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Hi there,

I've got a few bees with deformed wings in one of my hives and am wondering about the best way to treat it.  I used Bayvarol in autumn and Apivar in spring, but have honey supers on the hive right now.  Would the shook swarm method be the best way to try to knock varroa back? Can I put some of the honey frames back on the hive once it is set up to provide extra food?  There's a good nectar flow on right now.

Thanks.

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Here's my take, and i get this not only from my own hives but also that i get numerous requests from hobbyists with near dead hives to go fix them. If the issue is mites but the queen is still alive,

Come on Folks.  Matt has just asked to keep things from getting personal and that is immediately followed by a personal attack. I don't want to give warnings or put people into moderation, but I

If you treat with bayvarol you can still take the honey with Apivar you aren’t supposed too.  

Shook swarm ? As in removing all the brood , or removing all the foundation . 
 

There will be one of two reasons your bees have DWV.

 

1. They have a varroa loading that will collapse your hive untreated 

 

2. Residual virus in the hive .

 

First step is to determine how many varroa are in the hive , and if there are substantial numbers , you’ll need to develop a plan and treat them, preferably not by shook swarming . You won’t kill varroa on bees 

Edited by M4tt
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Yes, I realise about the varroa, so I am looking at summer options for treatment. I did the sugar-shake method and the loading wasn't huge (less than 40), but I am keen to treat for varroa to bring the hive back on track if I can. With the shook swarm method, I was thinking of transferring the bees into a new box with only foundation, but I am unsure what to do with the supers, they're not ready for extraction.

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Yes as matt said, first determine your varroa load.

sugar shake

alcohol wash

  quick cheet look inside drone cappings

Your dmv could be a hangover that may clear up in a couple of weeks. 

 

did you treat early spring or late spring ?

Oops see have now posted more.

 

Edited by Bee Good
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4 minutes ago, Katrin Berkenbusch said:

I did the sugar-shake method and the loading wasn't huge (less than 40)

Was this a sugar shake with half a cup of bees (approx 300 bees) and you obtained 40 mites that were shaken out with the icing sugar?

We normally treat if the sugar shake goes over 3 mites (1%).

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7 minutes ago, Bee Good said:

Yes as matt said, first determine your varroa load.

sugar shake

alcohol wash

  quick cheet look inside drone cappings

Your dmv could be a hangover that may clear up in a couple of weeks. 

 

did you treat early spring or late spring ?

Oops see have now posted more.

 

I did the spring treatment with Apivar in Sept/October, the strips came out on 20 October. We had a mild winter and the hives were ahead brood-wise compared with the year before.

3 minutes ago, ChrisM said:

Was this a sugar shake with half a cup of bees (approx 300 bees) and you obtained 40 mites that were shaken out with the icing sugar?

We normally treat if the sugar shake goes over 3 mites (1%).

Thanks for the clarification about the mite loading, that make sense. 

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 If its honey your after and the hive is still strong and productive and the honey is still flowing, then I would just leave them to it, and as soon as the supers capped then I would treat. Hopefully thats soon, it sound like they will need attention.

 

If theres a frame drone brood pull it out, most probaly riddled.

Edited by Bee Good
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I’ve never heard of putting a hive with varroa on new foundation to treat varroa . 
 

The hive is already weakened producing bees that are useless . 
They have a very high varroa loading ( well done in sugar shaking . Any mites as a result these days are a concern ).

Putting then on 100% new found foundation is one of the most odd things I’ve heard lately . Do try it , but I think it will probably hasten their demise .  
 

It is not too soon to get treatment in . 
 

The problem is what treatment ? I can’t answer that . There are pros and cons with all treatments and a good handful don’t work 

 

 

 

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its your call katrin, sounds like treatment is best from your observations.

my policy is mites are like possums/rabbits, for everyone you see, theirs a whole lot more you don't see.

If you treat, just don't take the honey for human consumption.

Leave it with the bees for their winter stores, they earned it.

cheers

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Thanks, that's good advice about the hive already being weakened, so putting them on just foundation may indeed be detrimental (I have bee keeping friends in Europe who routinely use the shook swarm method as varroa control in Spring).  

I've been using Bayvarol in autumn, so I'll go with that. It's just earlier than usual, so I am not sure if I'd repeat again later on (in March), I'll work it out. 

 

Thanks again.

11 minutes ago, Bee Good said:

 

If you treat, just don't take the honey for human consumption.

Leave it with the bees for their winter stores, they earned it.

 

Good point, thanks!

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You say your hive does not have much brood, if it was me I would do an oxalic acid vapour to knock down phoretic mites quickly

your dwv could take several weeks to clear up , if it ever does

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Hi,

We have three hives about a Km from you, opened them today and they are doing very well, capping lots of honey, and not a varroa to be seen on drone larvae in bridge comb.

How long did you leave the Apivar strips in for spring treatment ?

Your sugar shake varroa load indicates an urgent need for treatment.

Regards

 

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Re deformed wings almost certainly varroa - but just in case rule out wax moth as I have seen wing damage as a result of the worm wiggling up and down the cell wall, damaging developing wings. 

 

Oh - just saw high sugar shake #

Edited by CraBee
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DWV only gets this extremely virulent with the mites transmitting it into the "blood" of the bees. if the mites are gone the deformed wings will go aswell (despite the virus still being there)

 

If the health of the hive is your biggest concern and the mite load is extremely high a shock swarming method and then a flash treatment with a high efficacy against phoretic mites (OA for example) would be a very good approach. However that would mean youd have to remove the honey supers. Do you have drawn comb?

 

Assuming the same situation (a hive with an unbearable hive load and lots of diseased brood that requires treatment Immediately) thats what i would do:

 

harvest (spin) the honey and shake all brood frames into the now emptied honey box. freeze the brood frames (killing all mite and brood) scrape and melt the wax if you want to. (melting will kill any viruses and most germs - not afb btw.).

 

spray or vape OA 1 day after and then 3 days later (i like to do 2 treatments just to be sure) - there are multiple methods that would be suitable

 

the queen will start laying immediately and create a new helthy brood nest. The ongoing flow will enable them to regrow, if the flow stops you might have to feed sugar.

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9 hours ago, Katrin Berkenbusch said:

I have bee keeping friends in Europe who routinely use the shook swarm method as varroa control in Spring

Could you expand on this please . I’m interested in technique etc and results . Thanks 

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I think you need Bayvarol strips in the brood boxes ASAP.  It may already be too late, but I think this would give the quickest knock down. 

 

Once this knock down occurs, you will need to assess whether you also need to requeen.  A separate issue to varroa, but when did you last requeen. 

 

If you are treating appropriately, you have to consider whether someone close to you isn't.

 

When a hive has a heavy infection of varroa, less stores are consumed to feed larvae.

In this instance, you shouldn't have to feed sugar at this time of the year. 

 

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10 hours ago, Katrin Berkenbusch said:

I have bee keeping friends in Europe who routinely use the shook swarm method as varroa control in Spring

Is this becasue they are using OA vapour and need to have a broodless hive in order for all mites to be phoretic?

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11 hours ago, Katrin Berkenbusch said:

Can I put some of the honey frames back on the hive once it is set up to provide extra food? 

 

If the honey is 90% capped, yes, but if it is predominantly uncapped, no, as it will ferment while off the hive. Most would put in Bayvarrol which does not leave a toxic residue in the honey. How many weeks did you leave the spring Apivar treatment in the hive? 

Mainly, we use Apivar in autumn, and Bayvarrol treatment in spring.

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21 minutes ago, ChrisM said:

Is this becasue they are using OA vapour and need to have a broodless hive in order for all mites to be phoretic?

 

yes. and also you immediately remove most mites most viruses and a lot of diseased brood (if infestation levels are high).

 

putting in strips of something will be a slow treatment and mean slow (if at all) recovery

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16 hours ago, jamesc said:

 

26 minutes ago, Sailabee said:

 

If the honey is 90% capped, yes, but if it is predominantly uncapped, no, as it will ferment while off the hive. Most would put in Bayvarrol which does not leave a toxic residue in the honey. How many weeks did you leave the spring Apivar treatment in the hive? 

Mainly, we use Apivar in autumn, and Bayvarrol treatment in spring.

 

Around here generally we have now switched to Bayvarol spring and Apivar in autumn; to get round the withholding period of Apivar in Spring and our first flow.

 

If a third treatment is required, in between times an organic treatment is used.  We are also very aware delaying chemical resistance.

 

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1 hour ago, Christi An said:

 

yes. and also you immediately remove most mites most viruses and a lot of diseased brood (if infestation levels are high).

 

putting in strips of something will be a slow treatment and mean slow (if at all) recovery

Ok, well it seems pretty extreme. I hope never to be in such a situation that, that's my best option left.

I think that in cold winter climates (esp Europe) where the brood shuts down anyway, that OAV Vapour is fantastic and I have a nice unit that I assembled myself.

In my situation most hives are on a substantial broodnest all year round because at sea level the ocean prevents lower temperatures.

I've read about US beekeepers purposely putting their hives into refrigerated chillers over winter and having good success, so they said. Good luck to them.

We are continuing to use OAG Glycerine on gib tapes and we find that this works well in our climate.

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2 hours ago, Maggie James said:

Around here generally we have now switched to Bayvarol spring and Apivar in autumn; to get round the withholding period of Apivar in Spring and our first flow.

 

 

 

 

We are sticking to bayvarol in autumn apivar in spring as recommended by Mark Godwin back in the early days of varroa.

 

His reasoning was Apivar is slower to act so use in spring as the growth of the hive should outrun the increase in varroa giving the apivar time to work. 

Bayvarol in Autumn because the mites have generally built up to a point they need a quick knockdown and also the hive will be on the decrease .

We have changed our management and now dont target a first flow or last flow just the main flow, no point in harvesting honey we cant sell.

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1 hour ago, ChrisM said:

Ok, well it seems pretty extreme. I hope never to be in such a situation that, that's my best option left.

I think that in cold winter climates (esp Europe) where the brood shuts down anyway, that OAV Vapour is fantastic and I have a nice unit that I assembled myself.

In my situation most hives are on a substantial broodnest all year round because at sea level the ocean prevents lower temperatures.

I've read about US beekeepers purposely putting their hives into refrigerated chillers over winter and having good success, so they said. Good luck to them.

We are continuing to use OAG Glycerine on gib tapes and we find that this works well in our climate.

 

Yes true in germany you might have a broodless period over winter.

 

but complete removal of all (capped) brood is a technique used for the late summer/autumn treatment.

 

It does sound extreme but to my experience and the one of many others it works very well and the hives recover very quickly.

 

As far as i know the juvenile hormone of hatching brood does play a role in the aging of adult bees (thats one of the reasons winter bees live that long when the hive is broodless)

 

assuming the mite level really is very high the removed brood would be mostly diseased and a burden anyway.

 

as far as i know apis cerana (the asian honey bee, which co evolved with the varroa mite) also sometimes does abscond (eg hive swarms without erecting swarm cells, leaving all brood behind) if mite levels get too high. So do africanized honeybees (apparently all bees seem to have this trait, just not very strongly developed).

 

youre basically mimicking this process. they can handle it (which is amazing)...

 

just make sure they have enough food/feeding/flow and some drawn comb to give them a head start

 

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