Strong Hive Strategizing Presentation by Bill Leitzinger
My Beekeeping Philosophy =Keep the bees happy, healthy, & less stressed I work for my honey bees as their: Caretaker Protector Advocate Physician Handyman
Strong Hive Strategizing• Know bee biology/behavior• Halt swarming• Use IPM methods religiously• Stop robbing behavior• Only over-winter strong hives
1. 2. 3. Starvation 28% 4.Poor queen Varroa 31% 24% CCD 9%Why Most Weather 5. 8%Hives Die
Fungi Nosema VirusesBacteria Parasites Other Insects
Trachea Mites Weaken Hives• Affect young bees by entering their tracheabreathing tubes• Block the air exchange and penetrate thewalls of the trachea in order to suck blood• Infected bees become weak and also crawlaround the bee entrance
Sugar Patties Cause Slippery Conditions for Trachea MitesRecipe = 2 parts sugar + 1 part Crisco shortening
Drone FrameTrapping MethodColonies receiving the drone trap treatmenthad twice the fall worker populationscompared to those without the treatment. Source: Dyce Laboratory for Honey Bee Studies at Cornell University
Drone FrameTrapping Method• Place drone frame near the center of thebrood nest so bees build comb more quickly• Simply pull the drone frame with cappedcells and freeze it for three days to kill mitesin the comb
Drone FrameTrapping Method• Replace with second drone frame for thecycle to continue within your hive• Thaw for one day, then put back in hive.Bees will clean out the dead pupae and mites.
Split Hives to Break Mite Breeding Cycle• Put all frames of open brood and clinging bees into new hive body• Leave closed brood and queen in old hive• To balance out hive populations, switch hives’ locations one day after doing split• Benefit of split = breaks the mite breeding cycle in new hive• Okay to do splits before June 21st each year in DE
Small Hive Beetles Weaken Hives• Can multiply in huge numbers in hives• Larvae eat brood, destroy comb & honey• Larvae leave hive to pupate in soil• Prefers light, sandy soils•Can fly five miles to infest new hives
Common Hive Beetle TrapsBottom Board Traps Top Frame Traps
Raise or PurchaseLocal Queens that are Mite-Resistant
Use Open Screened Bottom Boards All Year Long • Less mites • Less disease • Less starvation
Common Hive Feeders Top Feeders Jar Feeders Entrance FeedersFrame Feeders
Bees Are Not Pets…So, Don’t Play with Your Bees
Limit Hive Inspections Only go into a hive if youhave a purpose.
What Happens When You Inspect a Hive• Disrupts brood production• Stops foraging activities• Kills bees !
Reasons to Open the Hive• The colony is new, and requires progress checks• You need to feed the colony• Disease or major pest invasions are suspected• Low foraging activity during a good nectar flow• Many dead or weakly crawling bees at front of hive• The hives have been physically disturbed
Reasons to Open the Hive• Swarm control methods have been recently performed• You are introducing or have recently introduced a new queen• There is a major nectar flow, and you suspect the bees need more room.• The summer or fall nectar flow is over and you need to harvest the honey