Treating for Varroa and Fall Feeding

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Marie
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Joined: September 11th, 2021, 1:50 pm

Treating for Varroa and Fall Feeding

Unread post by Marie »

Hi,
New-beekeeper here...
I live in Edmonton Alberta and got my first colony in June. I have one brood box full and the second with capped and uncapped honey. The brood box is 8 deep frames and the second is 8 medium frames. I weighed them yesterday and the total was 95 lbs (just the two boxes). I'd like some advice on a couple of things.
1. I tested for varroa and got 3 mites/200 bees. When I first measured, I had 300 but once they got wet, it showed 200. So I'd like to treat but everything I read says I need to remove the honey super but if I do that, it leaves one box for the whole colony. Is that what I should do?

2. Feeding. I'm guessing I need to feed them with 2:1 syrup, right?

I'm sure these are rookie questions so I thank you in advance for your support.
Marie
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BadBeeKeeper
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Location: Penobsot County, Maine

Re: Treating for Varroa and Fall Feeding

Unread post by BadBeeKeeper »

Marie wrote: September 11th, 2021, 2:01 pm Hi,
New-beekeeper here...
I live in Edmonton Alberta and got my first colony in June. I have one brood box full and the second with capped and uncapped honey. The brood box is 8 deep frames and the second is 8 medium frames. I weighed them yesterday and the total was 95 lbs (just the two boxes). I'd like some advice on a couple of things.
1. I tested for varroa and got 3 mites/200 bees. When I first measured, I had 300 but once they got wet, it showed 200.
What showed 200? How are you checking?
So I'd like to treat but everything I read says I need to remove the honey super but if I do that, it leaves one box for the whole colony. Is that what I should do?
It depends on what you are treating them with. Formic Acid (MAQS or Formic Pro), or OAV you can leave a super on. In fact, the recommended practice for the formic pads is to have an*extra* box on (2 deeps, plus an extra deep or medium).

If you are using something like fluvalinate, then supers need to come off.

What are you planning on using?
2. Feeding. I'm guessing I need to feed them with 2:1 syrup, right?
That depends. Are you leaving the box you are calling a 'super' on them for the Winter or are you taking it for your own use? Or are you planning on adding another box and feeding them until that is full?

I don't know what your weather is like, how long your Winters last or how cold it gets. Here in central Maine, while it technically isn't 'Winter', we can have snow starting in October and lasting through April. The temperature may be below zero for a couple of months, and it can be as much as 25*F below zero. I run double and triple deep hives (moving to all triples this year) which means that I need two deep boxes of honey on each hive and I don't feed.

However, I have found that by insulating my hives well in the Fall and leaving the insulation on into May, this amount of stores is quite sufficient to get them through the six or seven months of no resources, and it gives them an earlier start in the Spring.
Allen Dick
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Re: Treating for Varroa and Fall Feeding

Unread post by Allen Dick »

Well, 95 lbs likely won't get you through the winter and if the equipment is new, even feeding may not be enough.

Advising over the Internet is unlikely to spot issues that are obvious when on-site. You need an experienced beekeeper to look into the hive with you

Do you know about the Edmonton Beekeepers? I am sure they do mentoring and contact with other beekeepers is very helpful.

Join online and pose your question.

https://edmontonbeekeepers.ca/
Allen Dick, RR#1 Swalwell, Alberta, Canada T0M 1Y0
51° 33'39.64"N 113°18'52.45"W
http://www.honeybeeworld.com/Allen%27s%20Beehives.kmz
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Marie
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Joined: September 11th, 2021, 1:50 pm

Re: Treating for Varroa and Fall Feeding

Unread post by Marie »

Thanks for all your advice and tips.

I used a varroa shaker style container. It has two lines in the inner basket that approximates volumes of 200 or 300 bees. I had planned on using Apivar strips for treating. I'm not taking any of their stores, they need it much more that I do. In terms of what winters are like in northern Alberta...well, it is usually butt ugly. Very cold and very dry, mid January to mid February, it can get down to -30C (-22F) or so for a few days at a time. I will wrap to help them out. We've had a few cool wet days lately so I've given them a jar of 2:1 syrup and they're eating that up pretty quickly so I'm thinking of feeding them a bit more.

Edmonton does have a beekeeper's association but I haven't had a lot of luck with responses but will keep trying. I agree that online advice isn't ideal but it is good for getting lots of different views and methods.
Thanks again,
Marie
Allen Dick
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Re: Treating for Varroa and Fall Feeding

Unread post by Allen Dick »

To get the most out of any association, it pays to attend the meetings and make a point of meeting people. If they don't approach you, approach them. Butt into conversations that you find interesting. Don't be shy. Ask the people at the door to introduce you around. Ask questions. There are bound to be people there with the same issues you have and maybe have not spoken up.

The speakers always have a huddle after their talk and are very accessible.

Also, try this forum: https://groups.google.com/g/edmonton-beekeepers

It is much more active, with people from all over Alberta.

I'm sure you'll get responses.
Allen Dick, RR#1 Swalwell, Alberta, Canada T0M 1Y0
51° 33'39.64"N 113°18'52.45"W
http://www.honeybeeworld.com/Allen%27s%20Beehives.kmz
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Allen Dick
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Re: Treating for Varroa and Fall Feeding

Unread post by Allen Dick »

Here is a recent post from that site:

Sep 10, 2021, 8:04:10 AM (2 days ago)
to Edmonton beekeepers
Hi all, hope all is going well. We had a great turn out for our last EDBA meeting. Thanks for Renata coming out to our last in person meeting to demonstrate the testing and all the treatment options for the varroa mites. It is always good to see the hands on testing techniques. 😀
I am also looking forward to going back to the bee yard for our next meeting. Thursday September 23, 6pm. We will be going over various in person hive wrapping techniques. This will be another meeting that you will want to attend. We will be social distancing and wearing of masks to help protect everybody. I hope you can attend.
Craig
EDBA president
Allen Dick, RR#1 Swalwell, Alberta, Canada T0M 1Y0
51° 33'39.64"N 113°18'52.45"W
http://www.honeybeeworld.com/Allen%27s%20Beehives.kmz
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