Bees recover to participate constructively to the Hive once the Mites are removed?

I suspect that they do not, rather they can contribute to the ultimate demise of the Hive .

We had a hive that had slipped through the cracks and was mite riddled back in mid August. Would have still been about 4 fms of bees. We added 4 frames of brood and treatment then and added another 4 fms of brood start of Sep.

Went back to that yard today and that hive still had issues, was worse than hives made up from scratch with 6 fms brood so added more brood.

Seams that starting with the original 4 fms of bees and sick brood was much worse than starting with nothing.

Rest of yard going great.

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8 hours ago, Jamo said:

We had a hive that had slipped through the cracks and was mite riddled back in mid August. Would have still been about 4 fms of bees. We added 4 frames of brood and treatment then and added another 4 fms of brood start of Sep.

Went back to that yard today and that hive still had issues, was worse than hives made up from scratch with 6 fms brood so added more brood.

Seams that starting with the original 4 fms of bees and sick brood was much worse than starting with nothing.

Rest of yard going great.

And its also possible that sick wax plays a part in the matrix as well.

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10 minutes ago, Philbee said:

And its also possible that sick wax plays a part in the matrix as well.

Whats your policy on cycling out dark frames of brood wax .

I have read diverging opinions on whether dark wax matters .

Some frames go dark brown pretty quickly but look very clean other than the colour .

Beeks who have been bee keeping for many yrs do not seem so bothered by dark frames as new entrances.

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5 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

Whats your policy on cycling out dark frames of brood wax .

I have read diverging opinions on whether dark wax matters .

Some frames go dark brown pretty quickly but look very clean other than the colour .

Beeks who have been bee keeping for many yrs do not seem so bothered by dark frames as new entrances.

I cycle out out old comb whenever I i see something that doesnt look good.
However I dont have a set regime

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21 hours ago, Philbee said:

 

That post is in reply to Jamo's theory about critically high counts

My understanding is that this set of numbers demonstrates that high summer/autumn counts dont need to be a death sentence.
Nothing more nothing less

My tuppence worth as a 2 hive hobbyist. Wintered as single full depth boxes.  Washed 98/225 (cause I couldn't count all the varroa in the jar and had to tip out and sort when I saw the high numbers)  in April after honey off and no treatments since Apivar in Spring.  Put in o/a staples that some of the hobby club members made up and left unchanged since, but moved to follow brood.  No brood break in both these hives and remained strong.  Just had the club up for a meeting and did another wash on both hives with a zero count in both.  Staples pretty much gone now and what is left is not tangy any more.  I'm a convert and will replace staples for the Spring build up.  I'm no expert but agree that other factors other than the varroa alone must be at play.  I will also say that in my pre-varroa days there were never the health problems we now see.

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So, I'll make no bones about it, but I am confused. Some would say that's nothing new ......but.....

I was talking to another Beeman this evening about O/A. He's been using them for a while now, but rather than gib tape is using overboard.

His regime is four overboard in late January ..... and that carries his bees through until September.

 

Whats going on here ....? 

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12 minutes ago, jamesc said:

So, I'll make no bones about it, but I am confused. Some would say that's nothing new ......but.....

I was talking to another Beeman this evening about O/A. He's been using them for a while now, but rather than gib tape is using overboard.

His regime is four overboard in late January ..... and that carries his bees through until September.

 

Whats going on here ....? 

You think the glycerine? As @olbe reckons

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