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louiseww 

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A bit worried by something on here about overfed bees swarming. I fed mine before I treated them with apilife var and during the treatment because they clearly did not have enough stores.
I am on the last treatment and there is still a couple of frames in both hives with very little on them (brood or stores) so do I feed again?
Varroa drop today on one hive was about 60 and the other about 30 - is this okay or not?
Oooooh the stress of it all is getting to me :banghead:
 

Chris B 

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Feed. It can't do them any harm. Just feed until they won't take any more if you have any doubts. But as long as they have half decent stores you might still have a reasonable window to get them fully fed i.e. at least 2 weeks. But if they feel light don't wait.

Varroa drop. That does sound high for the end of a treatment. What was it at the beginning? Either way it sounds like your treatment is working so you can rest assured you are doing the right thing.
 
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Firegazer 

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Wow,
lots of questions. Whilst you wait for proper answers :) here's a few bits from me to start the ball rolling:

I don't think feeding them up will make them swarm now - it's much too late in the season; I guess this could happened in Spring or early Summer as it could put the balance of brood room and food room out and artificially convince them that they're out of room and need to 'divide' into two (or more) colonies.

When I treated mine a month or so ago, the queen stopped laying and there were quite a few empty cells, polished up ready for eggs. I chose not to feed them much then because I wanted the queen to have room to lay when she forgave me for the smelly Thymol. She did, and got on with more brood laying which is really important - you need as many bees as possible going into Winter! My plan is to feed them up gently from now on (well a few weeks ago I started) so as they stop brood rearing so much, they can back-fill the space with stores. Hopefully, there's a few weeks yet before they shut down properly, so by then they'll be sorted with stores AND they'll have max bees.

That's my plan. any help?

30 or 60 varroa is lots for a day. This means they had a medium or high level before and will soon have a low or medium level after the treatment (depending on how well it works, average temperature etc). Varroa falling out the hive is always good - it's working out how many are left that's a bit trickier ;-)

HTH

FG
 

oliver90owner 

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May be some thought needed, dependant on the present brood status of the colony.

If she went off-lay during treatment they may fill too much comb with stores and inhibit her laying, for winter bees. It did not happen with apistan strips, of course. Just one more thing to consider when feeding. They may need to be brooding quite a lot if she has been seriously off-lay. Only the beekeeper will know the score after observations if this is likely to be a problem.

You need the space filled and capped well before the cluster forms. Any space needs filling ideally. Not so easy if over-wintering on just a brood; much easier for those with a super above.

Regards, RAB
 

milkermel 

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I don't think feeding them up will make them swarm now - it's much too late in the season; I guess this could happened in Spring or early Summer as it could put the balance of brood room and food room out and artificially convince them that they're out of room and need to 'divide' into two (or more) colonies.
FG
Why would they not swarm at this time of the year??? I collected a reasonable swarm this time last year so it can happen!
 

Firegazer 

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I think they CAN swarm, if pushed hard enough, but it wouldn't be a natural occurrence (unless your weather is still really warm): a proper reproductive swarm is aimed at giving the new and residual colony a good chance of building up ready for Winter, including getting the newly emerged virgin queen mated and laying. This is almost impossible at this time of year which is, I guess, why they kick out drones as surplus to requirements.

You could have picked up a primary swarm as the result of a colony leaving home for some emergency reason - disease, fire, woodpeckers, etc - or conditions that give them the same signals (over-dosing on Thymol, over feeding too early and running out of room, a collapsing colony nearby, strong pesticide residues on forage - whoops, controversial!) but I don't see how the remainder of any normal swarming could possibly survive.

The OP was worried that feeding at this time of year might cause swarming; this seems very unlikely and a much smaller risk than the colony not surviving due to lack of stores. If it was June, rather than late September, the answer might be different.

I was suggesting a progressive feeding regimen to give best chance of maximising the number of bees, but as the weather turns colder it may be better to get them stuffed with stores rather than trying to be clever. I bow to greater experience on this as I'm only a beginner and theory often needs adjusting when hard reality has its say :)

Just my thoughts.

FG
 

Black Comb 

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Well I've heard lots of very experienced beeks say at this time of year you keep feeding until they won't take any more. Works for them.

I aim to have 5 full frames of stores in a full colony (I'm on 9 frames per b/b - jumbo l/s). Worked OK last year. If ivy starts to flow like it did last year I'll put a super on and then when the flow has finished switch it to underneath for them for the winter. By the spring they had used some of this too so maybe I need 6?
 

Skyhook 

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Varroa drop today on one hive was about 60 and the other about 30 - is this okay or not?
There's been a bit of discussion about this. I'm using apiguard which is talked of as a 4-week treatment, but reading through is actually 4-6- the first treatment for 2 weeks and the 2nd for 2-4. I'm in week 5 and still dropping 70-80/day, so I'm keeping treating- I've actually removed the 2nd tray and added a third. A number of people have had similar experiences and found the drop stops in week 5 or 6, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

I'm not feeding yet for 2 reasons- 1) because I'm still treating, and it's supposed to work better if you dont feed, and 2) because they're pulling in ivy like mad, and I want to leave some brood space. I wanted to overwinter them on thymolated syrup, not ivy- I'm considering extracting the ivy, as it's not supposed to be very good for overwintering- reports of it setting like a brick.
 

madasafish 

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Varroa drop : TBH. carnies.. Lots of bees.. full.
Before Apiguard 6/day.
Week1 : hundreds (tray1)
Week3 : 40s. (tray 2)
Week4 : 30s
Weeks 5 : 25-30 (tray 3).
Week 6: 5-6.

Will do me..
 

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