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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

IPM time!!!

I have failed to keep varroa levels acceptable and due to tardiness of administration of combative chemicals, namely due to the fact that I could not get my hands on and ApiguardĀ®, given the entire county is out, I shall begin an IPM(Intigrated Pest Management) regemin. I plan to use powdered sugar dusts, drone comb trapping and the screened bottom board. The powdered sugar encourages bees to groom themselves thus, removing the mite. Varroa mites are actually attracted to drone comb given it allows them greater reproduction time and therefor, more mites. When the cells are capped the varroa are essentially trapped with a seemingly lemitless food supply. In drone trapping, the bees are encouraged to draw drone comb on one frame and the varroa mites are trapped when the cells are capped. Then, the mites can be measured by counting the mites in cells ripped open. The rest of the cells are left capped and placed in a freezer overnight to ensure death to the varroa "vampire" mite. Why all this sudden draw of pest preventors and treatments. Varroa in my colony have climbed to destructive levels as, I am now seeing week, deformed bees on the ground in front of the hive and defformed bees inside. Even the brood pattern has gone awry with brood deaths. If I am to have any hope of bringing this colony though to next year...(dramatic pause)...I need to get my act together!

I did use some brood and bees from the inspection on Monday to help that hive I captured. The cluster of bees is too small to have survived on their own so I added nurse bees and brood. They did, however, draw out a small, dollor coin sized area of comb and filled it with eggs as well as pollen and cell of nectar. Hard work, but, not enough bees to work. With this new addition, these bees should see it though. Afterall, the colony they came from had to be resistant to varroa given it prospered enough to create a swarm. I should assume that they probably have a minor resistance. Oh yeah, they passed the aggressian test.


Blogger G4st said...

The aggression test huh?
Let me take a few stabs as to what this so called a
aggression test may include...
a)Pouring a scalding cup of hot cocoa on top of the hive, followed up with intervalic sharp blasts from the garden hose.
b) Abruptly kicking the hive over on its side and exclaiming "WHAT NOW!?!"
c) Walking up to hive with a bullhorn and screaming at the top of your lungs "PICK UP THE PACE!!! YOU HAVE A QUOTA TO FILL, NO MORE SMOKE BREAKS!!!"
d) all of the above

9:59 PM, April 12, 2006  
Blogger The Beekeeper said...

Actually, it's (e) non of the above. Although I don't quite kick the hive, I do disturb in by...oh, I guess I do kick the hive. Then, I take off the cover WITH NO SMOKE (gloves and full dress required) and pound them with a stick which, on the end has a leather patch. However many stings are in that patch in a 20 second time detrmine the aggressiveness. A gentle colony will have ten or fewer. Intermediate (the greatest I'll tollerate) will have fewer than 15 and anything above I'm staying away from. I think the common measure for Africanized colonies is around 60 in a 20 second period. Granted, I'll have to do follow-up tests as the colony gets bigger.

12:20 PM, April 13, 2006  

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