Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi, no hate and not too many questions people as i am working thru a scroll of data to see why, what I did if anything to help. I now have two, two year old thriving colonies, and good honey production. Bs right, no. I think I have a good clue to why they have made it but need to get some testing done and run for another year to back up this idea and data. These hives have not had a treatment of anything since March 2016, and all are on new wax September 2016, I made and cleaned, myself with new method. These hives are seven frames, insulated boxes with vents weather proofed and I use standard ten frame honey boxes on top. They were in a polystyrene hive I made for over a year until they destroyed it. A mix frames but, small cell central brood and black plastic outer frames and some foundation less for drone killing, if they build it. The only thing I do is remove most of the drones but not all. May 2017 the hive was strong but had visible varroa and small amount of dwv. September 2017 nothing was found wrong. Colony grew, grew and grew, and is doing really well with no varroa visible, good, I hope. Well anyway I thought I should post an update see some pictures. Also FYI I do not think small cell is the key, from what I have seen and tested over four years now there are some other serious factors that affect the hive and colony ability to handle varroa. Moth urine and the last pupate is just one factor, which this colony has none this year but did last year January 2017. Hive design that reduces drone and bee drift, stocking rates and sun position, or lack of sun seem to be better. I actively do 6-12 week rotating brood breaks, something else I am working on, a new method to keep the colony going while still using one entrance with two brood chambers. Anyway who really cares what I do, I just hope that one day we all can have a method to manage without any chemicals.

IMG_2997.JPG

IMG_3001.JPG

IMG_3038.JPG

  • Like 11
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That hive looks really good. 

 

Keep the updates coming ?

 

Is the Greens hoarding part of scaring the varroa away ??

Edited by M4tt
  • Haha 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that, interesting.  A couple of questions: are you saying the moth urine and pupae may contribute to the varroa problem?  And the other question is how do you do those brood breaks? Really great going to get them through two years! especially after having visible varroa and dwv.....it is usually questionable whether you can bring a bring a hive back from that even with treatment.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CraBee, hi, from what I have read and now seen, the last pupate is stuffed in some way from the urine, causing a dwv like issue, bee with no wings, only stubs. This issues is totally independent and not related to varroa. This colony in the above I have not done a forced brood break at all since the splitting time. I have managed hives thru varroa before and then struck other issues and lost them, like robbing, bees ate thru polystyrene the following year. The brood break I mentioned is the standard international method, but, i do it in a long hive with standard boxes on top and two excluders and shift old brood to queenless side and kill all q cells for 6-12 weeks and rotate hatched comb back to queen right side, and draw new comb, as needed on either side, after shaking all bees off and leaving them behind. All why using one entrance. Queen right side is closest to entrance, these nurse bees stay behind on queenless side, I do this until I have new 5--10 new frames at minimum. Then either split prior to the bees going to forage, approx week 3-6 and continue. I then give the split a new frame or two, then they make a new queen adding additional time and no brood cells for varroa to play in, these frames have minimal open brood cells. Hope this make sense. Someone will pick holes in it and if I have naything wrong so be it, but that is how I am doing so far, will change a few thing over time.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Matthew Brajkovich said:

CraBee, hi, from what I have read and now seen, the last pupate is stuffed in some way from the urine, causing a dwv like issue, bee with no wings, only stubs. This issues is totally independent and not related to varroa. This colony in the above I have not done a forced brood break at all since the splitting time. I have managed hives thru varroa before and then struck other issues and lost them, like robbing, bees ate thru polystyrene the following year. The brood break I mentioned is the standard international method, but, i do it in a long hive with standard boxes on top and two excluders and shift old brood to queenless side and kill all q cells for 6-12 weeks and rotate hatched comb back to queen right side, and draw new comb, as needed on either side, after shaking all bees off and leaving them behind. All why using one entrance. Queen right side is closest to entrance, these nurse bees stay behind on queenless side, I do this until I have new 5--10 new frames at minimum. Then either split prior to the bees going to forage, approx week 3-6 and continue. I then give the split a new frame or two, then they make a new queen adding additional time and no brood cells for varroa to play in, these frames have minimal open brood cells. Hope this make sense. Someone will pick holes in it and if I have naything wrong so be it, but that is how I am doing so far, will change a few thing over time.

Do you think constantly having new foundation makes a difference .?

Do you think any system of control which constantly eliminates drones is healthy for the bee population .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kaihoka, clean foundation is a must, clean sterile. As for eliminating drones, well, chemicals or less drones, let me think, really think, still thinking, ................. until we have another option, less drones. But saying that I have tried another method of brood break and keep these drones alive and allow to hatch, ie i remove from hive but do not kill. Interesting idea, what do you think of that? I try and cover all bases as any management plan needs to have back up ideas. I call this a drone split.

Edited by Matthew Brajkovich
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, Matthew Brajkovich said:

Kaihoka, clean foundation is a must, clean sterile. As for eliminating drones, well, chemicals or less drones, let me think, really think, still thinking, ................. until we have another option, less drones. But saying that I have tried another method of brood break and keep these drones alive and allow to hatch, ie i remove from hive but do not kill. Interesting idea, what do you think of that? I try and cover all bases as any management plan needs to have back up ideas. I call this a drone split.

I think  Lots of drones are very important for genetic diversity and theI chance of a mutation towards varroa resistance.

Maybe the bees could evolve to groom each other and Chuck out the varroa .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

agree kaihoka, if your bees are able to live with varroa or eliminate it then letting the drones live would be a positive to then spread their genetics to other queens, in saying that if you are removing them then that may be a large part of why you have no varroa. 

what do you mean by the last pupae?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, northernbee said:

 

what do you mean by the last pupae?

what do you mean by the last pupae????

Has autocorrect hijacked your post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

what do you mean by the last pupae????

Has autocorrect hijacked your post.

Should read pupate, last time they change inside the cell. I inspected that 2 year hive today, has less mites than last time I looked. I would put it in the same basket as last year, some sick bees but plenty of brood, couple batches bit worrying. Ps got over 40kg off it this year.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sounds promising and scary at the same time, lol, a lot of people up here were lucky to get that off 4 hives combined,

still lost by what you mean by last pupate part. 

from what i gather the ultimate for us isn't so much to breed/ manipulate hive to eliminate mites but to develop stock and systems to live with it as it will always be here 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

been doing some homework on michael bush and what he does and he feels the best advantage of not treating is not having contaminated wax quoting shorted and more infertile queens and drones from high levels of crap we are stuffing in hives and being absorbed by the wax, including waxed frames you buy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, northernbee said:

been doing some homework on michael bush and what he does and he feels the best advantage of not treating is not having contaminated wax quoting shorted and more infertile queens and drones from high levels of crap we are stuffing in hives and being absorbed by the wax, including waxed frames you buy

Yep, cleans wax, and wax processing is something I am working on. I make all my own small cell foundation from all my own wax. Do mainly foundationless honey so I get the wax. Aggressively change frames and still adding in new frames for wintering over. Do this on all hives. Hygiene is so important.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, northernbee said:

sounds promising and scary at the same time, lol, a lot of people up here were lucky to get that off 4 hives combined,

still lost by what you mean by last pupate part. 

from what i gather the ultimate for us isn't so much to breed/ manipulate hive to eliminate mites but to develop stock and systems to live with it as it will always be here 

 

May not me promising, but for sure is scary, like a game of poker, all in?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Matthew,

I'm really interested in what you have been doing with you hives in order to stay treatment free. I tried to PM you to ask if you could give us an update but couldnt see how to do that....so once again in my short life on this forum.....I post it instead.

How is it going up there?

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, mischief said:

I tried to PM you to ask if you could give us an update but couldnt see how to do that....so once again in my short life on this forum.....I post it instead.

I'll save admin a job here , & tell you myself. Two things, one, if you made a donation you'd be able to PM. Two, it's good you haven't been able to 'cause the rest of us are interested in M's progress too !

  • Like 2
  • Agree 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, mischief said:

Hi Matthew,

I'm really interested in what you have been doing with you hives in order to stay treatment free. I tried to PM you to ask if you could give us an update but couldnt see how to do that....so once again in my short life on this forum.....I post it instead.

How is it going up there?

Hi, just post on here and I should see it and reply, the hive in question,,,,,,,,,,,,,,  ,,,,,,,,,,,,is,,,,,,,,,,,,,,well alive, and wintering down. The split is wintering down. As are another two TF hives, total four. The hive posted about is going into winter three TF and has completed TF for two years March 2016. I still run treatments in my other hives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Matthew Brajkovich said:

Hi, just post on here and I should see it and reply, the hive in question,,,,,,,,,,,,,,  ,,,,,,,,,,,,is,,,,,,,,,,,,,,well alive, and wintering down. The split is wintering down. As are another two TF hives, total four. The hive posted about is going into winter three TF and has completed TF for two years March 2016. I still run treatments in my other hives.

Why not just treat with an organic acid and call it a compromise.

Everyone who knows anything about Bees knows that there is no such thing as sustainable treatment free Bees
You can bluff it along by splitting from weak survivors each Spring but its a delusion to think its sustainable 

Edited by Philbee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Sorry Philbee,

Not buying into "everybody knows..."

There are too many people doing just that =not treating with anything. I'd rather listen to those who are like Michael Bush and Dennis Murrell. If they can, then it IS possible.

 

So far mine are going into their second autumn with no chemical treatments AND looking very good.

I've only done the two Api life var treatments mid summer, FGMO fogging along with starting to regress them using small cell frames.

I'm not going to have to feed sugar syrup this year, they have plenty of honey already and we are only just into autumn.

Time will tell. The clincher is supposedly the third year, so , so far so good.

 

Matthew, keep on with it. Nothing changes if you stop trying.

 

There is something horribly wrong if any species cannot survive without being constantly medicated JUST to survive.

Time to get off the chemical gravy train and find a better solution.

 

 

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The places that are claiming TF, have a true brood break over winter, which most of us do not have. That makes it easier. Thing is, if you had decades of commercial experience (and true wisdom) why would you be spending money and time treating when it isn't needed? 

 

  • Like 1
  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, mischief said:

So far mine are going into their second autumn with no chemical treatments AND looking very good.

I've only done the two Api life var treatments mid summer, FGMO fogging along with starting to regress them using small cell frames.

Hardly treatment free
I run 500 production hives and 500 3 frame nucs  on Organic acids but dont claim to be treatment free.
Its really simple , if you dont treat your hives they die
Brood breaks are becoming rare in this new climate.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 I never said I was treatment free as much as I would like be on that path at some point.

Good things do take time and there are alot of variables to sort through and keep on top of. Nowhere have I read that there is a one shot fix.

Quite the opposite.

Everything is local, we dont have the feral population those overseas tell us we need, so yes, we may very well be bashing our heads against the proverbial brick wall, but if you never try,  it will never be done, even if it could be.

 

I'm not a commercial so my income is not dependent on honey. 

Having said that, I actually got to harvest honey this year when some more experienced beeks have not been able to. So me the girls are getting somethings right. We just need to keep it going.

I see no harm in giving ourselves a small pat on the back when we feel we are getting that one step closer.

Roll your eyes all you want but if we can get them so they are not at the constant mercy of the Varroa, how can that be a bad thing?

I dont understand knocking those who want to see healthy bees. Sorry if I annoy you on this, but Having to be medicated in order to stay alive is not a healthy state and I feel that there should be a better way if only I can find it stably.

 

 

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, mischief said:

 Having to be medicated in order to stay alive is not a healthy state and I feel that there should be a better way

You could look at it another way of course, and consider that Varroa Destructor is an "unnatural" parasite, given that it kills it's host, and once it's killed all the bees it will itself die out, and maybe will logically require an unnatural treatment ...

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, yesbut said:

You could look at it another way of course, and consider that Varroa Destructor is an "unnatural" parasite, given that it kills it's host, and once it's killed all the bees it will itself die out, and maybe will logically require an unnatural treatment ...

logically the best course of action is to let all the hives in nz die out then wait five years then reintroduce bees.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...