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Oxalic and glycerine

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10 minutes ago, JohnF said:

 

No, not due to the typical signature of cororapa

 

 

We do see quite a bit of nosema apis - a drain on the hives (Mark Goodwin estimated it accounted for 15% of a potential crop). But the levels in these samples were very high - much higher than we normally see. I wonder if staples were dry enough and the glycerine is attracting water, does the dampness encourage the nosema apis?

I have 2 specific hives of extraordinary dampness, in a hole that no Beekeeper would ever put a  hive in, on the edge of the ranges with a high rainfall.
One Hive wintered with the base full of water and the Brood was/is below an excluder, in a single bottom box
The Hive wintered with 2 boxes of Honey on and is a 4-5 year resident of the site.
The Hive is strong but this week Ill take a sample from it and post a photo of a Nosema slide at 1000x.
I currently have no Nosema data on the Hive so it will be interesting.

EDIT

Hive is on a Double Brood Box

Edited by Philbee

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21 minutes ago, Philbee said:

I have 2 specific hives of extraordinary dampness, in a hole that no Beekeeper would ever put a  hive in, on the edge of the ranges with a high rainfall.
One Hive wintered with the base full of water and the Brood was/is below an excluder, in a single bottom box
The Hive wintered with 2 boxes of Honey on and is a 4-5 year resident of the site.
The Hive is strong but this week Ill take a sample from it and post a photo of a Nosema slide at 1000x.
I currently have no Nosema data on the Hive so it will be interesting.

EDIT

Hive is on a Double Brood Box

 

Only thing with that Phil is that you can not (reliably) tell Nosema ceranae from Nosema apis. And you will need quite a level to see it at all  ie a 'no nosema seen' slide does not mean no nosema !

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42 minutes ago, JohnF said:

 

Only thing with that Phil is that you can not (reliably) tell Nosema ceranae from Nosema apis. And you will need quite a level to see it at all  ie a 'no nosema seen' slide does not mean no nosema !

As for telling the difference between the two, NO

However I have had extensive experience searching cover slips at all focal depths looking for generic Spores and can easily establish whether there is any need to investigate further.
If I find any spores of significance then more samples can be collected for further investigation.

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1 hour ago, Philbee said:

I have 2 specific hives of extraordinary dampness, in a hole that no Beekeeper would ever put a  hive in, on the edge of the ranges with a high rainfall.
One Hive wintered with the base full of water and the Brood was/is below an excluder, in a single bottom box
The Hive wintered with 2 boxes of Honey on and is a 4-5 year resident of the site.
The Hive is strong but this week Ill take a sample from it and post a photo of a Nosema slide at 1000x.
I currently have no Nosema data on the Hive so it will be interesting.

EDIT

Hive is on a Double Brood Box

Was this a strong hive with plenty of bees to keep the hive warm despite the damp .

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1 hour ago, kaihoka said:

Was this a strong hive with plenty of bees to keep the hive warm despite the damp .

I checked this Hive in July when I drained the water out of it.
At that point it was a box of Bees and did have a pile of long dead bees out front.

It appeared that something had swept through the Hive between April and July but the Hive had dealt with it.

Hive health underpins winter resilience  and winter resilience is probably only loosely connected to Hive size providing there is critical mass, which in itself varies.

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2 hours ago, Philbee said:

I checked this Hive in July when I drained the water out of it.
At that point it was a box of Bees and did have a pile of long dead bees out front.

It appeared that something had swept through the Hive between April and July but the Hive had dealt with it.

Hive health underpins winter resilience  and winter resilience is probably only loosely connected to Hive size providing there is critical mass, which in itself varies.

Was there a flow on for this hive over winter ?

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5 hours ago, kaihoka said:

Was there a flow on for this hive over winter ?

Short answer No

However the Koromiko is a late forage and Spanish Heather is a relatively early one for pollen Id say, and also these hives had a full seasons honey left on and very low mite counts.

11 hours ago, JohnF said:

 

Only thing with that Phil is that you can not (reliably) tell Nosema ceranae from Nosema apis. And you will need quite a level to see it at all  ie a 'no nosema seen' slide does not mean no nosema !

Ok Here are some results for the day and the counts are in relative terms based on standard procedure for preparing the sample and comparisons between samples.
Generally where there have been variations between hive samples those variations have been significant.

Not all the hives have Varroa counts available.

 

First site, 2 hives tested dry warm clover site.

Hive 1,  0 spores, 0 mites, 2 box honey , 100g 40% oa/gl over winter single brood

Hive 2,  0 spores, 0 mites, 2 box honey,  100g 40% oa/gl over winter single brood

 

Second site, wet damp cold Hole. (low mite counts)

Hive 1, Moderate spores, water in base over winter, double brood boxes, 2 cup die off over winter at some stage, 275g 40% oa/gl over winter, good spring hive. 2 boxes Honey 

Hive 2, 0 spores, drier of the two Hives,   3 boxes Honey, single brood, 100g 40% oa/gl over winter.

 

Third site 

Hive 1, Shaded, slightly damp, 100g 40% oa/gl over winter, single box, no honey crop,  , Autumn mites 14/300 reduced to 1/290, spring mites = 0,

Spores = High.

 

4th Site 

Hive 1, sunny warm, 1 cup dead Bees out front post treatment last week, treatment 100g 40% oa/gl, Live Bees tested = 0 spores, dead bees tested = Very High spores?

 

5th site 

Hive 1, small, no spring mite test, no spring treatment, 100g 40% oa/gl over winter, 1 box honey, autumn mites = 68/300 reduced to 1/243, High spores.

 

My Observations.

Poor hives with high Autumn Mite loads also tended to have High spring spore counts 

 

Of the two highest spore count Hives, both had an obvious Bee die off out front yet one Hive was in the wettest of the sites  and the other was one of the driest of the sites.

(note) of these to hives the wettest hive had a high live Bee spore count and the hive in the much better site had a very high dead Bee spore count.
The live Bee spore count for the latter was 0)

 

It appears that Hives with no mite history nor a spore history are in sites with very even hives across a site.

 

Hives that have come from high autumn Mite counts  down to a 0 mite count and have spores, are poor Hives.

Overal Id say that Mites leave their mark on a Hive and there may even be a connection between high mite loads and susceptibility to Nosema.
Leading to the reasonable assumption that staying on top of the Mites is very important.

 



 

 

 

 

Edited by Trevor Gillbanks
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Been out and taken some samples today to send to DNature (JohnF) for testing.

 

Will certainly be interesting to see how the results explain what has gone wrong.

 

Sample 2 is a composit of bees taken from 8 of the worst affected hives, and for a comparison i have taken sample 1 which is a composit from some of the least affected hives.

 

Instructions are to leave the samples in the deep freeze overnight, which I assume is to ensure no live bees get to the lab. But tomorrow is Thursday so just to make sure there are no courier screw ups I'll keep them in the deep freeze and send on monday.

 

Looking at the pics it can be seen that the poor hive has no food stores in the bottom box. However the better hive has no stores in the bottom box either.

 

 

sample 1.jpg

sample 2.jpg

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On 13/11/2019 at 3:01 PM, Alastair said:

Been out and taken some samples today to send to DNature (JohnF) for testing.

 

Will certainly be interesting to see how the results explain what has gone wrong.

 

Sample 2 is a composit of bees taken from 8 of the worst affected hives, and for a comparison i have taken sample 1 which is a composit from some of the least affected hives.

 

Instructions are to leave the samples in the deep freeze overnight, which I assume is to ensure no live bees get to the lab. But tomorrow is Thursday so just to make sure there are no courier screw ups I'll keep them in the deep freeze and send on monday.

 

Looking at the pics it can be seen that the poor hive has no food stores in the bottom box. However the better hive has no stores in the bottom box either.

 

 

sample 1.jpg

sample 2.jpg

Hi alastair

Good to see you sharing your experience with oxalic acid even if it was a negative one. We now know that hives on a flow are maybe more able to cope with excessive acid than hives on no flow.

I have talked to a number of beekeepers and generally they fall into one of 3 categories. Use ox and like it. Haven't used it and maybe havent even heard of it. Have used it and are reluctant to use it again after a bad experience.

The common issues where people have had a poor experience seem to be.

 

Staples too wet.

Colonies too small , less than a box.

Used staples too late in the autium.

Colonies moved away from poorly positioned staples.

Excessive mite numbers to start with.

Staples made from a material like thin card that gets chewed out too soon.

 

Regarding staple dryness we hang ours in a rack to drain/dry for 2 or 3 days prior to use and have never observed negative effects on bees or brood. 

 

 

 

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Thanks Jamo that IS very helpful.

 

I used some staples that were too wet, but that could not be the whole problem because that was only the staples at the bottom of the bucket, the majority of hives were done with staples from higher up in the bucket which were dry, or at least dry enough that you would not have been able to squeeze anything out of them.

 

The thing you mentioned that could have been a problem is lack of flow, there was none where my bees are, throughout the whole treatment period. Except for a couple of sites, and they were less affected. All the beekeepers I know in my area who have tried staples, have had bad experiences exactly the same as mine, except for one. And this one is the only one who has a lot of hives close to the suburbs, where there is a trickle of a flow. The rest of the beekeepers are same as me, no flow.

 

So maybe it's that, and staples just aren't going to work here.

 

And hey, it's very refreshing to get some informed, concise, clear cut answers, appreciate it. 👍

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I used apivar last spring and since then I have used staples in late summer autumn.

I only have three hives , so no sample , but I can see no difference in my hives from other yrs that I can not put down to other factors than varroa treatment .

Bayvarol would have worked fine for me too.

But I have the place to myself now . When all the migrant beeks arrive things may change .

My hives may be clean now but they will probably suffer invasion even though the migrants who come here are very together beeks.

I am thinking that if we have a good season the bees maybe preoccupied with collecting honey and not drift around to my garden and my hives .

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1 minute ago, kaihoka said:

I used apivar last spring and since then I have used staples in late summer autumn.

I only have three hives , so no sample , but I can see no difference in my hives from other yrs that I can not put down to other factors than varroa treatment .

Bayvarol would have worked fine for me too.

But I have the place to myself now . When all the migrant beeks arrive things may change .

My hives may be clean now but they will probably suffer invasion even though the migrants who come here are very together beeks.

I am thinking that if we have a good season the bees maybe preoccupied with collecting honey and not drift around to my garden and my hives .

Hmmmm .....

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18 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

 

But I have the place to myself now . When all the migrant beeks arrive things may change .

My hives may be clean now but they will probably suffer invasion even though the migrants who come here are very together beeks.

 


I don’t understand why so many hobbyists think that commercial beekeepers coming in will cause invasion of varroa into their hives.

im not 100% sure who “your” migrants are but if it’s who I think, they are very good beekeepers and will have treated for varroa up till putting honey boxes on and moving them in and they will treat in February as soon as the boxes come off.

There should be no “ invasion” .

Edited by frazzledfozzle
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44 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

I used apivar last spring and since then I have used staples in late summer autumn....... I can see no difference in my hives from other yrs that I can not put down to other factors than varroa treatment .

 

Did you have a flow, or a dearth, when the staples were in?

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7 hours ago, Alastair said:

Thanks Jamo that IS very helpful.

 

I used some staples that were too wet, but that could not be the whole problem because that was only the staples at the bottom of the bucket, the majority of hives were done with staples from higher up in the bucket which were dry, or at least dry enough that you would not have been able to squeeze anything out of them.

 

The thing you mentioned that could have been a problem is lack of flow, there was none where my bees are, throughout the whole treatment period. Except for a couple of sites, and they were less affected. All the beekeepers I know in my area who have tried staples, have had bad experiences exactly the same as mine, except for one. And this one is the only one who has a lot of hives close to the suburbs, where there is a trickle of a flow. The rest of the beekeepers are same as me, no flow.

 

So maybe it's that, and staples just aren't going to work here.

 

And hey, it's very refreshing to get some informed, concise, clear cut answers, appreciate it. 👍

Hey @Alister

ive been supering up  hives this week and pondering the ox failures. 

Do you see any correlation between old queens and ox failures ? I’ve got a higher than usual percentage of old queens this year. As I go round a lot of my failures are bouncing back as the nectar is starting to flow and having the staples removed.

A lot are old queens I should have replaced in autumn. 

 

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Interesting observation Nikki. I can't say I've seen the same exactly, but what I have seen is a very high percentage of old queens being replaced, but without the hive swarming. Most unusual in spring.

 

I was worried the supersedure queens may be inferior due to being raised in an acidified environment, but they seem fine, mating percentages have been good to excellent also.

 

And yes, a lot of my hives are starting to perk up now the staples are out and the flow is on. But since the hives are largely reduced to nucs and the flow will mostly be over in another 6 - 8 weeks, I do not see much of a honey harvest for me this season, if anything at all. I would normally have the hives at peak strength now, to be taking full advantage of the flow.

 

Which is why with nothing much for me to do in the way of work atm, I am able to idle away time on the bee chat site.

 

Could have been better off to take a years holiday.

.

About the queen replacement, i have a theory. 

 

Not too much damage was done to the hives during the first 4 week round of staples, the serious damage was done during the second 4 week round. Which coincided with the onset of swarming season.

 

So I'm thinking that hives especially with old queens, were prepping to swarm, and building queen cells. But at the same time, serious damage and depopulation was happening to the hives. So, they decided to skip the swarming, but allowed the cells to hatch to effect a supersedure.

 

My theory, anyway.

Edited by Alastair
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4 hours ago, Alastair said:

 

Did you have a flow, or a dearth, when the staples were in?

I had a reasonable flow .

The weakest hive I put staples in I moved into the hakea and it capped a box of honey and really built up

The other two home hives had garden stuff , red rata vine, spanish heather down the rd .

My starvation time is late summer early autumn when the mainflow is over and the migrants are here .

Otherwise there is always something for my hives to tick.over on .

My forth hive died in autumn after I put staples in .

Completely unrelated , it starved , it was too close to a migrant site and got stealth robbed .

It was a very bad yr of no honey last summer season .

5 hours ago, frazzledfozzle said:


I don’t understand why so many hobbyists think that commercial beekeepers coming in will cause invasion of varroa into their hives.

im not 100% sure who “your” migrants are but if it’s who I think, they are very good beekeepers and will have treated for varroa up till putting honey boxes on and moving them in and they will treat in February as soon as the boxes come off.

There should be no “ invasion” .

I did mention in my post that they were good beeks .

They themselves have told me that after pollination one guy had to retreat his hives because they got such another big infestation after being in such a crowded area .

It is a problem for them.too .

3 hours ago, Alastair said:

Interesting observation Nikki. I can't say I've seen the same exactly, but what I have seen is a very high percentage of old queens being replaced, but without the hive swarming. Most unusual in spring.

One of my home hives superseded this yr and did not swarm .

Last yr was very swarmy .

I am very pleased with the new  yellow queen .

I put lack of swarming down to the weather , the scouts would have a hard time going far in our constant wind .

Our flow is probably later than most so a slow build up is no problem for me .

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Reinvasion of varroa is generally because hives around you are collapsing from varroa.

 

in a commercial pollination environment who would be putting hives into orchards that are varroa ridden enough to be collapsing ?

 

i certainly don’t mind being corrected on my thoughts on reinvasion so anyone feel free to tell me I’m talking through a hole in my head :) 

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5 hours ago, Alastair said:

Interesting observation Nikki. I can't say I've seen the same exactly, but what I have seen is a very high percentage of old queens being replaced, but without the hive swarming. Most unusual in spring.

 

I was worried the supersedure queens may be inferior due to being raised in an acidified environment, but they seem fine, mating percentages have been good to excellent also.

 

And yes, a lot of my hives are starting to perk up now the staples are out and the flow is on. But since the hives are largely reduced to nucs and the flow will mostly be over in another 6 - 8 weeks, I do not see much of a honey harvest for me this season, if anything at all. I would normally have the hives at peak strength now, to be taking full advantage of the flow.

 

Which is why with nothing much for me to do in the way of work atm, I am able to idle away time on the bee chat site.

 

Could have been better off to take a years holiday.

.

About the queen replacement, i have a theory. 

 

Not too much damage was done to the hives during the first 4 week round of staples, the serious damage was done during the second 4 week round. Which coincided with the onset of swarming season.

 

So I'm thinking that hives especially with old queens, were prepping to swarm, and building queen cells. But at the same time, serious damage and depopulation was happening to the hives. So, they decided to skip the swarming, but allowed the cells to hatch to effect a supersedure.

 

My theory, anyway.

 

There is another point out of this.  When I treat with Ox/G it goes in and I leave it there until the strips are devoured or ragged or clearly have no solution in them.  In the busiest gruntiest hives I think the treatment works actively for one month, but I don't then follow up with a second treatment immediately.  I think well I've cleaned out most of the mites, I can leave them for another couple of months before I treat again.  I wonder if a treatment followed immediately by another treatment overdosed them, quite possibly if you think the second treatment period was where the problems occurred?

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2 hours ago, frazzledfozzle said:

Reinvasion of varroa is generally because hives around you are collapsing from varroa.

 

in a commercial pollination environment who would be putting hives into orchards that are varroa ridden enough to be collapsing ?

 

i certainly don’t mind being corrected on my thoughts on reinvasion so anyone feel free to tell me I’m talking through a hole in my head :) 

Yep . A good strong hive will rob a weaker varroa infested hive and bring the baddies home .

Also, here in autumn , it’s not uncommon to see multiple bees trying to work the same dandelion , and some of the bees have visible riders on their backs . I’m guessing it’s not difficult for varroa to hitch onto another bee in the field . Bees get pretty frantic and busy when the summer flow stops and partake in risky behaviour , just to fill up. Really , one bee per flower would be plenty 

53 minutes ago, CraBee said:

 

There is another point out of this.  When I treat with Ox/G it goes in and I leave it there until the strips are devoured or ragged or clearly have no solution in them.  In the busiest gruntiest hives I think the treatment works actively for one month, but I don't then follow up with a second treatment immediately.  I think well I've cleaned out most of the mites, I can leave them for another couple of months before I treat again.  I wonder if a treatment followed immediately by another treatment overdosed them, quite possibly if you think the second treatment period was where the problems occurred?

Good thinking . 
I just pondered the same thing .

 

Some field trials would confirm this 

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2 hours ago, frazzledfozzle said:

Reinvasion of varroa is generally because hives around you are collapsing from varroa.

 

in a commercial pollination environment who would be putting hives into orchards that are varroa ridden enough to be collapsing ?

 

i certainly don’t mind being corrected on my thoughts on reinvasion so anyone feel free to tell me I’m talking through a hole in my head :) 

I think some of the orchards in the motueka , riwaka area are pretty close and the law of the weakest link in the chain applies and it only takes one slack bee keeper to make it difficult for the rest .

The impression I got was that the hives were clean going in and came out with a big new varroa loading .

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@kaihoka its something we hear all the time but I have to wonder at the reality of the situation.

Most guys doing pollination are pretty switched on and to have hives that are on the verge of collapse doesn't make sense and certainly doesn't make a profitable business 

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2 hours ago, CraBee said:

 

There is another point out of this.  When I treat with Ox/G it goes in and I leave it there until the strips are devoured or ragged or clearly have no solution in them.  In the busiest gruntiest hives I think the treatment works actively for one month, but I don't then follow up with a second treatment immediately.  I think well I've cleaned out most of the mites, I can leave them for another couple of months before I treat again.  I wonder if a treatment followed immediately by another treatment overdosed them, quite possibly if you think the second treatment period was where the problems occurred?

 

My thoughts also Craig, clearly they were overdosed.

 

If Phil will still sell me staples after all this LOL, I'll give it another try, but this time with a lower dose and monitor more closely.

Edited by Alastair
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1 hour ago, frazzledfozzle said:

@kaihoka its something we hear all the time but I have to wonder at the reality of the situation.

Most guys doing pollination are pretty switched on and to have hives that are on the verge of collapse doesn't make sense and certainly doesn't make a profitable business 

I do not think they were on the verge of collapse they just had a varroa loading that they thought they should re treat .

I noticed that when they were taking honey off in feb there were strips in the brood boxes .

I asked them why they were still there and they said they had put new ones in in late nov before they came over here because testing showed the hives still had varroa .

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6 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

I do not think they were on the verge of collapse they just had a varroa loading that they thought they should re treat .

I noticed that when they were taking honey off in feb there were strips in the brood boxes .

I asked them why they were still there and they said they had put new ones in in late nov before they came over here because testing showed the hives still had varroa .

So I hope they are declaring it on the harvest declaration when selling their honey

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