Quantcast

High mite count

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

rook66 

Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Messages
241
Reaction score
2
Location
uk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
30
I gave up obsessively counting mites years ago. They get four rounds and that's it.
Obviously a lot more research is required into the mode of action of oa. I have been in this situation in the past and gave up after several vapes, but when I treated in mid Winter I found no mites The colony came through good and healthy.
 

mbc 

Queen Bee
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
Messages
5,853
Reaction score
116
Location
bestest wales
Hive Type
national
When hives collapse it can be a gradual thing with more and more of the "healthy" bees deserting and joining neighbours as the morale of the collapsing colony dissipates.
No hive is an island, they all live in an interconnected relationship with their neighbours, and if they've no near neighbours then they fizzle out in time.
Insects all follow a boom and bust lifestyle, even if we defy nature by managing our bees to have a more constant population per hive, nature will have her way and a more extensive landscape wide boom and bust might occur.
In a stable setting with regards to bee population (ie. little or no imports) this boom and bust is a necessary mechanism to sort the wheat from the chaff in continuing bee genes.
 

BeeGiner 

New Bee
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
33
Reaction score
20
Location
Sussex
Hive Type
none
I am puzzled by this “bee’s joining neighbours”. Are there studies that show this happening?
It doesn’t seem to make any sense genetically!
If I am a worker bee I can see it makes sense for me to work hard for my hive. After all, assuming the big bad beekeeper hasn’t re-queened, I share many genes with my mum (the queen), the other workers and brood (my full or half sisters) and drones my full (haploid) brothers. If I move to another hive then that close relationship is lost and I may share very few genes, so why should I be helping what (in genetic terms) is my enemy. I am sorry it makes no sense at all to me and I just don’t buy it!
Please enlighten me so that I don’t continue to be puzzled and annoyed by the posts that claim this is happening.
 

Erichalfbee 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
19,427
Reaction score
1,360
Location
Ceredigion
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
7
I am puzzled by this “bee’s joining neighbours”. Are there studies that show this happening?
It doesn’t seem to make any sense genetically!
If I am a worker bee I can see it makes sense for me to work hard for my hive. After all, assuming the big bad beekeeper hasn’t re-queened, I share many genes with my mum (the queen), the other workers and brood (my full or half sisters) and drones my full (haploid) brothers. If I move to another hive then that close relationship is lost and I may share very few genes, so why should I be helping what (in genetic terms) is my enemy. I am sorry it makes no sense at all to me and I just don’t buy it!
Please enlighten me so that I don’t continue to be puzzled and annoyed by the posts that claim this is happening.
Bees from a collapsing colony do drift away
You also get bees drifting to other hives under normal conditions.
I have my colonies in a nearly straight line with the prevailing wind blowing across. By the end of the season the most downwind hive has the most bees,the most varroa and often the most honey.
Drones, of course, move from colony to colony and to and from your neighbours as a matter of course
Be puzzled by all means but don’t be annoyed.
 

charlievictorbravo 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Messages
1,753
Reaction score
16
Location
Torpoint, Cornwall
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
2 - 14x12
When hives collapse it can be a gradual thing with more and more of the "healthy" bees deserting and joining neighbours as the morale of the collapsing colony dissipates.
No hive is an island, they all live in an interconnected relationship with their neighbours, and if they've no near neighbours then they fizzle out in time.
Insects all follow a boom and bust lifestyle, even if we defy nature by managing our bees to have a more constant population per hive, nature will have her way and a more extensive landscape wide boom and bust might occur.
In a stable setting with regards to bee population (ie. little or no imports) this boom and bust is a necessary mechanism to sort the wheat from the chaff in continuing bee genes.
You've made a very valid point and, thinking about it, it reinforces the idea of treating a whole apiary rather than just selected colonies in order to catch the collapsing as well as the strong (robbing/refuge?) colonies. When there's brood, 3 or 4 vapings with Oxalic Acid should clear a colony but, as other threads have reported, this does not always work! We still don't even know how Oxalic Acid kills Varroa destructor - does it poison the mites, or asphyxiate them or acid-burn them to death. Is the acid absorbed, inhaled or ingested? Answers on a postcard, please.

CVB
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
24,213
Reaction score
1,434
Location
Glanaman,Carmarthenshire,Wales
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Too many - but not nearly enough
I am puzzled by this “bee’s joining neighbours”. Are there studies that show this happening?
There are studies, don't ask me to dig them out now please. It's been known for years - drones obviously need to be itinerant, it's all part of freshening the gene pool, marked drones have been found in other hives, many tens of miles from 'home' and also, no colony will turn away a bee that could be useful to them - whether it's a fully laden forager who got a bit lost, or a young nurse bee - always at a premium during colony buildup, and one of the reasons that some have reservations with conducting a shoock swarm on a colony with foulbrood when there's other colonies nearby.
 

bobba 

House Bee
Joined
May 2, 2019
Messages
283
Reaction score
92
Location
UK - Hampshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
4
When hives collapse it can be a gradual thing with more and more of the "healthy" bees deserting and joining neighbours as the morale of the collapsing colony dissipates.
I never though of it being a gradual thing. In my mind a "robing event" maybe took place where my bees found a hive (or several) on its last legs and finished it off in a short period.

But what you say makes sense and could explain why more mites were arriving in my hives over an extended period.

I did notice that the bees in this hive seemed prone to drift on one occasion. When doing one of the earlier treatments I noticed that many of the bees waiting to get back in the hive why the door was blocked, instead went into the neighboring hive. So took extra care to always treat this hive just before sun down to avoid this problem.

I did not have this problem with my other hives. So maybe this was happening because there were lots of "new arrivals" in this hive.

I have 4 hives in a row, this hie is on the end. I did see a study on drifting that says they are more likely to drift from the middle to the ends of rows. So that could explain why this hive acquired more mites than my others.

Thanks to everyone for all the little bits of info. I have learn some interesting things
 

BeeGiner 

New Bee
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
33
Reaction score
20
Location
Sussex
Hive Type
none
There are studies, don't ask me to dig them out now please. It's been known for years - drones obviously need to be itinerant, it's all part of freshening the gene pool, marked drones have been found in other hives, many tens of miles from 'home' and also, no colony will turn away a bee that could be useful to them - whether it's a fully laden forager who got a bit lost, or a young nurse bee - always at a premium during colony buildup, and one of the reasons that some have reservations with conducting a shoock swarm on a colony with foulbrood when there's other colonies nearby.
Yes, I can understand for drones. I can also understand that a hive might want to accept workers from another hive. What’s missing is a logical reason for a worker from one hive taking up residence in (i.e. not just robbing from) another. With evolution things just don’t happen unless there’s a good reason (competitive advantage) to them happening.
What advantage do the genes of the worker get from moving to another hive? I think the answer is none, in which case it shouldn’t happen. Hence my doubt that it really does.
Would really appreciate it if someone can point me at some evidence.
 

Erichalfbee 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
19,427
Reaction score
1,360
Location
Ceredigion
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
7
Yes, I can understand for drones. I can also understand that a hive might want to accept workers from another hive. What’s missing is a logical reason for a worker from one hive taking up residence in (i.e. not just robbing from) another. With evolution things just don’t happen unless there’s a good reason (competitive advantage) to them happening.
What advantage do the genes of the worker get from moving to another hive? I think the answer is none, in which case it shouldn’t happen. Hence my doubt that it really does.
Would really appreciate it if someone can point me at some evidence.
Anecdotal.
The reason my most downwind colony has most bees is little to do with the type of bees.
When it’s windy quite a few bees don’t make their colony and go to one easier to get into. I’ve watched it. I’ve watched bees trying repeatedly to get home to be blown downwind and go into another colony.
 

Hachi 

Drone Bee
Joined
Mar 28, 2012
Messages
1,793
Reaction score
116
Location
Wiltshire
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
Damn! A lot more than I ever thought I'd have
Yes, I can understand for drones. I can also understand that a hive might want to accept workers from another hive. What’s missing is a logical reason for a worker from one hive taking up residence in (i.e. not just robbing from) another. With evolution things just don’t happen unless there’s a good reason (competitive advantage) to them happening.
What advantage do the genes of the worker get from moving to another hive? I think the answer is none, in which case it shouldn’t happen. Hence my doubt that it really does.
Would really appreciate it if someone can point me at some evidence.
An alternative approach you could take to answer your question, is to research it yourself if you feel as strongly as you obviously do, that it doesn't occur as opposed to the other party proving their statement? ...........Just saying
 

Abelha 

New Bee
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
20
Reaction score
11
Location
Sussex
Hive Type
national
An alternative approach you could take to answer your question, is to research it yourself if you feel as strongly as you obviously do, that it doesn't occur as opposed to the other party proving their statement? ...........Just saying
Interesting point of view Hachi. Surely you would agree that if people make categoric statements then they should be able to substantiate them with evidence. Otherwise there is the danger of repeating "old wive's tales" until they became accepted fact.
I, for one, would like to know whether worker bee's moving, en mass, to other hives when theirs collapses is fact or an "old wife's tale" wouldn't you ;)
 

Hachi 

Drone Bee
Joined
Mar 28, 2012
Messages
1,793
Reaction score
116
Location
Wiltshire
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
Damn! A lot more than I ever thought I'd have
Interesting point of view Hachi. Surely you would agree that if people make categoric statements then they should be able to substantiate them with evidence. Otherwise there is the danger of repeating "old wive's tales" until they became accepted fact.
I, for one, would like to know whether worker bee's moving, en mass, to other hives when theirs collapses is fact or an "old wife's tale" wouldn't you ;)
A classic case of looking at bee's [in this case] through another species eyes and trying to overlay onto them, another species perception of logical. If you need to see it in action, tip out a hive with a DLQ and you will observe the bee's find another home. Some bees do it immediately others take a few hours but the survival instinct kicks in and off they go. For me that's evidence enough. Bee's are an extremely sophisticated bunch. ;)

I don't recall anyone being categoric as you suggest. If you want to know the truth, as you say your quest is desiring, one would wish to research and determine "truth" for oneself, surely? A profoundly more enjoyable past time than perhaps insisting someone prove it, just because in your world, you think it wrong.
 
Last edited:

Swarm 

Queen Bee
Joined
May 29, 2011
Messages
7,792
Reaction score
519
Location
South Wales
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
more than 20, less than 100.
Bees will sometimes migrate to a stronger colony anyway, no wind or colony collapse involved. I believe I also heard in a lecture, that workers will follow other workers.
Nobody said anything about a mass migration.
 

mbc 

Queen Bee
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
Messages
5,853
Reaction score
116
Location
bestest wales
Hive Type
national
Bees will sometimes migrate to a stronger colony anyway, no wind or colony collapse involved. I believe I also heard in a lecture, that workers will follow other workers.
Nobody said anything about a mass migration.
It's particularly evident in mating nucs with an entrance either side, the queen with the sexiest pheromones ends up with most workers however diligent you've been making then even to begin with.
 

Apple 

Field Bee
Joined
Jan 15, 2014
Messages
802
Reaction score
265
Location
South of Watford
Number of Hives
140
There are studies, don't ask me to dig them out now please. It's been known for years - drones obviously need to be itinerant, it's all part of freshening the gene pool, marked drones have been found in other hives, many tens of miles from 'home' and also, no colony will turn away a bee that could be useful to them - whether it's a fully laden forager who got a bit lost, or a young nurse bee - always at a premium during colony buildup, and one of the reasons that some have reservations with conducting a shoock swarm on a colony with foulbrood when there's other colonies nearby.
Bee Inspector's Advice on shook swarm within an apiary with EFB, was to destroy colonies with greater than 20% of brood infected and shook swarm all others within that apiary onto new frames/foundation/boxes/crownboards/roofs... everything... feed.. then "lockdown" for 6 weeks and re inspect, everything in that apiary to be "dipped in Dettol" or burned!
When you have 20 colonies in an apiary and the only one infected is a swarm that has moved into to an empty "swarm catcher" from someone else's infected apiary ( which never was found) what are you supposed to do??????
Reinforces the call for compulsory registration for those keeping honeybees!

Look at the incidence of foulbrood reports on BEEBASE... and they are the colonies registered ( how many unregistered hobbyists have their pets collapse and never get reported???)
 

Murox 

Queen Bee
Joined
Aug 31, 2017
Messages
2,235
Reaction score
383
Location
Campbeltown Scotland
Hive Type
other
Bee Inspector's Advice on shook swarm within an apiary with EFB, was to destroy colonies with greater than 20% of brood infected and shook swarm all others within that apiary onto new frames/foundation/boxes/crownboards/roofs... everything... feed.. then "lockdown" for 6 weeks and re inspect, everything in that apiary to be "dipped in Dettol" or burned!
When you have 20 colonies in an apiary and the only one infected is a swarm that has moved into to an empty "swarm catcher" from someone else's infected apiary ( which never was found) what are you supposed to do??????
Reinforces the call for compulsory registration for those keeping honeybees!

Look at the incidence of foulbrood reports on BEEBASE... and they are the colonies registered ( how many unregistered hobbyists have their pets collapse and never get reported???)
Yup. Its a catch 22. As compulsory registration is barely even thought about, let alone the policing of it, wouldn't our efforts best be focused upon husbandry, education, prevention, and recognition . Reliance on a third party for EFB control seems to be rather like shutting the stable door when the horse has bolted - we are all capable of good husbandry.
 

Arfermo 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Messages
2,227
Reaction score
40
Location
Midlands
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Enough
Yes, I can understand for drones. I can also understand that a hive might want to accept workers from another hive. What’s missing is a logical reason for a worker from one hive taking up residence in (i.e. not just robbing from) another. With evolution things just don’t happen unless there’s a good reason (competitive advantage) to them happening.
What advantage do the genes of the worker get from moving to another hive? I think the answer is none, in which case it shouldn’t happen. Hence my doubt that it really does.
Would really appreciate it if someone can point me at some evidence.
Ask your bees because they know. If you can't speak 'bee' just accept that what they do is for a good and sufficient reason.:):):)
 

madasafish 

Queen Bee
Joined
Apr 10, 2010
Messages
9,088
Reaction score
329
Location
Stoke on Trent
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
8x Langstroth, a few Lang nucs,1x TBH, and about 17 mating mini nucs
I had a similar problem two years ago with a high mite load and 4 vapings being insufficient to kill most of the mites..

Rather than continuing vaping, I just treated with Apistan strips and left for the required 6 weeks.. Job done, mite drops fell to minimal levels and far less hassle..

(I assumed it was due to bees either robbing a collapsing hive or bees from that collapsing hive finding a new home,)
 

Swn58 

House Bee
Joined
Oct 30, 2014
Messages
187
Reaction score
65
Location
Birmingham
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Less than 1.....more than 20!
Earlier this week I went back to check the farm bees after their second treatment with Apilife Var. The first treatment a week earlier showed that they were riddled with mites. The conclusion was they had never had a spring treatment before I picked them up in June. The second treatment was as bad as the first. I have never seen that amount of varroa! I think I will have to treat them again before winter descends.
 

Attachments

Latest posts

Top