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JayBee

NZBF Robbed ... now what?

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So ... it's a long, woeful story, but I'll try to keep it succinct.

 

About ten days ago, I treated my one and only bee colony for Varroa mites. I used Mite Away Quick Strips (MAQS). Because ventilation is essential when using MAQS, I fully opened the bottom entrance and also propped it up to the minimum height of 1.3cm, as per the MAQS instructions. Then the robbing began ...

 

I wasn't really sure what to do as I couldn't close the entrance down (due to the MAQS inside the hive), and I didn't have a robber screen available (lesson learned ... be more prepared). So, I threw a damp sheet over the hive - it's all I could think to do.

 

Seven days later, I removed the MAQS strips. It then became apparent how devastating the robbing had been. The colony basically have no honey stores left, but quite a bit of pollen (I guess robbing bees aren't into pollen that much)? I did notice that the queen is (miraculously), still alive as I found eggs and young larvae in some of the cells.

 

I am a little confused about what to do now. I know the bees will need some kind of feeding, but I am really worried that adding sugar syrup will set off another robbing frenzy which will be too much for the much weakened colony. Would love to hear some suggestions.

 

Thanks.

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Not feeding them will undoubtedly kill them through starvation. With just the one hive, you have few to no other option but to feed up large.

Pray to the almighty Jebus we have a warm autumn.

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got any pics of the brood and the remains?

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What did the hive look like before treatment? Other than split the brood nest to add MAQS, what else did you do when treating? How long was the hive open.

 

In wonder about the "fully open entrance" requirement. My full depths always get two strips, a full width entrance and an extra box on singles. They generally do fine.

 

This season I used MAQS on five frame NUCs. I added a 90mm feeder rim however then entrance was a plastic disc and was no bigger than the largest setting. On average the five frame NUCs did better than the bigger hives. I wonder how important it is to reduce the entrance.

 

Finally, I don't mean to change your mind regards entrances. This is the first year I've noticed this difference. It could be the result of something completely unrelated.

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So ... it's a long, woeful story, but I'll try to keep it succinct.

 

About ten days ago, I treated my one and only bee colony for Varroa mites. I used Mite Away Quick Strips (MAQS). Because ventilation is essential when using MAQS, I fully opened the bottom entrance and also propped it up to the minimum height of 1.3cm, as per the MAQS instructions. Then the robbing began ...

 

I wasn't really sure what to do as I couldn't close the entrance down (due to the MAQS inside the hive), and I didn't have a robber screen available (lesson learned ... be more prepared). So, I threw a damp sheet over the hive - it's all I could think to do.

 

Seven days later, I removed the MAQS strips. It then became apparent how devastating the robbing had been. The colony basically have no honey stores left, but quite a bit of pollen (I guess robbing bees aren't into pollen that much)? I did notice that the queen is (miraculously), still alive as I found eggs and young larvae in some of the cells.

 

I am a little confused about what to do now. I know the bees will need some kind of feeding, but I am really worried that adding sugar syrup will set off another robbing frenzy which will be too much for the much weakened colony. Would love to hear some suggestions.

 

Thanks.

I fed my hive and shut it down completely for 2 days.

It had a hive doc vented base.

It was a top feeder and they had emptied it in 2 days , it was half full .

I opened the hive for a couple of hours in the morning then in evening .

It slowed down the robbing and gave the hive a chance to recover

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got any pics of the brood and the remains?

 

I'll try to take some pictures this afternoon, @tristan.

 

What did the hive look like before treatment? Other than split the brood nest to add MAQS, what else did you do when treating? How long was the hive open.

 

The hive was actually doing really well prior to the MAQS treatment. I didn't do anything other to it than have a brief inspection, then pop the MAQS in. The hive was open for about 10 minutes, and the entrance was fully opened for seven days.

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What did the hive look like before treatment? Other than split the brood nest to add MAQS, what else did you do when treating? How long was the hive open.

 

In wonder about the "fully open entrance" requirement. My full depths always get two strips, a full width entrance and an extra box on singles. They generally do fine.

 

This season I used MAQS on five frame NUCs. I added a 90mm feeder rim however then entrance was a plastic disc and was no bigger than the largest setting. On average the five frame NUCs did better than the bigger hives. I wonder how important it is to reduce the entrance.

 

Finally, I don't mean to change your mind regards entrances. This is the first year I've noticed this difference. It could be the result of something completely unrelated.

Possibly day time temp is the difference. I imagine that if you treated back in January the same nucs you would have had a very different effect (probably toasted the nuc).

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Here's a picture of the remaining brood, @tristan - there are some eggs and uncapped larvae in the cells.

 

I have given the bees some sugar syrup over the weekend and have made a robbing screen, so will see how they go.

 

Thanks for your suggestions, everyone. :)

image.jpg.6a3ef70992cf17a71d4bdf2610137fc4.jpg

image.jpg.6a3ef70992cf17a71d4bdf2610137fc4.jpg

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That looks like a short frame. (Top Bar) what size/type of hive are you using.

Can you get a close up of that frame. We cannot tell much from that distance.

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I have a Warré hive, @Trevor Gillbanks - hence the small looking frame. I will bribe my husband into getting a little closer to where the action is next time so I can have a better picture to show you!

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@JayBee There are a few Warre hive owners in Whangaparoa. Perhaps you could get the some help from them. Is there a local paper that you can do a shoutout in?

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Good idea, @dansar - I might put a post on our local Facebook page. Thanks!

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I have a Warré hive, @Trevor Gillbanks - hence the small looking frame. I will bribe my husband into getting a little closer to where the action is next time so I can have a better picture to show you!

A warre hive is fine, I just noticed that your hands appeared a bit close together for a Langstroth hive.

All this information will assist in making a diagnosis.

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Here's a picture of the remaining brood, @tristan - there are some eggs and uncapped larvae in the cells.

 

I have given the bees some sugar syrup over the weekend and have made a robbing screen, so will see how they go.

 

Thanks for your suggestions, everyone. :)

 

not sure if the poor brood is caused by the MAQS or not.

generally if its getting robbed the hive has other issues which has made the hive weak and vulnerable.

not uncommon to see people with hives that they say are strong but in fact are weak and almost dead.

robbing is just the final blow. the cause of it often happens months in advance.

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