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New Beekeeper 2nd week inspection New Jersey USA


#1

Hi All,

Thanks so much for all the help and comments on my last 1 week inspection. Since then, I did go back into the hive the next day to retrieve the comb that had fallen to the bottom.

So I patiently waited for the next week to go back in and see the progress.

The weather here in NJ has been crazy, a lot of rain, cool days into the 60s, then a couple hot days in 80s.

There has been plenty of activity and a lot of flowers and shrubs and tons of holly trees in our yard so the girls are coming and going all day and into the evening.

This second inspection was awesome. I was so happy and surprised to see a lot of capped brood, loads of healthy looking maturing larvae, and I’m pretty sure I saw the queen. I would say about 4 frames out of 8 have solid progress. No sign of sickness, mites, or moths, but I am still quite untrained :slight_smile:

I have attached a few photos. Please feel free to comment and let me know if you see anything I might have missed.

I also have a couple questions

1 - Looks like they stopped feeding in the top feeder so I took it off and cleaned it, but put it back on empty in case I should continue to feed?

2 - When should I start treating for mites? SMB? Moths? Anything else? I am planning to fog for mites. Not sure how/when to treat for the rest. I want to be as natural as possible so not too into the insecticide approach, but I want to make sure the colony remains healthy.


#2

I would take it off next time you inspect. They probably won’t need feeding for a few months, if at all. If you leave it on, it is more dead space for them to heat (they keep the brood at 34 to 35C), and bees tend to do nefarious things to extras left on the hive. Things like building creative comb in unexpected places, or gumming stuff up unhelpfully with tons of propolis. :wink:

I treat for mites when the counts say I need to treat or if I see DWV signs. Generally this is March, August and sometimes October. I use the sugar roll test and Gizmo device developed by UMN.


https://www.kelleybees.com/search.html?Search=gizmo

What are you “fogging” with? I don’t like mineral oil, but Oxalic Acid is superb.

I presume you mean SHB (not SMB). I treat those with a hive tool (squish) - look for them around the edge of the inner cover when you first take it off. If there are lots, I use oil traps in the hive between 2 frames in the top box. Try not to squash bees - dead trapped bees are a feast for SHB larvae. Don’t throw wax etc from inspections on the ground - it attracts more SHB. I put wax into a ziplock bag and freeze it until I have enough to render. Keep a strong hive, and they will control the SHB for you.

Strong hive is the only way to deal with wax moths too. If you take frames off the hive, freeze them for 48 hours then wrap in burlap to keep insects out if you are going to store them. Freezing kills moth and SHB eggs and larvae.


#3

Don,

From the excellent pix’s it’s easy to see your colonies progress. Looks on schedule n progressing nicely.

Awe ! Good questions bro ! 1) first one if your girls seem disinterested with the syrup n top-feeder … it’s a great time to get rid of it until possible Autumn use (but that’s another story n time) … Sounds like the hive is very satisfied with foraging for yummy natural pollen n nectars now.

As for varroa mites. It’s wise not to forget about them but probably not a issue yet. There are several ways to check for an explosion :boom: of mites. Some methods are more accurate than others. 1) the drop method is just a general (not so accurate but early on way to check. I pull my SBB slider n clean it. I then reinsert … then 24 hrs later pull again n check very carefull for any mites that have fallen … your colony is rapidly growing in population thus usually ahead of mite growth population … finding 0 to 3 mites on the slider would not alarm me yet. Finding 4 to 5 or more would cause me to do a more advanced check. 2) a sugar roll check is more accurate n more complicate (plenty of video on internet) … find 0 to 3 with the sugar-roll method usually not an issue this bee growth time of year. Finding 5 or more would cause me to think :thinking: n probably act (some type of treatment) … For now you might just try the simple quick “Drop-method”. Later in the season July into maybe November or even December the sugar-roll method must be used to keep an hand on knowledge whether you need to treat n how effective it is …

I’ve personally used the smoke treatment (not really effective but does cause bees to try n clean themselves). Dusting with powdered sugar is another method (but again with limited results). There are several other no chemical methods (Ive tried them all… (brood break method, drone frame n resistant bees (not sure it’s worth the cost yet/so not tried)… if n when the mites start gaining I prefer the more natural Oxilic Acid method (its a all natural chemical) … trust me … if you use this it works.

I use the screened method, smoke, n sugar powder as a maintenance (slow down the mites population) but oxilic acid (drip n vapor) are my best n more favorite means. I’ve had to resort to chemical a couple times. The mites are not a natural preditor to Honeybees thus the girls really can’t fend off a rapid attack n win.

. Most of us (if not living in Australia) have suffered lost of colonies to mites. Mites suck the life fluids of the bees, damage n destroy capped brood as well as distribute virus to our girls. I’m kind of middle of the road treatment beekeeper.
Good luck :four_leaf_clover: n keep on keeping on,
Gerald


#4

Hi Don,
Two wonderful sources for Natural Beekeeping are Michael Bush http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoursimplesteps.htm
And Hillary Kearney http://beekeepinglikeagirl.com/

A plethora of information on natural treatment-free beekeeping; both are Flow Hive original testers :purple_heart::honeybee::ok_hand:t4:

Welcome to the Forum!


#5

Awesome looking brood frames! That queen is a laying fool!


#6

Thanks for the replies Dawn i really appreciate it. I am planning to use the oxcillic acid to fog.


#7

Oxalic acid works better! :rofl: :nerd_face: Anyhow, sounds like you are going for the good stuff, so I am happy to hear it.

Meanwhile, my own hives are developing “crawlers” = zombie bees crawling on the patio around the hive. This is also a sign of DWV from Varroa (they have short abdomens and neurological damage), so we are starting a vaporization course.


#8

Mite away strips (formic acid) work well as well but have some down sides as well. They penetrate under the brood cappings and can be used in one treatment. They are also approved to use with honey supers on for organic honey. They can only be used when peak temps are below 85 degrees or the fumes are too intense the first few days and can cause bee losses. You also should wear a mask or keep a distance when breathing.

I use both oxalic acid and formic acid. Formic is more aggressive it seems but hard to find the right timing during the summer. Also hard to use in winter when you do not want to open the hive because of the cold.

Oxalic needs 3 treatments in a row to get the same mite kill because of brood cycles, but is much more forgiving than the formic acid.

We are having a cooler week this week so I am using the opportunity to do a formic acid treatment since I saw a few deformed wings lately. I think my Miteaway strips are a little old though, they didn’t seem quite as potent. usually you can smell it from outside the hive.

my 2 cents
Joe