Mite counts

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Jacobs
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Post by Jacobs »

All are Italians/Italian mutts except for the unknown origin of the strongest hive (Wally's bee tree bees--hive #4). That hive is building faster and earlier than the others.

I have screened bottom boards in all of them. The bottoms were open (no plastic sheet in) all winter and I had small sticks under the inner cover to give ventilation to the hives.
Jacobs
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Post by Jacobs »

An unhappy update. I can move hive #7 from questionable to doomed. I just went through the hive and the bees are occupying part of 1 frame in the first medium. There is a queen. There are larvae. There are multiple eggs in the bottom center of many of the cells. Somehow I just don't think this is a newly mated queen who is trying to get egg laying right. It looks more like a queen who has lost her authority and workers have begun laying. The last small mite count was obviously the result of a small population of bees, and the large November count looks like a strong Fall indicator of a bad outcome over Winter.
SmithN
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Post by SmithN »

My sticky boards went on this afternoon.
I'll report results after I leave them in 72 hours,
count the mites on sticky board and divide by 3 to get a 24 hour average drop.
Everyone has an opinion, this is mine.
Norma :)
SmithN
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Post by SmithN »

hive# 1- queenless-closed out .....
hive# 2- absconded during fall treatment-closed out ........
hive# 3- queenless--closed out..........
hive# 4- 3 mites......ok hive
hive# 5-queenless-closed out ........
hive# 6-35 mites.... very strong hive!.....
hive# 7- 1 mite....weak hive
hive# 8- 7 mites .... good hive
hive# 9- dead out- varroa?...closed out...
hive#10-3 mites ...ok hive
hive#11- 2 mites ...weak hive
Nuc# 1-1 mites....strong hive
Nuc# 2- 6 mites ...strong hive
Last edited by SmithN on Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Everyone has an opinion, this is mine.
Norma :)
Wally
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Post by Wally »

6 dead...Ouch! that hurts. Swarms will start in a few weeks. Get the boxes ready.
SmithN
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Post by SmithN »

5 dead but, YES it does hurt! I was near tears with each loss!
On the upside I have plenty of drawn comb and capped honey to help swarms/splits get started.
I hope to set up a few more nucs when I have enough drones flying.
Everyone has an opinion, this is mine.
Norma :)
Wally
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Post by Wally »

OK. I guess I was counting #3 as the sixth one. Either way, it's a rough road to have to travel. I feel for you.
Jacobs
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Post by Jacobs »

Updates on hives 4 & 7

7-- previously listed as doomed. Has tennis ball sized capped brood
on 2 sides of 1 frame, some eggs, still some multiples. I have seen
postings on another site suggesting these are good queens trying
to ramp up but with not enough help to take care of all of the eggs
she has to lay. I went into the strongest hive, 4, and located the
queen. I took the next frame that had a good number of larvae
and nurse bees and put it in hive 7 next to the brood. I did not see
any fighting.

4-- I had given this hive a medium with 5 partial frames of honey and
5 frames of drawn brood comb about 10 days ago. The bees were
on all frames of this medium. The queen was laying on frame 4 so
I took frame 5 for hive 4 and put in another open drawn frame of
brood comb. These bees were putting up honey in the outer frames
and still had a super of sugar water honey above them. I placed a
deep super with undrawn frames above the medium with brood. I
put the "honey" medium on top of it. Hopefully whatever flow that
is going on will continue and they will start to draw out the deep and
expand into it. I saw drones walking around inside this hive although
they are not flying yet. I will be looking to make splits soon (and
hopefully before they swarm).
tat2guru
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Location: whitsett

mite counts

Post by tat2guru »

hive #1 -12
#2 -3
#3 -12
#4 -38
should i treat #4 with powdered sugar?
thanks
Jacobs
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Post by Jacobs »

I just took the Apilife VAR out of my hives this afternoon. One looks very weak and I may go back into it tomorrow afternoon to see if it is queen right and whether it should be combined or reduced in size. Others are not booming but seem healthy enough given the time of year. I'm going to keep jar feeders at the back of the yard as long as they can fly but I took top feeders off today. I will supplement the hives with capped sugar water honey from my freezer as the weather permits/need arises.
ski
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Post by ski »

I guess it depends on what you mean when you say queen right. If just looking for a queen sounds great. But eggs and larvae?

I am not sure about Apilife VAR but with Apiguard it can/will shut the queen down from laying altogether until a time period after the treatment is removed. Depending I am sure on numerous variables. Also with the cooler temperatures we are having would that not also impede the queen from laying? I guess it depends on what you mean when you say queen right.
Just some thoughts.
Would be interested to know what you find.
Jacobs
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Post by Jacobs »

I will be looking for any evidence of a queen-eggs, larvae, capped brood in any amount or her. This was a thriving hive over the summer which has dwindled significantly over the last 6 weeks or so. It is much lower in numbers than any of my other hives. It still appears active from the front and would be hard to tell from my other hives just by watching from the outside. If all looks well inside I may just let it go and see what happens. I would be willing to gamble with one hive to see if it is just the nature of this queen to greatly reduce the cluster for winter and build in the spring or if it was a queen that started well this past spring only to fizzle in the fall.
ski
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Post by ski »

I think you mentioned the magic word being gamble.
I wouldn't put money on either case being the Apilife VAR shutting the queen down or just a queen at the end of her cycle.

I don't know about Apilife VAR causing a queen to shut down laying but I know Apiguard will.

I was going to ask a question about combining but now I can't think of what it was. Maybe tomorrow.
ski
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Post by ski »

Rob,
Well I see I was rambling a bit last night in the previous posts.
My intention was not to change your direction on the weak hive just wanted to point out that the treatment and cold weather could be a factor.
As you know there are many factors to consider when looking at combining hives from possible diseases, old bees that will die anyway, cluster size that may be too small to over winter and...
anyway if you check them out today let us know how it goes.
Ski

edited :nov 14, 1:25pm
Added word "wanted" in second sentence.
Jacobs
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Post by Jacobs »

I just spent 10 minutes in the hive--enough to decide to let them be and see what happens. It is not a strong hive, with a couple of frames of bees at most. It is queen right. I saw a decent amount of capped brood and I saw eggs and larvae. I also saw the marked queen. I snapped 3 quick pictures and will add them later. There was more brood than I expected to see and they have plenty of stores. The mite treatment apparently did not stop brood rearing. I don't have an explanation for the reduced numbers unless she has some carni genetics leading to small clusters. The brood pattern doesn't look like a failing queen to me. Tell me what you think after I post the pictures.
Jacobs
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Location: Greensboro, NC

Post by Jacobs »

Cluster
Image

Brood
Image

Queen
Image

I really haven't been going into hives in mid-November before, but this doesn't appear to be strong. It does appear to be building. This is the deep box and frames.
ski
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Post by ski »

Rob,
From the picture it looks like 3-4 frames of bees is that about right?
It looks pretty good to me for this time of year but maybe someone else has some different opinions.
Jacobs
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Post by Jacobs »

Probably 3-4 frames but not covered with bees. I think the picture looks a little better than the cluster did when I actually pulled frames. Some bees were up in the mediums, but not large numbers, and foragers were out at the time this was taken. Maybe its in a little better shape than I thought yesterday when I was scraping Apilife Var out of the first medium super.
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