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Dave Aky

NZBF Sick hives, what next?

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kia ora koutou.

 

I have 2 hives which unfortunately did not do well over winter. One has died from varroa, and the other is almost there (with an unhealthy dose of wax moth also). I have a few questions.

 

Hive 1

Died a couple of months ago from suspected varroa. Plenty of honey left. quite a bit of mould. 

Question: How do I prepare this hive for new bees? 

 

Hive 2

Is on the way out. Very little activity but a few bees still sticking it out (probably a handful at the most). Plenty of wax moth for the bees to compete with. 

Question 1: Is this a gonna? Is it even worth trying to treat the max moth? My gut is that it would be a losing battle. 

Question 2: How do I treat the wax moth to prepare for a new batch of bees? I have a large freezer which I imagine might be handy. 

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6 minutes ago, Dave Aky said:

kia ora koutou.

 

I have 2 hives which unfortunately did not do well over winter. One has died from varroa, and the other is almost there (with an unhealthy dose of wax moth also). I have a few questions.

 

Hive 1

Died a couple of months ago from suspected varroa. Plenty of honey left. quite a bit of mould. 

Question: How do I prepare this hive for new bees? 

 

Hive 2

Is on the way out. Very little activity but a few bees still sticking it out (probably a handful at the most). Plenty of wax moth for the bees to compete with. 

Question 1: Is this a gonna? Is it even worth trying to treat the max moth? My gut is that it would be a losing battle. 

Question 2: How do I treat the wax moth to prepare for a new batch of bees? I have a large freezer which I imagine might be handy. 

She's a gonna, not enough numbers to care for grubs, clean,feed the queen and forage. Wax moth, your right freeze them, as far mold, not ideal but bees will clean that up when a new colony is established and they need the room

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Make sure you do a thorough inspection for AFB before doing anything with the gear. 

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Also an observation. Late October is late for finding winter PMS. How were they first coming out of winter? Are you still even queenright in the dying hive? What varoa treatment has failed?

 

I had this issue coming out of winter and have realised I;

 

1: didn’t check, mite count, and treat nearly  early enough. Was too scared of outside temps, but next spring the girls will be getting earlier inspections

 

2. Active winter urban hives need management of varoa all winter. See the OA/GLY thread on this. 

 

You must get an AFB check.

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8 hours ago, frazzledfozzle said:

Make sure you do a thorough inspection for AFB before doing anything with the gear. 

 

Asside from sending a frame to a lab, how would this be done with no residual brood to check as per AFB guidelines?

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No residual brood, as in no recent dead brood, or, not even any brood remnants such as dried up scales of them, or whatever.

 

If there are not even any remnants of brood, likelyhood is the hive did not die of either varroa or afb, but the queen failed in winter and the hive died out as the bees got old with no replacements. 

 

But how about post a pic of some comb where the most likely place is that brood would have been?

Edited by Alastair
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These AFB scale photos are better imo.

http://beeaware.org.au/archive-pest/american-foulbrood/#ad-image-4

http://beeaware.org.au/archive-pest/american-foulbrood/#ad-image-7

Also completely close the entrance if you haven't already.

Keep a track of everything that you used in the hive so far too (it might need to go on a fire too).

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2 hours ago, Josh said:

Also an observation. Late October is late for finding winter PMS. How were they first coming out of winter? Are you still even queenright in the dying hive? What varoa treatment has failed?

 

I had this issue coming out of winter and have realised I;

 

1: didn’t check, mite count, and treat nearly  early enough. Was too scared of outside temps, but next spring the girls will be getting earlier inspections

 

2. Active winter urban hives need management of varoa all winter. See the OA/GLY thread on this. 

 

You must get an AFB check.

Hi Josh. 

 

Ine died several months ago. This one has been in the way out for a while. I didn’t get in any treatment in this spring. I was very involved over summer and Autumn but I guess I underestimated how vigilant I needed to be over winter. 

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Every hive left to die un-checked is a ticking time bomb for another in the near vicinity.

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16 minutes ago, Dave Aky said:

Hi Josh. 

 

Ine died several months ago. This one has been in the way out for a while. I didn’t get in any treatment in this spring. I was very involved over summer and Autumn but I guess I underestimated how vigilant I needed to be over winter. 

 

OK well most hives that were not treated this spring will be dead or close to it by now.

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We don't really see AFB in the UK so varroa is the number one problem bees face and beekeepers have to be vigilant at all times. Autumn treatment is a must and regular checks during the season are also required. Once you start to see varroa, then it's almost getting too late. And if a colony dies, then it should be closed up to stop other bees robbing it and potentially carrying disease back to their own hive.

 

You can often see if the colony has suffered from varroa by using some tweezers and pulling our larvae from cells. If they have deformed wings, or they are stumpy or if there are bees that haven't quite gotten out of the cells, check these also. Of course the colony could have varroa AND something else (worse). If you want a play and you have a tiny clump (cup full) of bees and a queen, they might just do OK in a polystyrene mini-nuc as it would be small enough for the bees to keep warm and raise brood.

Once my supers have been extracted and licked dry, I place them in a freezer for 48 hours before storage for the winter. So yes, a freezer is a good way of killing the wax moth. If the comb is free of disease then it can be re-used. If in doubt or if it is old and dark or black, then I would burn it.

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Like any other livestock if you can't look after them properly because of other commitments you probably shouldn't keep them. By neglecting your two hives you have not only killed them but also subjected neighbouring beekeepers to a massive influx of varoa. As long as is not AFB that has killed them then you should have no problem reusing the gear. Freezing works well for wax moth but you really should scrape out as much as possible before doing so because when they are there in large numbers they generate their own heat and I have seen them survive for several weeks at -5°. You need to clean out as much as you can anyway for the benefit of the new bees

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11 hours ago, AdamD said:

We don't really see AFB in the UK so varroa is the number one problem bees face and beekeepers have to be vigilant at all times. Autumn treatment is a must and regular checks during the season are also required. Once you start to see varroa, then it's almost getting too late. And if a colony dies, then it should be closed up to stop other bees robbing it and potentially carrying disease back to their own hive.

I find this really interesting.

You dont have a problem with AFB!!

Makes me wonder ...Why?

What is the difference between you and us, why do we have such a problem?..when you do not.

Any ideas?

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9 minutes ago, mischief said:

I find this really interesting.

You dont have a problem with AFB!!

Makes me wonder ...Why?

What is the difference between you and us, why do we have such a problem?..when you do not.

Any ideas?

Two things spring to mind .

 

The UK has a lower density of hives than we do and they don’t move hives around like we do . 

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Trevor, you are correct that we have bee inspectors that give advice call on beekeepers for random inspections and also will come out when called. By all accounts they are very helpful.

For decades AFB has been a notifiable disease - by law the beekeeper has to notify the authorities. A 'standstill order' is in place which prohibits movement of hives. We don't "treat" AFB colonies except with petrol which is poured in to kill the bees. A pit is dug by the hives, the hives are placed in the pit and burned, then buried. Other equipment etc is sterilised or destroyed. AFB is a spore forming bacteria unlike EFB which doesn't produce spores. Spores from AFB can withstand heat and cold and can last for decades, so the only option is to burn and bury. The treatment is ruthless and as a result AFB is pretty rare; sometimes it has occurred near factories that handle imported honey - probably due to discarded contaminated containers.

There are maps available here http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/maps/map.cfm

I expect that hive density is lower than in NZ. However beebase tells me that I have 50 or more apiaries within a 10km radius of my home apiary which is 3 km from the coast - so there are plenty of colonies around.

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2 hours ago, AdamD said:

I expect that hive density is lower than in NZ. However beebase tells me that I have 50 or more apiaries within a 10km radius of my home apiary which is 3 km from the coast - so there are plenty of colonies around.

I would love to have only 50 hives within 10 km  radius of me.  I don't know the number (we cannot find out) but I suspect that I would have several thousand hives within 10 km Radius of me.

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I looked the figures up last night.  The U.K. has approximately 30% of the hive density that we have.

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I have 200 hives within 1km that I know of ?

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On ‎30‎/‎10‎/‎2018 at 2:11 PM, john berry said:

Like any other livestock if you can't look after them properly because of other commitments you probably shouldn't keep them.

I totally agree with John - Dave find another hobby.

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Trevor, It's 50 apiaries - not hives. However some of those apiaries will be empty or historic - there is no legal obligation on beekeepers to report their hive numbers/locations in the UK. Maybe there should be. I keep my records fairly well up to date with beebase; if it helps the 'authorities' help beekeepers it makes sense to do so. Currently I have 5 apiaries listed of which only two have bees at the moment. One of my (currently empty) apiary sites is the office car park. If I have too many bees there, (more than a couple of nucs) I get complaints about little brown specs on peoples cars!

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6 hours ago, AdamD said:

Trevor, It's 50 apiaries - not hives. However some of those apiaries will be empty or historic - there is no legal obligation on beekeepers to report their hive numbers/locations in the UK. Maybe there should be. I keep my records fairly well up to date with beebase; if it helps the 'authorities' help beekeepers it makes sense to do so. Currently I have 5 apiaries listed of which only two have bees at the moment. One of my (currently empty) apiary sites is the office car park. If I have too many bees there, (more than a couple of nucs) I get complaints about little brown specs on peoples cars!

OK . I understand.  on that basis, there would be hundreds of apiaries within 10 km radius of me.  Some of those apiaries will have 40 plus hive.  Many with only a few hives also.  But the point is we have very high density in New Zealand.  

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