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Author Topic: Varroa control via capped brood removal during a dearth.  (Read 1517 times)

Offline van from Arkansas

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Varroa control via capped brood removal during a dearth.
« on: June 20, 2020, 01:25:05 pm »
Ralph B?chler , a Professor, University at Germany presented a method of Varroa control at the National Honey Show in Europe.  I am planning on implementing this strategy, described below.

In simplest of terms: in July this is a method of capped brood removal while leaving one open brood frame per hive as a trap comb for any remaining Varroa.  After the trap comb is capped, the frame is frozen or removed killing remaining Varroa.  This method has been used for a decade with great success.  The goal is to remove Varroa prior to Fall production of winter bees.

All of the capped brood frames are placed in a new hive and treated or the capped brood can be frozen.

What I foresee is a massive hive with many frames of capped brood and I will treat this hive only.  I realize I will weaken my hives however during a July dearth but this actually increases honey as there is no brood to feed.  I will create some single deep hives from original 2 deep hives.  I have my reservations about downsizing.  However Dr. Ralph assures one the remaining bees in the hive are long  lived as brood rearing is directionally proportional to bee life span.

Any of you folks try this method of capped brood removal during a dearth to control Varroa?  I would like to hear your experience.

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« Last Edit: June 20, 2020, 04:04:52 pm by van from Arkansas »
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

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Re: Varroa control via capped brood removal during a dearth.
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2020, 02:50:39 pm »
Van;  I intend to try using this method, but I intend to combine it with an oxalic acid trickle when I first make them brood-less.  I plan on doing 4 colonies to see how well it works, I probably will use Hop Guard on my 5 frame nucs.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Varroa control via capped brood removal during a dearth.
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2020, 03:25:51 pm »
I'm also planning on trying this this year and I'm super excited about it.  I'm going to try it on half my hives and stagger the dates I do the procedure to see what ends up being the best time for me.  How are you guys planning on constructing a trapping frame? 
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Varroa control via capped brood removal during a dearth.
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2020, 03:31:23 pm »
Good find Mr. Van! I had not heard of this method.
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Offline Robo

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Re: Varroa control via capped brood removal during a dearth.
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2020, 06:05:22 pm »
I have not done it directly, but the OTS queen rearing method does a similar things.  I find it does reduce the varroa but the "trapping" doesn't get all the phoretic mites.   There is nothing wrong with trying it and in principle it looks promising.   My only advise is to monitor drop rates right through the fall and be prepared to treat if you need too.   I have had hives that appeared to be little to no varroa all of a sudden have high drops in the fall. 
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Offline Absinthe

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Re: Varroa control via capped brood removal during a dearth.
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2020, 08:38:39 pm »
Is this method related to the Dutch thing? I keep trying to read through them but haven't been able to get all the steps in my head straight. 

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Re: Varroa control via capped brood removal during a dearth.
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2020, 10:47:06 pm »
It is a variation of the technique used at Wageningen in the Netherlands, which was a variation of the method used by the Vietnamese.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Varroa control via capped brood removal during a dearth.
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2020, 01:19:39 pm »
I'm going to be setting up this procedure in one of my hives this weekend.  I don't have a lot drawn comb laying around, and I'm not keen on just melting all this comb down.  Do you think if I freeze the frames and uncap the capped brood, I could give the frames back to the bees to clean up?   
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Offline The15thMember

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Re: Varroa control via capped brood removal during a dearth.
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2020, 04:45:42 pm »
I tried removing the brood and installing a trapping frame today, and it did not go well at all.  The trapping frame that my sister and I constructed did not fit right, and shaking/brushing the bees off the brood frames took WAY too long.  I'm going to try instead another method that Mr. Bucheler suggested in the video, and use queen excluders to separate a couple of frames on one side of the box, and what I may do is not even remove all the brood then, just leave the setup for 2 brood cycles, and then removed the frames inside the queen excluders at the end of that time.  That way I don't destroy all the comb and I don't have to go through the hassle of shaking all the bees off frames.       
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Offline TheHoneyPump

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Varroa control via capped brood removal during a dearth.
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2020, 05:20:38 pm »
I have not done this so my comments may or may not be helpful.
I considered trying this on a few close yard hives as an experiment a couples years back.  I abandoned the idea before doing it.  Mainly, because of my pragmatic nature.
Brood = Bees.  Removing brood means removing a substantial amount of bees and upsetting the hive population and age balance.   I spend a lot of time, effort, and resources to grow bees, all of those entirely focused towards balance hive strength, and set population demographics across the apiary.  To go pulling brood completely wipes all of that work, progress, and expense right off the table.
Logically, realistically, and being pragmatic; I prefer, I must, implement other well proven and effective methods of mite controls that compliment and provide benefit to my work. Methods that do not undo 6 to 8 weeks of hard done spring work, which is 80% of the entire -beekeeping- effort.
The theory, hypothesis, and intent of pulling brood is sound, based on varroa life cycle.  But what about the honey bee colony life cycle?  In practical application the method is, imho- sorry for being blunt, is just a really stupid thing to do.

A pragmatic man. A Canadian - so, like, sorry, eh.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2020, 06:47:57 pm by TheHoneyPump »
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Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Varroa control via capped brood removal during a dearth.
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2020, 07:59:06 pm »
I did attempt this method of varroa control via capped brood removal but this method does not work with my bees.  The first hive I approached had 7 frames of capped brood in a 10 frame hive.  Easily understood: I can?t remove 70 percent of the frames in a hive.

HP, FYI: 106F heat index today.
Some notes per Dr. Ralph;

1.  Only attempt during a dearth and not prior to a flow.
2.  The theory is the bees are long lived if they are not feeding larva.
3.  Honey yields are increased as there is no larva to feed except for one trap frame.

HP, question?  Does your area really experience a dearth?  Never been to beautiful Canada, but I imagine rich soil and flowers all season long as the different plant species must be prolific in a short time or fail to survive due to cold.  In Montane, the Big Hole Valley, western MT has an average of 37 days a year without frost.  Not a typo, 37, thirty seven days a year without frost, the other 328 days frost.  The grass is insanely high in protein.

But what grows is eye piping; mountain orchid called a Fairy Slipper.
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« Last Edit: July 11, 2020, 08:54:08 pm by van from Arkansas »
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Varroa control via capped brood removal during a dearth.
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2020, 08:22:38 pm »

But what grows is eye piping; mountain orchid called a Fairy Slipper.
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That is utterly gorgeous!

1.  Only attempt during a dearth and not prior to a flow.
I'm confused about this.  Wouldn't this be a procedure you'd want to do during a flow so that the bees would be drawing comb and bounce back quickly? 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Varroa control via capped brood removal during a dearth.
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2020, 08:40:43 pm »
Ms Member IF a person is not interested in honey, then, in that case, brood removal would be ok during a flow.  The point being, we need forage bees during a flow, the more bees the more honey.

So brood removal is recommended during a dearth.
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Varroa control via capped brood removal during a dearth.
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2020, 08:44:28 pm »
Ms Member IF a person is not interested in honey, then, in that case, brood removal would be ok during a flow.  The point being, we need forage bees during a flow, the more bees the more honey.

So brood removal is recommended during a dearth.
But if the oldest bees are foragers, and there aren't many nurse bees needed during the brood break, why does it affect the forager population that much?  I would think that the decrease in brood could lead to an increase in foragers, since nurse bees could graduate to forager faster. 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Varroa control via capped brood removal during a dearth.
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2020, 09:08:38 pm »
Bees tend to dictate their members according to the most need:  if no flowers but lots of brood some foragers revert to nurse bee and visa versa.  During a flow beeks desire as many bees as possible.  Normally we think of time intervals for the bees:  nurse bee for 2-3 weeks then forager for 3-4 weeks, but the bees can alter the time intervals as needed and do not always go by the text book definition of nurse bee for 2-3 weeks.

If the flow last 8 weeks or longer and capped brood is removed week one of the flow, then thousands of would be foragers 2-3 weeks later are not there for the additional 5 weeks of flow. 
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Varroa control via capped brood removal during a dearth.
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2020, 10:44:34 pm »
Bees tend to dictate their members according to the most need:  if no flowers but lots of brood some foragers revert to nurse bee and visa versa.  During a flow beeks desire as many bees as possible.  Normally we think of time intervals for the bees:  nurse bee for 2-3 weeks then forager for 3-4 weeks, but the bees can alter the time intervals as needed and do not always go by the text book definition of nurse bee for 2-3 weeks.

If the flow last 8 weeks or longer and capped brood is removed week one of the flow, then thousands of would be foragers 2-3 weeks later are not there for the additional 5 weeks of flow. 
Oh, I think I get it now.  There may be a temporary boost in foragers, but as the oldest foragers die off, there are no new bees to replace the nurse bees, so they actually can't become foragers until another brood cycle is complete.  Thanks, Van. 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Varroa control via capped brood removal during a dearth.
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2020, 04:37:14 pm »
👍
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Offline jtcmedic

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Re: Varroa control via capped brood removal during a dearth.
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2020, 08:25:55 pm »
I have not done it directly, but the OTS queen rearing method does a similar things.  I find it does reduce the varroa but the "trapping" doesn't get all the phoretic mites.   There is nothing wrong with trying it and in principle it looks promising.   My only advise is to monitor drop rates right through the fall and be prepared to treat if you need too.   I have had hives that appeared to be little to no varroa all of a sudden have high drops in the fall.
I just did the ots on all my hives and and will do oxalic acid after all the eggs hatch in next week

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Varroa control via capped brood removal during a dearth.
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2020, 02:10:54 pm »
Do not overlook the main point. Pause in queen laying (aka brood break) followed by TREATMENT when prior laid brood is emerged, 3 weeks with no laying to get them all. Brood break alone does not reduce mites.

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Offline SiWolKe

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Re: Varroa control via capped brood removal during a dearth.
« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2020, 07:14:31 am »
I plan not to brush off any capped brood frame after caging the queen in a trap comb or restricting her to one or two combs at the side of the hive, an queen excluder used vertically and above.
I will let the bees hatch outside of the trap and take the mites to the queen comb. The mites desperately want to go into new cells with larvae and the bees with phoretic mites on them will sooner or later visit the queens frame because they are nurse bees, drawn by pheromones of the open brood there.
I will freeze the one or two trap frames after they are capped. Before I do that I search for the queen and put her on the empty combs and I will brush off the comb.

15 member, do you recall me speaking about the right time for that procedure? It must be one cycle before the winter bees are bred. The many foragers this managements will produce go back to caring for the new brood the moment the queen lays on the empty comb again and this generation hatching will care for the winter bees. So, under my conditions in Sweden, this must be done end of June start of july, winter bee breeding starting in august.
And it fits, because then flow lessens ( in my area) and starts again in august with heather. It fits too because peak of mite numbers is in June.

August is too late for this management. A trap comb is supposed to be used before the normal treating season with chemicals starts in commercial beekeeping.