Freezing frames to kill varroa

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

mfalgas 

New Bee
Joined
Mar 7, 2021
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Number of Hives
1
Hello,

Please excuse my ignorance as I am new to beekeeping. I have done my first inspection after winter and there is a lot of varroa! I have read somewhere that frames can be frozen to effectively kill the parasite. Then you would uncap the cells and try to "pre-clean" them as much as possible and bees will clean the mess and reuse the frame.

However, all I have seen is exclusively about freezing drone frames. What would happen if I did that to all the frames in the hive? (not at the same time, but in batches of 3 frames) My idea would be to still apply a varroa treatment for varroa on top of adult bees during this time.

But this means that all brood (including workers) would be dead. Would that kill the colony or would the queen lay new eggs in the unthawed frames and new worker bees would be born in time?

Sorry if my question sounds naive. I'm a beginner.
 

Boston Bees 

Field Bee
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
673
Reaction score
613
Location
West Yorkshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10-20
Hello,

Please excuse my ignorance as I am new to beekeeping. I have done my first inspection after winter and there is a lot of varroa! I have read somewhere that frames can be frozen to effectively kill the parasite. Then you would uncap the cells and try to "pre-clean" them as much as possible and bees will clean the mess and reuse the frame.

However, all I have seen is exclusively about freezing drone frames. What would happen if I did that to all the frames in the hive? (not at the same time, but in batches of 3 frames) My idea would be to still apply a varroa treatment for varroa on top of adult bees during this time.

But this means that all brood (including workers) would be dead. Would that kill the colony or would the queen lay new eggs in the unthawed frames and new worker bees would be born in time?

Sorry if my question sounds naive. I'm a beginner.
Well done for asking first.

No, removing frames of brood for varroa control isn't something you do at this time of year. And you wouldn't give the frame back to the bees anyway. Anyway, that's another discussion.

Before going any further, could you please clarify what you mean by saying that you saw lots of varroa? What state is the brood nest in? How many frames of bees are there? How many frames of brood? Are there signs of dead brood in the cells? Lots of varroa seen on the bodies of the worker bees?
 
Last edited:

mfalgas 

New Bee
Joined
Mar 7, 2021
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Number of Hives
1
I had to remove a small comb that they had built in the wrong place. So I uncapped some of the brood and most had varroa in it. It looks quite critical. That's why I thought of doing this instead of waiting for a no-brood stage to apply a no-brood varroa treatment.
The brood I uncapped was either fully grown (some were already getting out) or pupae stage.
 

Boston Bees 

Field Bee
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
673
Reaction score
613
Location
West Yorkshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10-20
I had to remove a small comb that they had built in the wrong place. So I uncapped some of the brood and most had varroa in it. It looks quite critical. That's why I thought of doing this instead of waiting for a no-brood stage to apply a no-brood varroa treatment.
The brood I uncapped was either fully grown (some were already getting out) or pupae stage.
Thanks. I added some more questions to my post?

What state is the brood nest in? How many frames of bees are there? How many frames of brood? If you know?
 
Last edited:

Boston Bees 

Field Bee
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
673
Reaction score
613
Location
West Yorkshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10-20
I had to remove a small comb that they had built in the wrong place. So I uncapped some of the brood and most had varroa in it. It looks quite critical. That's why I thought of doing this instead of waiting for a no-brood stage to apply a no-brood varroa treatment.
The brood I uncapped was either fully grown (some were already getting out) or pupae stage.
If you take brood out of the hive now the colony will certainly die anyway. They need all their brood to get up to strength for spring.

Others can give you advice on potential treatments as I don't usually treat at this time of year. What treatment did you use last year, and do you have any left?
 

B+. 

Queen Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jan 13, 2015
Messages
7,320
Reaction score
336
Location
Bedfordshire, England
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
Quite a few
Hello,

Please excuse my ignorance as I am new to beekeeping. I have done my first inspection after winter and there is a lot of varroa! I have read somewhere that frames can be frozen to effectively kill the parasite. Then you would uncap the cells and try to "pre-clean" them as much as possible and bees will clean the mess and reuse the frame.

However, all I have seen is exclusively about freezing drone frames. What would happen if I did that to all the frames in the hive? (not at the same time, but in batches of 3 frames) My idea would be to still apply a varroa treatment for varroa on top of adult bees during this time.

But this means that all brood (including workers) would be dead. Would that kill the colony or would the queen lay new eggs in the unthawed frames and new worker bees would be born in time?

Sorry if my question sounds naive. I'm a beginner.

You're assuming that all the varroa mites are actively reproducing in the cells, but, that isn't so. There will always be mites on adult bees too. Then again, there is the possibility (probability) that they'll be reinfested by neighbouring colonies.The approach that you suggested may give them a temporary reprieve but the mite population would quickly re-establish.
 

domino 

Queen Bee
Joined
Dec 21, 2011
Messages
2,323
Reaction score
98
Location
South London
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10
If you are going to treat them I don't see much benefit in freezing the brood comb - aren't you just creating work for the colony that's already depleted after all the sealed brood is killed?

If I have a vote, I'd treat and monitor the result.
 

hemo 

Field Bee
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
734
Reaction score
362
Location
West Sussex /RH.
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6-10
Andorra a bit ahead of the UK, day time up to 13c - 17c.
 

mfalgas 

New Bee
Joined
Mar 7, 2021
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Number of Hives
1
Andorra a bit ahead of the UK, day time up to 13c - 17c.
Yes, that´s right. My idea was to also apply Apiguard during the process, however based on the other messages on this thread, I will not freeze anything, just go for Apiguard.
 

Boston Bees 

Field Bee
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
673
Reaction score
613
Location
West Yorkshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10-20
Yes, that´s right. My idea was to also apply Apiguard during the process, however based on the other messages on this thread, I will not freeze anything, just go for Apiguard.
Is it warm enough for Apiguard? I'd use Apivar personally in your situation, or repeated OA vape. Thymol results can be very variable.
 

mfalgas 

New Bee
Joined
Mar 7, 2021
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Number of Hives
1
If you take brood out of the hive now the colony will certainly die anyway. They need all their brood to get up to strength for spring.

Others can give you advice on potential treatments as I don't usually treat at this time of year. What treatment did you use last year, and do you have any left?
I applied Apiguard in early November, when there was no capped brood. They seem to have overwintered fine, their population has increased and there have been entering pollen in February (I did not open the hive until now, but I inspected the entrance from outside in previous months). Everything seems okay except for the fact that they have high numbers of varroa mites. I was thinking of applying Apiguard again now as mean daily temperature has been higher than 15º from this week on. The only problem is the existence of capped brood which probably have mites in it.
 

Murox 

Queen Bee
Joined
Aug 31, 2017
Messages
2,698
Reaction score
801
Location
Campbeltown Scotland
Hive Type
other
You will never totally eradicate the mites. Given how things are now with the hive I suggest that use multiple OA vaporisations .
 

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
15,738
Reaction score
156
Location
Lincolnshire
Hive Type
14x12
First question, re treatment now, is ‘Do you have a super on the colony?’ If so, your treatment options are limited.
 

Latest posts

Top