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new bee keeper and my experiences


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Hi I'm a new bee keeper but have been round bees for a long time I have spent a long time over the net and lot's and lot's of books and have some ideas on hive health and would like your views on my ideas.

First bee and hive health comes first I believe a healthy hive like people will stay a lot healther ,so by keeping Verroa in check should help keep other nasties ie AFB at bay .

I don't believe bombing my hives with drugs every 6 months is the way to go and would like to treat the #######s all the time so I'm not letting them get up in numbers .

My hive is in my garden so daily checks are not a problem I have a screened bottom and a check board ,I'm dusting my bees with icing sugar as per Margot who I got my hive of, I'm also going to use foundation less frames to help keep the Verroa numbers down I'm also am building a oxalic acid evaporator and will use this as numbers get up .

I would like not to use drugs if I can help it .

 

Please feel free to comment but try to keep this about bee health and ideas on treatments I'm keen to try most things my hive is quiet and peaceful I can open it up and work it without gloves and vail so would like to keep it this way I have tons of pollen coming in and they are drawing wax like crazy

 

ps my Verroa count was 12 today 8 I have dusted them in icing sugar today so will do a count tomorrow

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Think of it like your own health. You try to stay healthy, keep fit, eat well, all the good things, but if you get an infection you still may need antibiotics to fight it off.

In the same way, your bees might need a quick fix. In spring they can outbreed varroa and its damage, but they can be overrun by varroa in the autumn as bee numbers fall.

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both are correct.

any hive healthy or not can get AFB.

however a hive weakened by varroa tends to let all the diseases get going. if a hive has fairly high number of afb spores, but isn't dieing of it when the hive is healthy, they can start dieing from when the hive is weakened by other diseases.

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Strong hives can be more susceptible to AFB as they can rob the infected hived. A weaker hive may not be as inclined to rob.

 

Most "natural" (non synthetic chemical) treatments I have looked at, just like the commercial ones, should not be used while a honey flow is on if the honey is intended for human consumption.

 

How you work your bees are a major factor in the protective gear you use however I would always recommend a veil as you never know when one bee will choose to sting and the face is (almost) the last place you want a bee to sting

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What Oxalic Acid Is

 

Oxalic acid is, of course, a chemical substance. At high concentrations, it is a dangerous poison, but such immediately toxic levels are not found in foodstuffs but rather in manufactures, such as some bleaches, some anti-rust products, and some metal cleaners (among other things). It is also a naturally occurring component of plants, and is found in relatively high levels in dark-green leafy foods (relatively high, though, is just that).

The chemical formula for oxalic acid is
C2O2(OH)2
. An
(from the Latin
acidus
, meaning "sour") is typically a corrosive substance with a sharp, sour taste (but tasting an acid can be
extremely dangerous
, depending on its strength). Acids can range from very mild to very strong, and a given type of acid can be made weaker by diluting it (with, for example, water). Oxalic acid is inherently a strong acid: it is about 3,000 times stronger than acetic acid, which is the chemical name for the acid in ordinary vinegar (usually sold as around a 5% solution of acetic acid). Oxalic acid is so strong that it is widely used industrially for bleaching and heavy-duty cleaning, notably for rust removal. If oxalic acid is not heavily diluted--as it is in plants--it is quite dangerous to humans, being both toxic and corrosive

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sorry my computer did not update the page before I posted last time yes Oxalic acid is a chemical substance .

I have no problems using chemicals and the strips but I think the strips should be a last resort after all other things fail .

Nothing is a golden bullet but using drugs that verroa are building up a resistance to is not going to be the answer down the line .

Why I chose icing sugar was well it's just fine sugar but Yesbut say (Glynn my ex-commercial mentor tells me icing sugar can be hard on open brood & use should be limited to after honey flow when losing bees is not so bad) Any thoughts on this others using Icing sugar how do you use it .

why I want to use a oxalic acid evaporator is that it's not meant to kill brood and is meant to be harder on the mites than the bees.

The last thing I want to do is kill my hive trying to kill mites I'm trying to build it up to make a split my mite count today was 7 on the sticky board .

Thank you for all your replies

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Like the bees that follow the mouse pointer

I would like to hear from others that have used a oxalic acid evaporator for mite control as they say you can use it with honey supers on

I intend to get one and give it a go. As I havent done any monitoring of mite falls (yet) I would not be able to give a before and after report

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A good friend of mine and sugar dusting enthusiast decided to demonstrate this to me, I think around 3 years ago, teach me and some onlookers how to do it.

 

So he brought his equipment around and did his thing on several hives. And sure enough, when we later checked the drop board, there were mites. The treatment was repeated a number of times not sure how many now, over a time frame of several weeks.

 

Then, at my invitation, we put some of those nasty chemical strips in for 24 hours to see what would happen. He dropped over the next day to see the result. Pulled out the boards and Yikes! More mites than he ever thought would be possible.

 

He has not bothered sugar dusting again.

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RE natural fall mite counts on drop boards, it is a useful tool, you can pick trends. But exact interpretation is difficult because a hive with only 1/2 the mite drop of another hive, could be in just as much trouble, if it only had 1/2 as many bees. Also, a hive can tolerate a much higher mite infestation if it is not falling victim to some of the associated viruses. Plus it depends on the time of year, ie, brood nest size increasing, or decreasing, and there are several other variables.

 

I read, that to find mite numbers in a hive, you multiply daily drop by 150. Like everything on the internet I would not treat this as gospel it's probably somebody's theory. But if true, a daily mite drop of 10 would equal a mite population of 1,500.

 

Also, be aware that what you see may not be the actual drop. I used to wonder why I would see perhaps say, 20 mites on the board. I wouldn't clean the board but next time I looked there would be maybe 5. Bit of a mystery till one day I found ants on the board carrying the mites away.

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I've built myself a oxalic acid evaporator still got to finish the finer points and give it a test run .

Now I've been trying build up my hive I put a new frame in the bottom box to replace one dark frame and a F/D super on top .

I have a 3/4 super witch the bees have been drawing it out but slowly .

I've replaced my Q/E with a wood framed one as the one I got with the hive was getting on a bit .

The bees have not started drawing comb on the frame in the brood box and it's been a week is this ok ? the hive below the Q/E is humming with bees but there is only a few above it is this ok for this time of the year have I tried to rush them by adding the extra super ? do I need it to warm up more first .

There is pollen coming in to the hive and the frames in the brood boxes have some honey capped

Thank for taking the time to read this

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If there is not much nectar coming in they only draw foundation slowly, or not at all. If the bottom box is full of bees you have not rushed putting on another box, I don't know your location but a nectar flow should start anytime and then the hive will start pumping.

 

BTW it's easy to think they are getting pollen so they must be getting nectar, but it's not always the case.

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Thanks for your your replies

My hive is made up with one F/D and one 3/4 boxes for a brood chamber, I want to split my hive later when it warms up I have a Nuc box and enough F/D gear make up another hive .

So can I split the brood chamber then I can have one hive with two 3/4 boxes and one with F/D boxes .

I have a new Queen so my chances of swarm cells small ? yes or no .

If I get cells I think I would better to start a Nuc hive yes or no .

I'm trying to draw wax on my frames at the moment first but it's still cold up here in Kirwee

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Thanks for your your replies

My hive is made up with one F/D and one 3/4 boxes for a brood chamber, I want to split my hive later when it warms up I have a Nuc box and enough F/D gear make up another hive .

So can I split the brood chamber then I can have one hive with two 3/4 boxes and one with F/D boxes .

I have a new Queen so my chances of swarm cells small ? yes or no .

If I get cells I think I would better to start a Nuc hive yes or no .

I'm trying to draw wax on my frames at the moment first but it's still cold up here in Kirwee

If you spend the spring/summer expanding the hive and getting frames drawn then an early autumn 50/50 split with a new queen, this will give you the 2 hives you want. That way you will still get some surplus honey crop and both splits will be strong enough for the winter.

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If you spend the spring/summer expanding the hive and getting frames drawn then an early autumn 50/50 split with a new queen, this will give you the 2 hives you want. That way you will still get some surplus honey crop and both splits will be strong enough for the winter.

Sounds good to me...

Pretty much exactly as i am trying to do glynn, i have enough gear for 2 hives here now too, so my plan sounds similar to yours. After the hail yesterday arvo i noticed the bees were very busy, must have been thinking winter was back!

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Sounds good to me...

Pretty much exactly as i am trying to do glynn, i have enough gear for 2 hives here now too, so my plan sounds similar to yours. After the hail yesterday arvo i noticed the bees were very busy, must have been thinking winter was back!

 

Yes our bee's are busy bees :rolleyes: to out on the wing first thing today I'm hoping they have started to draw comb on my bare frame i put in the brood nest trying change to small cell .Would be nice to catch a swarm this year might have to start carrying round a box in my truck .I would like to try a raise my own Queen as well .

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