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What is appropriate for one climate, is not for another.  If I removed all brood late summer/autumn my hives wouldn't get thru the winter.   For a hive to over winter well it MUST go into the winter with young bees. 

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Reality is that our bees have been modifying to varroa for 20 odd year less than European, and that is along time in evolution genetically with such a short life-cycle and also we learnt from overseas experience, and all rotated our treatments way earlier to avoid development of resistance. 

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6 minutes ago, Sailabee said:

learnt from overseas experience, and all rotated our treatments way earlier to avoid development of resistance. 

Those of us who are open minded and understand the ramifications of manufactured chemical resistance have rotated our treatments in an orderly seasonal fashion

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1 hour ago, Maggie James said:

What is appropriate for one climate, is not for another.  If I removed all brood late summer/autumn my hives wouldn't get thru the winter.   For a hive to over winter well it MUST go into the winter with young bees. 

 

sorry but that is just a very ignorant excuse because you do not want to believe something might work that you never even considered trying. Ive actually already done it here as well, results were the same as in europe albeit only with a few hives. But I see no reason why it should not always work perfectly (on the contrary you get away with doing it much later than you had to do if there was an actual cold winter)

 

Of course differences in climate can make a difference, but its usually the other way around. What works in climates with way colder extremes (Germany does actually get hotter in summer so its not generally colder) usually will also work in more temperate climates. Things that work in temperate climates however will come blowing into your face when temperatures suddenly reach -15 degrees. Thats also why hive losses generally are lower in warmer climates (check the statistics if you dont believe me) you just get away with more things.

Beehives do need HEALTHY and longliving Bees to make it through winter, both will not come from diseased brood. Most treatments are not quick enough if infestation levels are extremely high. If all brood is removed the queen will ramp up her egg laying immediately (you can do the math how long it takes her to reach the roughly 10000 eggs a hive needs to overwinter).

 

It is fine if you at the moment get away with just putting in strips of synthetics 2 times a year and praying. I do hope that this will continue to work a long time. If things develop like they did in Europe and the US (and I have no reason to doubt that -  but im not a scientist) they wont. In a grim scenario like that you'll either stop having bees or adapt and find new methods. Id keep an open attitude towards alternatives or at least look whats happening overseas. With regards to varroa you can actually look into the future there. Saves you from having to reinvent the wheel.

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20 minutes ago, Christi An said:

sorry but that is just a very ignorant excuse because you do not want to believe something might work that you never even considered trying.

As Surgent Schultz would say to Colonel Klink at Stalag 13

"I know NUTHING!!"

 

There are a number of people who have made posts on this thread who are poles apart on the political spectrum, but the reality is they appear to seem in agreeance on this issue.  Are you calling all these people from various parts of NZ ignorant?  I am very open minded, as I am sure the scientific and beekeeping community of NZ would attest to.  I am sure there are a great number of people who watch this forum are equally open minded. 

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16 minutes ago, Maggie James said:

As Surgent Schultz would say to Colonel Klink at Stalag 13

"I know NUTHING!!"

 

There are a number of people who have made posts on this thread who are poles apart on the political spectrum, but the reality is they appear to seem in agreeance on this issue.  Are you calling all these people from various parts of NZ ignorant?  I am very open minded, as I am sure the scientific and beekeeping community of NZ would attest to.  I am sure there are a great number of people who watch this forum are equally open minded. 

 

all I did was point out an alternative method to treat a heavily infested hive, that has been proven to work very well in different regions including here. I also pointed out some of the underlying principles as to why it works and hinted at the fact that feral bees have a very similar behavior in similar circumstances.

 

all you did was state 2 true but irrelevant and VERY generic facts and that it would not work... yes that is very ignorant behavior. 

 

also no need to hide behind politics, any nz beekeeping community (is there such a thing?) or a british comedy show 🙂

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1 minute ago, Christi An said:

.. yes that is very ignorant behavior. 

This is a very interesting thread .

 

However, we need to keep that type of comment out of the discussion please. It is not positive or productive 

 

Thank you 😊 

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Christi An said:

very ignorant behavior. 

 

also no need to hide behind politics, any nz beekeeping community (is there such a thing?) or a british comedy show 🙂

I would call your behaviour judgmental and narrow minded.

 

What qualifies you, or what experience do have you, to state that there is not such thing as a NZ beekeeping community?

Edited by Maggie James

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Posted (edited)

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 will.  And I will not be in any rush to approve posts that are in moderation.

 

We all have some good information to share.  Let's do it peaceably.

Edited by Trevor Gillbanks
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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, the hive can be fixed.

 

First i agree with many of Christi An's comments, but if a hive only has a few sick bees left and will be dead in 2 weeks, shaking them onto new empty combs will not save it because it will be dead before they can get a new cycle of brood through. However the method may be effective in less severe circumstances, and Christi An has found that in his own experience.

 

Katrin you never did say how many bees produced the 40 mites, but by just about any commonly used method or number of bees, a mite count of 40 is very high, and I suspect your hive will be a lot closer to death than you realise. Once all brood is dead or close to it, and the adults are not going to live long, what can look to a beginner like a still well populated hive can go to no bees very quickly.

 

Here is how to save pretty much any close to death (by varroa) hive. From another hive, find a comb of healthy brood that is very close to hatching and put it middle of the brood nest of the sick hive. This is because without that, the hive may be dead in less than 3 weeks. The hatching bees from the healthy comb will at least keep the hive alive long enough for some healthy brood to start emerging once mite treatment has been put in the hive. The brood comb put in must be close to hatching because the sick hive may not be able to care for brood that still has a couple of weeks before it hatches. It must start hatching immediately.

 

If the hive is down to a few hundred bees, more adult bees must be added with the brood, enough to keep it warm. Jiggle the comb a bit so older bees that can fly will fly, the ones still hanging on are young bees that are less likely to kill the queen or rob the hive. In the sick hive put the brood comb with bees next to the comb with the queen, but have the queen on the other side of the comb she is on, from the new comb. This will make for a slower introduction and if all this is done right it is very rare to lose the queen.

 

Me, I don't bother to remove the sick brood, but i do respect the idea of doing it. Bayvarol is my treatment of choice for these situations, a strip should be placed each side and middle of the healthy comb, and other strips placed as needed for whatever the bee population is. Do not place the strips at the end of the comb or outside of the brood. They must be middle of the brood.

 

If it's robbing season reduce the entrance to very small and have the entrance nearest to the bees cluster where the guards are closest to it.

 

Check the hive in 3 weeks. The broodnest might be much smaller, but should be healthy. Bees don't like varroa treatment strips and the small brood nest may have been moved away from the strips. If that has happened, move the strips to centre of the brood nest. Over the next few weeks the hive will start increasing in population and will start cleaning out dead brood and expanding the size of the broodnest.

 

That's my method and i get pretty much 100% success regardless how bad the hive is, I've even brought back hives with a queen running around plus 20 or 30 scattered bees left alive.

 

Only other thing I'd say is that the other hives likely have high varroa levels also, would pay to treat them all. Leave the strips in 10 weeks.

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A hive with a high mite load is unlikely to produce very much surplus honey. I’d do an afb check, remove the honey boxes to another, stronger hive to finish off and then treat this one. Close the entrance down so it’s not robbed out,  spreading the varroa to all your other hives. 

Have you done a sugar shake on the other hives too?? As some else said, here’s a good chance they have high mite numbers too. 

 

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One suggestion is to clear the bees from the supers and them put them on another hive for safe-keeping. Then you can treat with colony without worrying about contaminating the honey. Is there mite resistance to Bayvarol yet in NZ? It was one of the treatments of choice in the UK (along with Apistan)  for a while until resistance built up - the reisitance wasn't really noticed until winter losses started to increase and people figured out why.. Thymol based treatments are used in the UK, and MAQS is also used for a quick (1 week) treatment as it penetrates the brood cappings if it's available in NZ.

 

If a colony has a high mite load and there are deformed wings, it's possible that there is a lot of dead or duff pupae in the brood area that the colony is trying to look after (a rather pointless task and a waste of time of course). Look for bees that have died as they have tried to get out of the cells. If the numbers of bees is falling, once it's been treated for varroa, it might need a frame of (varroa free) brood to help it get going again. Once the varroa has gone, it takes, I understand, a couple of brood cycles for the colony to rid itself of the viruses associated with varroa, so it's a long-haul to get the colony back to strength.

Edited by AdamD
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On 9/01/2020 at 8:58 PM, Christi An said:

british comedy

That show was purely the fault of USA..

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