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NZBF A lone worker with a short abdomen

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Can an experienced Beek enlighten me further? I found a wee worker bee wandering around on my brassicas she caught my eye because her anatomy seemed unusual, her abdomen was almost spherical and about the same size as her thorax. The foragers in my 3 hives on the other side of property are quite large with long abdomens. What am I observing here? 

39F3AC3B-FC42-4204-A58E-1E1448C891CE.jpeg

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Cripes thank you. Very helpful information. I can almost guarantee that wee deformed bee is From our own hives. Where does the horror of that little beast end. All hives treated mid Feb, two with Apivar, one with MAQS where I removed the queen and a brood frame and honey frame to NUCs for the first 5 days of the treatment period to try to protect the queen ( lost my only queen back at the beginning of the season to a MAQS treatment)and as one might expect that brood frame will have reintroduced varroa. Time for Apistan or Apivar in that hive when I inspect on Sunday I’m picking. 

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, GoED said:

Cripes thank you. Very helpful information. I can almost guarantee that wee deformed bee is From our own hives. Where does the horror of that little beast end. All hives treated mid Feb, two with Apivar, one with MAQS where I removed the queen and a brood frame and honey frame to NUCs for the first 5 days of the treatment period to try to protect the queen ( lost my only queen back at the beginning of the season to a MAQS treatment)and as one might expect that brood frame will have reintroduced varroa. Time for Apistan or Apivar in that hive when I inspect on Sunday I’m picking. 

Do tell us what you find . 

 

Mid Feb is only a brood cycle plus a bit ago , so if the Apivar worked , they will be booting DWV bees out of the hive . It is also possible that the varroa continues to thrive in there . I’d like to know which if there are any varroa present 

 

MAQS is a one week treatment which knocks the crap out of varroa and sick bees , although it does not always kill varroa . I’d also like to know what’s happening in that hive .

 

I have been in your footsteps and it’s highly likely your hives will crash going into winter if there is still varroa in them .

 

I’ll tell you what I think once you’ve reported back . 

Edited by M4tt

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M4tt thank you for being candid your support is appreciated during this first full season. Got them this far and determined not to let them down. It seems clear I must have no varroa in any of those hives going into winter that determines treatment decisions on Sunday.

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I wouldn’t panic ,

if you put Apivar in in mid Feb then you still have 6 weeks of treatment to go.

 

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If you aren’t already, do some sugar shakes. It’s interesting to see what happens when. 

You are good at drawing - wish I was!

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Nice drawings ..... seriously !!

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12 hours ago, jamesc said:

Nice drawings ..... seriously !!

 

And hand writing. Looks like diagrams for a bee book!

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21 hours ago, M4tt said:

Do tell us what you find . 

 

Mid Feb is only a brood cycle plus a bit ago , so if the Apivar worked , they will be booting DWV bees out of the hive . It is also possible that the varroa continues to thrive in there . I’d like to know which if there are any varroa present 

 

MAQS is a one week treatment which knocks the crap out of varroa and sick bees , although it does not always kill varroa . I’d also like to know what’s happening in that hive .

 

I have been in your footsteps and it’s highly likely your hives will crash going into winter if there is still varroa in them .

 

I’ll tell you what I think once you’ve reported back . 

Righteo @M4ttso instead of waiting till Sunday I went straight out post-post ;-)) and checked all 3 hives on the spot. Really appreciate the responses from all of you.

 

I think that poor DWV bee had been ejected from one of my colony’s. 

 

....all three hives are queenright....all three colony’s had 6 frames of brood at various stages. One hive is the parent hive and has approx 18,000 bees, two brood boxes with only the bottom with brood, left it this way its still 26degrees midday so I thought forcing all 18,000 into one brood box might be a bit early. 

 

Thge other 2 are young colony’s split from the parent and have about 10,000 bees each. They have grown in number nicely. The young MAQS treated hive was a bit shirty with me 4/10, but the others with Apivar were more relaxed 2x 2/10.The Apivar was still in place in the two no DWV or V or more poor bees with short abdomens detected by eye. As @cBankrightly suggests a sugar shake would be helpful to give me real data so that’s my Sunday job. 

 

The larva were swimming in good amounts of royal jelly, so cell nutrition looks ok, but hand to mouth: I think all 3 colony’s are motoring through supplies as soon as they come in the door. Theres not enough pollen or honey stores there yet. There’s brood at all stages, queens still laying and all three hives have nurses covering brood frames and busy foragers bringing in nectar and pollen. All brood frames had just a little pollen and honey store around edges, to my mind not enough. Nectar coming in to the frames 1,2 and 9,10 in all three broodboxes but not as much food there as I would like at this stage. Our climate is mild so the bees will be able to keep on foraging thru winter on fine days and I do feed them in winter if the rain sets in. Our lowest recorded winter overnight temp is 6 degrees and most days get above 14 degrees.

 

My conclusions:

-I’m not sure what norms and baselines (re stores) I should expect month to month. Bring on next year. 

- I would like to feed all 3 with sugar syrup, I’m picking it should be 2:1 at this stage in season (but I need to trawl previous posts and my notes instead of boring everyone here)

-I’d like to get some commercial pollen supplement from the local farmlands and put this in all hives to make sure they have better stores before things wind down

-Don’t want to drop the ball now and let them down, I’ve nearly got them safely through one whole season and and have gone from one nuc to three hives, and enjoyed it. 

-In winter I’ll find out Moore about this magical and effective thing - The Staple.

My actions:

-Yesterday I put 2 Apivar strips in the shirty hive’s broodbox that had had MAQS in it in Feb.

-go back and do a sugar shake on all hives on Sunday. 

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, GoED said:

- I would like to feed all 3 with sugar syrup,

How about feeding one of them, let the other two manage on their own, see how they go....otherwise you'll never know....not hard to keep an eye on two hives at home....

Edited by yesbut
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@GoED, thankyou  for the detailed inspection and reply .

 

Your initial varroa treatment timing was spot on , and you are keeping a good eye on everything . 

 

Nice job 😊

 

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2 minutes ago, M4tt said:

@GoED, thankyou  for the detailed inspection and reply .

 

Your initial varroa treatment timing was spot on , and you are keeping a good eye on everything . 

 

Nice job 😊

 

:IMG_0386:need to get sugar shakes done as follow up. Considering doing an alcohol wash on a sample from the parent hive. Eyeballing certainly ain’t enough if you can see the blighters you’re in deep water. 

1 hour ago, yesbut said:

How about feeding one of them, let the other two manage on their own, see how they go....otherwise you'll never know....not hard to keep an eye on two hives at home....

Agree totally with both of you,  but which one do I hold off on feeding and monitor. Reckon I should feed The two young hives....I can always step in with supplies for the parent hive at short notice. Yep - If the unfed parent hive still doesn’t have 2 frames of sealed honey in 2 weeks time, I’ll feed.

Is our WBoP region overstocked with hives.

 

Yep I’ve gone into a worry spin about my livestock. I seem to remember hive density is high, even overstocked in BoP. Where did I see that data? APINZ website possibly.

 

Surely there’s enough forage for my bees right here on my doorstep. We are 800m away from any avo orchards and there’s 150 houses here in the Tanners Point settlement all with a diversity of flowering plants. I’m yet to meet another backyard beekeeper nearby.

 

Perhaps my bees have found it challenging to find enough nectar and pollen. Surely not! Surely the lack of extra capped honey and pollen stores is because of the disruptions to population build up I caused when I split the parent hive way back in Spring when I had those 18+ emergency cells. 

 

Well let’s see what happens next season re honey harvest and excess, or lack of it. There will be no expanding of colony numbers past the three I know my neighbours can comfortably live with... any spring 2019 artificial swarm splits may have to be recombined until I can ascertain if there’s enough forage. 

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4 hours ago, GoED said:

Righteo @M4ttso instead of waiting till Sunday I went straight out post-post ;-)) and checked all 3 hives on the spot. Really appreciate the responses from all of you.

 

I think that poor DWV bee had been ejected from one of my colony’s. 

 

....all three hives are queenright....all three colony’s had 6 frames of brood at various stages. One hive is the parent hive and has approx 18,000 bees, two brood boxes with only the bottom with brood, left it this way its still 26degrees midday so I thought forcing all 18,000 into one brood box might be a bit early. 

 

Thge other 2 are young colony’s split from the parent and have about 10,000 bees each. They have grown in number nicely. The young MAQS treated hive was a bit shirty with me 4/10, but the others with Apivar were more relaxed 2x 2/10.The Apivar was still in place in the two no DWV or V or more poor bees with short abdomens detected by eye. As @cBankrightly suggests a sugar shake would be helpful to give me real data so that’s my Sunday job. 

 

The larva were swimming in good amounts of royal jelly, so cell nutrition looks ok, but hand to mouth: I think all 3 colony’s are motoring through supplies as soon as they come in the door. Theres not enough pollen or honey stores there yet. There’s brood at all stages, queens still laying and all three hives have nurses covering brood frames and busy foragers bringing in nectar and pollen. All brood frames had just a little pollen and honey store around edges, to my mind not enough. Nectar coming in to the frames 1,2 and 9,10 in all three broodboxes but not as much food there as I would like at this stage. Our climate is mild so the bees will be able to keep on foraging thru winter on fine days and I do feed them in winter if the rain sets in. Our lowest recorded winter overnight temp is 6 degrees and most days get above 14 degrees.

 

My conclusions:

-I’m not sure what norms and baselines (re stores) I should expect month to month. Bring on next year. 

- I would like to feed all 3 with sugar syrup, I’m picking it should be 2:1 at this stage in season (but I need to trawl previous posts and my notes instead of boring everyone here)

-I’d like to get some commercial pollen supplement from the local farmlands and put this in all hives to make sure they have better stores before things wind down

-Don’t want to drop the ball now and let them down, I’ve nearly got them safely through one whole season and and have gone from one nuc to three hives, and enjoyed it. 

-In winter I’ll find out Moore about this magical and effective thing - The Staple.

My actions:

-Yesterday I put 2 Apivar strips in the shirty hive’s broodbox that had had MAQS in it in Feb.

-go back and do a sugar shake on all hives on Sunday. 

 

Katikati area has always been a poor producers after chirstmas.  Terrible actually.  I keep a few around Te Puna for making queen cells, and rubbish hives now. Never used them for cells and plenty of varroa.  Lots of spring swarms last season, and probably re invasion galore. Tanners point has a lot of harbour water around it, and I guess the bees need to travel further to forage. 

Avoid feeding as long as possible- right now the weather is still hot/warm and all you do is encourage more brood production when you feed.  You don't need a big hive going into winter in the Bay.  If you do start, then feed thick and lots of it quickly- aim to block out brood area.  

And if you feed, minimise the risk of robbing.  March is a bad month to feed for robbing. 

Best time is when it is raining or forecast to rain. Or later evening. Reduce entrance, even if bees are forced outside to 'hang' - maybe a 50mm entrance.  And don't spill any sugar.  Be fast, don't do anything else that takes too long. 

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5 hours ago, GoED said:

:IMG_0386:need to get sugar shakes done as follow up. Considering doing an alcohol wash on a sample from the parent hive. Eyeballing certainly ain’t enough if you can see the blighters you’re in deep water. 

Agree totally with both of you,  but which one do I hold off on feeding and monitor. Reckon I should feed The two young hives....I can always step in with supplies for the parent hive at short notice. Yep - If the unfed parent hive still doesn’t have 2 frames of sealed honey in 2 weeks time, I’ll feed.

Is our WBoP region overstocked with hives.

 

Yep I’ve gone into a worry spin about my livestock. I seem to remember hive density is high, even overstocked in BoP. Where did I see that data? APINZ website possibly.

 

Surely there’s enough forage for my bees right here on my doorstep. We are 800m away from any avo orchards and there’s 150 houses here in the Tanners Point settlement all with a diversity of flowering plants. I’m yet to meet another backyard beekeeper nearby.

 

Perhaps my bees have found it challenging to find enough nectar and pollen. Surely not! Surely the lack of extra capped honey and pollen stores is because of the disruptions to population build up I caused when I split the parent hive way back in Spring when I had those 18+ emergency cells. 

 

Well let’s see what happens next season re honey harvest and excess, or lack of it. There will be no expanding of colony numbers past the three I know my neighbours can comfortably live with... any spring 2019 artificial swarm splits may have to be recombined until I can ascertain if there’s enough forage. 

We have hives in Waihi and there is practically no forage.

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21 hours ago, dansar said:

We have hives in Waihi and there is practically no forage.

Another post Christmas rubbish area.  

Waihi has become a holding ground for thousands of hives- the loading up starts now and peaks Nov/December- then empties as hives come out of pollination and head to better feeding grounds. 

Better to keep those hives in Waikato! 

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1 hour ago, Gino de Graaf said:

Another post Christmas rubbish area.  

Waihi has become a holding ground for thousands of hives- the loading up starts now and peaks Nov/December- then empties as hives come out of pollination and head to better feeding grounds. 

Better to keep those hives in Waikato! 

Nah they actually did really well. Most of the hives did 40+ kg each and a few 80kg. Really good spring to December flow. You need hive exploding with bees mid October to catch the early flow. Rewarewa was outstanding this year.

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Yes, Rewa can be great.  And doesn't seem to matter how many hives when the flow is on.  It's like a one in 3 year event. 

Then it stops.  The end.  How is the Pacific Coast going? 

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1 hour ago, Gino de Graaf said:

. How is the Pacific Coast going? 

Yep going well. Really busy.

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I really appreciate you taking the time to give me this locality and forage information @dansar and @Gino de Graaf, it will shape better decisions. 

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On 17/03/2019 at 11:28 AM, Gino de Graaf said:

Yes, Rewa can be great.  And doesn't seem to matter how many hives when the flow is on.  It's like a one in 3 year event. 

Then it stops.  The end.  How is the Pacific Coast going? 

Rata is the same 

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It depends on where you are.T bees follow the S.Rata up the hill in the Otira Valley, then if the weather is warm enough thjey will collect all the alpine flowers such as Mt Cook Lillies and daisies but no one worries about that flow due to the work getting the Rata crop off.

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On 15/03/2019 at 3:25 PM, M4tt said:

@GoED, thankyou  for the detailed inspection and reply .

 

Your initial varroa treatment timing was spot on , and you are keeping a good eye on everything . 

 

Nice job 😊

 

Yes can now confirm- its looking like zero on varroa counts @M4tt. The conventional treatment regime Spring Autumn with MAQS in Dec, seems viable as long as queens are removed to Nucs during MAQS so they aren’t killed. Will upskill and adopt Oxalic on one test hive 2021 season, no hurry, need to get basics right one more year.

All 3 hives very busy bringing in stores -observed en mass out on weeping willow and female five finger flowers gathering nectar yesterday.

Bees healthy = I’m happy.

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32 minutes ago, GoED said:

Yes can now confirm- its looking like zero on varroa counts @M4tt. The conventional treatment regime Spring Autumn with MAQS in Dec, seems viable as long as queens are removed to Nucs during MAQS so they aren’t killed. Will upskill and adopt Oxalic on one test hive 2021 season, no hurry, need to get basics right one more year.

All 3 hives very busy bringing in stores -observed en mass out on weeping willow and female five finger flowers gathering nectar yesterday.

Bees healthy = I’m happy.

Great 😊😊

 

Thanks for the update and good news 

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