Gilbey

The Beekeeping Thread

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I’m going to go with Apivar when it gets here. I’ll do an OA treatment tomorrow as my battery sucked today and wouldn’t heat up enough. All I did was piss off the bees. 

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Did my Oxalic vapor treatment yesterday.  Used my deep cycle trolling motor battery.  Worked OK.

Took off all robbing screens and put in all the entrance reducers with 1/2" mesh mouse guards.

Will do another treatment in November - need to squeeze it in between hunting trips and striper fishing.......and my wife's honey do list.....

 

 

 

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Don't let the mites win!! Bastages! I did not get to test this past weekend. 

I did extract a little over 100# of dark, Fall honey though. I had  no help, so it took me a good 4+ hours, start to finish. To warm up the supers, I put them in the bathroom with a space heater set at 80 degrees for 24 hours. Unfortunately the garage was pretty cold, so the honey didn't flow all that well. I figure I left about 20% in the frames, it just wouldn't spin out. Since I still have a good amount of Spring harvest, I am not all that worried. I fed the sticky frames back to the bees, and they seemed quite happy to have it. 

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I checked my 2 hive OA treatment next morning after doing and I was not impressed with maybe 20 mites on each slide out bottom board. So I’m ordered some Apivar. Well I refilled my feeders today and rechecked the bottom board. Probably a 100 dead mites on each bottom board. That’s what I was hoping for. I will probably not use the Apivar now as I’ll just do another OA treatment in November as the Apivar is a 45 day treatment and would require me to go into the brood box way late in the season to remove the strips and that does not seem like a good idea that late so since the OA treatment kicked ass I’ll just do another treatment of that before I put  on a Candy board and button it up for the season. 
Here is a text I got from the state apiary inspector that came out to my hives this summer when I had the virus issue. He did a recheck in August and I had no virus and we did an alcohol wash and found no mites in early August. I thought I was good. Little did I know how bad it could get. Here is his answer today when I told him I had 25 mites in each hive after this past weekends alcohol wash. 
 

Hi Paul,
 This is the exact situation I put a ton of effort into warning beekeepers about. It’s not uncommon to see 1’s and 2’s on your mite counts all summer then get completely overrun in the fall. In fact it’s quite common. Many beekeepers fail to continue mite counts in the fall as the queens are hard to find, prohibitive weather, or just a loss of interest from a long summer and now is the most important time! 
 I think you should be fine. You found them and treated. OA can be used once per brood cycle or about every 20 days. I would plan on treating again for sure. I would also use a sticky board during treatment to see what the mite drop is.

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did an alcohol wash 2 days ago - 3 mites found.  This is after an apivar treatment.  going to do an OA drip treatment.   I  put on mouse guards so vapor treatment isn't an option (at least not a good option).  I was using a battery charger for the OA vapor previously and only got 2 hives out of the battery.  I have 25 hives... not going to work.   Do you use a "standard" battery and how many treatments do you get out of the battery?

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My wife has been processing wax over the last few days. We kept the cappings from our Spring harvest in the freezer, so she did it all in one batch. I wasn't there for every step, but basically she tosses it all in a big pot and melts it, and strains it thru cheese cloth, and let's it harden. Once the disk is hardened, the bottom debris is scrapped off, and into the pot it goes to melt again. She does this three times, the final straining is thru 3-4 layer of cheese cloth. She has silicone molds to make blocks of wax, but she uses a lot of wax in balms and lotions, so she likes to drizzle the liquefied was into a big bowl of ice water to create more like pellets of wax that she can more easily incorporate into whatever she is trying to make.

IMG_5999.jpg.1d6ae1048c0cd9fa8df4442cb86d8b38.jpg

In other news, an early birthday present arrived this week. I sprung for the new battery powered Lorob OA vaoporizer. All this talk of high mite counts has me worried, so I plan to add OA treatment to my mite management strategy. 

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12 hours ago, bruce.campo said:

did an alcohol wash 2 days ago - 3 mites found.  This is after an apivar treatment.  going to do an OA drip treatment.   I  put on mouse guards so vapor treatment isn't an option (at least not a good option).  I was using a battery charger for the OA vapor previously and only got 2 hives out of the battery.  I have 25 hives... not going to work.   Do you use a "standard" battery and how many treatments do you get out of the battery?

I just run a cord out to a battery charger that I hook up to the battery. No issues but I only 2 hives. I see your issue. If I had that many I’d get a tool that runs off drill batteries. Not a cheap unit but I hear it works good  with that many hives it could be an option 

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Steel

Glad that treatment took hold and your virus problem went away.  I don't have a sticky board in my hives so will not be able to watch the fall of the mites myself.  Thanks for sharing the inspector's observations!   

 

I am wondering what the main vector is to drive such an increase in our hives.  I assume it is robbing out a crashing colony somewhere else that is totally overrun by mites - I am just not sure that is 100% correct.   But I really wonder how these things spread across the landscape in the first place.  They took over the continent pretty fast so it seems like they can fly around but clearly they need to hitch a ride.  Is there really that much drift between hives?   If any of you have a decent resource or article on this topic I would like to read it.

 

Bruce

I used a deep cycle trolling motor battery and I got 10 hives done no problem.  I have one of those "cheap wand with a heater block on the end" versions.  Not sure how long it will last but that is what I used to borrow from my friend.   Usually up until now I have been doing the dribble method.  5ml per seam of bees.  I found this neat bottle that really helps to measure out 5ml each time and it is super quick once you open up the hive.  I only have found it from Thorne which is a beekeeping supply house in England.   They call it a "trickle bottle".

https://www.thorne.co.uk/health-feeding/pests-diseases/varroa/varroa-chemical/trickle-2-empty-bottle.html

They are cheap so order 10 if you order one and give them to beekeeping friends for Christmas. (Pro tip - keep an extra one or two for yourself - I lost one among all of my junk)

 

I tried something different with the mouse guards this year.  I stapled the 1/2 inch mesh right onto my entrance reducer so I can still slide out the reducer to do another vapor treatment a bit later.

 

Gilbey

Looks like your wife is the wax queen.  How much to rent her out for the afternoon?   Just kidding.  Sounds like she has her own hobby going on there.

The vaporizer looks great - and I hope it works well for a long time.   How did you pick that one?  Compared to the price of buying a package or three to start over like I had to do this spring the price is easier to swallow.

 

 

 

thumb_14656_ProductImage_zoomed.jpeg

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I'll ask if she's available for hire! :D It does take a while since she likes to let it harden in between strains. So much debris collects on the bottom of the wax puck when it hardens.

 

I went with the Lorab unit because of the solid reviews, and I already have some of the compatible Dewalt batteries and a charger laying around from cordless tools I own. My fellow beekeeper down the road uses the Lorab wired unit and swears by it. I LOVE the idea of a portable unit. I know, it wasn't cheap, but this is a hobby for me, and it should last decades. I have dropped more on a high end fly rod, so why not?? 

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18 hours ago, Gilbey said:

Yes, that's the unit I just bought. I'll use it for the first time this weekend. 

So do you drill a hole in the box for that little port?  If so I would guess that you need to open that up each time as the bees will start to put propalis in there.  Might even close it all the way up.  Probably pretty easy to just redrill all the holes at treatment time.

 

Or do you use some sort of cleat that goes in the entrance (like an entrance reducer without the entrance gap) to block that off and the cleat has a little hole in it?

 

Take a pic or two while in action.

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