BEEKEEPING LEARNING CENTER > NATURAL & ORGANIC BEEKEEPING METHODS

the myth ? of the mite bomb

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SiWolKe:
The most unnatural way to keep bees is to place the hives right next to each other.

This promotes diseases and drift and could have led to the opinion, there would be mite bombs and a domino effect in the apiary, on which one would have no influence.
The claim that a collapsing colony would spread mites and this effect could not be stopped, is not proven until today, because in the experiments the beehives were most likely placed directly next to each other.
So you could say that in a research configuration, for example having two beeyards, one treated, one tf, and the mite numbers compared, how can you say the tf beeyard produces more mites if only one or two colonies are susceptible and the mites drift into the neighbor hives with the bees? Most of this reseach is started with treated bees anyway, which are not mite resistant.

I've been examining this effect for a long time now, claiming that by spacing between the boxes (Seeley speaks of 5m having effects) entrance pointing in different directions and permanently installed robber screens and marking the entrances the drift can be severely restricted, avoiding mite bombs . Thus, even treatment beekeepers no longer have to worry about treatment-free working beekeepers in their neighborhood, if they would use the screens.

For this purpose, each of the beekeepers should maintain his apiaries, so that not several hives crash and are robbed at the same time.
And immediately clear away dead colonies.

In my eyes it?s always the best approach to work together to improve the situations than attacking each other. Much to learn from both sides.

This management could make tf beekeeping more sucessful in countries or areas where there are no ferals and there is a high density of hives.

Thoughts and comments? Please no tf versus t.

BeeMaster2:
Sounds logical and worth trying but in my case hard to do. I think adding robber screens would be ease to do, especially one with the top of toe screen wide open instead of a small hole.
I would have to build 30 some stands to put all of the hives on and place a lot of them out side of my electric fence. Most of the year, most of my bees are on a trailer and that makes this not doable.
For someone with just a few hives it is definitely doable and worth trying.

Jim

Acebird:
I think placing robber screens on a hive permanently is detrimental.  If mounted permanently robber bees would eventually find their way into a hive so their effect would be mitigated.  Secondly, it is bound to slow things down vs. having the entrance wide open in a heavy flow when robbing is unheard of.  I have never used a robber screen and placed hives inches apart.  The only hives that died in my apiary during the flying season were the ones that didn't produce a queen and I dumped them out.  Personally I don't believe in robber screens.  To me it is knee jerk reaction.  Simply close down the entrance so the colony can defend it.  As it grows it can defend a larger entrance.  This is one major advantage that a beekeeper can do for his/her bees.  Vary the entrance size as needed.  In nature the bees have to swarm or abscond to vary their living quarters.

Michael Bush:
In my location hives crash in the winter when there are no bees flying.  About the only time I have losses in the summer is from pesticides.

Acebird:

--- Quote from: Michael Bush on January 09, 2019, 08:50:44 am ---In my location hives crash in the winter when there are no bees flying.

--- End quote ---
I was going to say that Michael but thought I would get too much flack from the mite bomb alarmist.

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