Bee Hive Manipulation and Maintenance Throughout the Year - Louisiana Hive Maintenance and Upkeep Agenda • I. Seasonal Maintenance • II. Maintaining healthy hives/apiary • III. What to look for regarding hive problems and pests/diseases • IV. Additional diseases and complications • V. Differences between commercial and hobby beekeepers – Approaches to beekeeping – Reasons for differences • VI. References I. Seasonal Maintenance • Fall – September into October • Late Fall/Winter - October through February • Spring - March through April • Summer - May to/& incl. September Fall Months – September through October Slide 1 of 2 • Maintain weekly checking • Harvest honey (mid-September for CENLA) • Identify weak colonies: combine/ destroy/decide which to do based upon hive condition • Inventorying equipment: plan for rebuilding and/or replacement • Continue treatment of vegetation within bee yards • Rotate brood boxes • • • • Fall Months – September through October Slide 2 of 2 Add supers as needed Prepare hives for winter months: – Maintain sufficient honey stores in hive Apply pesticides as needed – Disease Prevention/Treatment • (ex. Foulbrood & Nosemia) – Treat for varroa; tracheal mites • (ex Apistan / Cumaphos; (Mite-a-thol); Apivar ®(Amitraz)? - follow labels Reduce entrances Winter Months – October through February • Check hives (at least once a month) and check for: – Strength (health and vigor) – Honey reserves – Yard maintenance – Repair and/or replace equipment • • • • • • • • Spring Months – March through April Slide 1 of 2 Begin weekly maintenance Check colony strength and honey stores Initiate feeding to build up hive strength (ex. BeePro patties) Treat for varroa and tracheal mites if needed Disease Prevention if needed Rotate deep boxes and remove entrance reducer Treat vegetation in yards Repair and/or replace equipment if you haven’t done so already Spring Months – March through April Slide 2 of 2 • Make colony increases (splits); capture swarms • Continue feeding until honey flow is on • All equipment should have been repaired/replaced but if not, do so now • Check Queens: commercial beekeepers often replace her every year; hobbyist may choose to keep her (Note: a young queen is a better producer) – plan on replacing Queen before the honey flow in your area begins • Provide additional supers as needed Summer Months – May through August/September • Maintain weekly checking • Treat vegetation within bee yards • Add supers as needed (When 7 out of 10 frames are full, add a super) • Harvest honey (June and September for CENLA) II. Maintaining a Healthy Hive/Apiary • • • • • • Placement: Location, location, location! Manage vegetation around hives Maintain hive bodies and frames Maintain healthy bees Practice IPM Remember: an ounce of maintenance is worth a pound of live bees. Maintaining a Healthy Hive/Apiary (continued) • Location, Location, Location: – Best: morning sun – mid-day shade - afternoon sun; Worst: full shade or sun – Avoid flood zones – Inaccessibility in inclemental conditions – Areas prone to pesticide spraying – Highly visible to public or in close proximity to public/neighbor (esp. if they don’t want them there) – Close to clean water and year-round food Maintaining a Healthy Hive/Apiary (continued) • Manage vegetation around hives – Spay, mow, but do something to keep the vegetation under control Maintaining a Healthy Hive/Apiary (continued) • Maintain hive bodies and frames: – New hives should be dipped/painted inside and out – Note: some bee keepers choose to not paint inside – Everything wears out – decide when to repair or toss Maintaining a Healthy Hive/Apiary (continued) • Maintain healthy bees – For best brood production, requeen yearly – Treat for varroa mites (spring and fall) – Treat for all other pests as needed (small hive beetles, nosemia, tracheal mites, American foulbrood, European foulbrood, chalk brood, wax moths, etc.) III. What to look for – Hive Problems/Pests/Diseases • Queenless hives – Presence of only drone brood and/or multiple eggs laid within individual cells What to look for – Hive Problems/Pests/Diseases (continued) • Queenless Condition – Laying worker bees, in absence of queen begin laying eggs – problem: infertile bee laying eggs with haploid DNA produces drones – Unless treated, hive will die – Remedies: • Introduce new queen • Combine hive with queen-right hive • Destroy (due to additional problems seen) Requeening • Options: – Purchase mated queens with known genetics/breeding stock from reputable dealer – Raise your own – Allow hive to requeen itself through supercedure (look for swarming queen cells) • If old queen isn’t producing she can be killed and replaced. Indications of poor queen • Patchy brood pattern on combs You can requeen or let the bees do it for you – sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t • Requeen or “do something” when you see the following: Maintaining a Healthy Hive/Apiary Wax Moths (Lesser and Greater) • (Lesser: Achroid grisella; Greater: Galleria mellonella L. ) HEALTHY HIVES WILL KEEP WAX MOTHS AT BAY! • Declining/stressed hives are prone to wax moths infestation • Hive might abscond if not die out altogether • Can degrade woodwork of hive and frames • Note: some people raise them for bait and food! Maintaining a Healthy Apiary Wax Moths (continued) – Prevention • Proper storage of hives and frames • When building hives, provide for bee space (so bees can reach and remove wax moth eggs and larva) • Storage: fumigation should be considered whenever wax moths are present. – Misconceptions • WM’s do not kill honeybees • Cannot infest a healthy hive (more often than not, these hives have problems preceding the WM infestation) • Will not infest frames stored inside Maintaining a Healthy Apiary Wax Moths (continued) Maintaining a Healthy Apiary Small hive beetles (SHB) (Aethina tumida ) • Exotics from S.Africa into U.S. in 1990’s • Feed on multiple nectar and pollen sources • In the hive they feed on brood, pollen, honey and defecate • The bees may abscond or succumb but in either case, the hive is lost Maintaining a Healthy Apiary (SHB - continued) • They are omnipresent in Louisiana • Even healthy hives can succumb to unchecked/managed beetle problems • Answer: manage the beetle populations in your hives/apiary! Maintaining a Healthy Apiary SHB Management options • IPM: predatory soil nematodes*, hygienic queens that kill/remove SHB, non-pesticidal traps – Soil nematodes infect the pupa with bacteria, which eats the tissue and causes septicemia in the SHB. The beetle dies, and the nematodes live inside the decaying carcass. • Traps, baiting, poisons, etc. – West Traps: black plastic trays with powdered lime or vegetable oil placed on bottom board. – Better Beetle Blaster with apple cider vinegar – Beetle Barn traps (GeorgiasBees.com) baited with attractant (CombatR (a.i.=FipronilR)), CriscoR with boric acid, etc. Maintaining a Healthy Apiary SHB (continued) • Management options (continued) – Baited jars located outside the hives – apple cider vinegar; Crisco, etc. – SHB traps from cut up (3’x5”) advertising signs (Boric acid & Crisco) – FatBeeMan videos on YouTube.com – Roach traps placed around base and below hives – Guard Star drenching on ground around hives – Physically smashing the little buggers when seen – Praying, Crying, Cursing, etc. – Praying – Forget beekeeping and herd sheep instead Maintaining a Healthy Apiary SHB (continued) • Pictorial of various SHB control techniques: Maintaining a Healthy Apiary SHB (continued) • Pictorial of various SHB control techniques: Tracheal mites (Acarapis woodi ) Slide 1 of 2 • Mated females migrate from old bees to young bees; reproductive phase occurs inside the trachea • Colonies in the sun tend to have lower levels • Colony Symptoms: Bee population dwindles in fall and winter months resulting in colony death; heavily infested colonies do not build up in spring and usually don’t make a honey crop Tracheal mites (Acarapis woodi ) Slide 2 of 2 • Treatment Options: – Use of genetically selected mite-resistant stocks: Russians, Buckfast, ARS-Y-C1, etc. – Prolonged contact with vegetable oil (extender patties); use of “essential oils” – Mite-A-TholR (menthol): Treatment Time Frames: One annual treatment – late fall to early winter, November to December • Non-chemical Options: Use resistant stock; treat with vegetable oil extender patties; maintain young queens Varroa mites (Varroa jacobsoni ) Slide 1 of 2 • Feed on sealed brood and adult bees • Mated females move from brood cells to adults, then to reproduce, move to new brood before sealing of cells • Colony symptoms: – Bee population declines rapidly during winter or after honey flow, during the summer • Treatment Options: – Use of genetically selected mite-suppressant stocks: Russians, Hygienic queens, etc. – Mite fall traps (screened or sticky bottom boards – Trapping mites in drone brood (mites tend to infest drone brood 10X more than workers) Varroa Mites (Varroa jacobsoni) Slide 2 of 2 • Treatment Options (continued): – Heating of bees and brood (ex. placement of hives in sun vs. shaded conditions. – Use of essential oils; plant smokes (toxic knockdown methodology) – ApistanR, CheckMiteR and or Formic acid (this latter chemical is not recommended by USDA). – Apivar ® (Amitraz) • Treatment Times: – two annual treatments – early to mid-summer, mid-June thru July & early to mid-winter, mid-January to early February • Non-chemical Option: – Heat treatment and use of drone-brood frames/removal and reentry. American foulbrood (Paenibacillus sp. ) Slide 1 of 3 • Spore-forming bacteria; spores accumulate in the comb; • Symptoms – Capping of diseased cell becomes moist and darkens in color. – As larva shrink, the capping is drawn down into the mouth of the cell so the normal convex capping becomes concave. – Death of infected larva takes place after the cell has been sealed and the cocoon has been spun. American foulbrood (Paenibacillus sp. ) Slide 2 of 3 • Symptoms ( continued) – At death, diseased larva changes from a normal pearly white color to a creamy brown, and then gradually darkens. – Larval remains can be drwn out into a brown thread or rope. – As larva dries, it becomes dark brown. – Final state is very dark brown scale that lies uniformly on the lower side of the cell and extends from just below the mouth of the cell down to the base. American foulbrood (Paenibacillus sp. ) Slide 3 of 3 • Treatment Options: • Antibiotics prevent germination but don’t kill spores • Use of Oxytetracycline (TerramycinR) - an antibiotic used to PREVENT A.F.; [antibiotic resistant strains of A.F. exist]; do not use on a regular basis • Burning of combs/scorching hive bodies is only reliable way to eliminate A.F. once it has formed in a colony • Use of hygienic queens, • Eliminate old dark comb and rotate new combs into brood nest • Burn infected combs and scorch interior of hives European foulbrood (Melissococcus pluton) • fungi; infection is seasonal • Treatment Options – Use of hygienic queens – Change queens – Clean bottom boards – Eliminate old dark comb and rotate new combs into brood nest – Burn infected combs and scorch interior of hives – Use of TerramycinR Nosema (Nosema apis) Slide 1 of 4 • Protozoan; widespread; may also be responsible for some supersedure of queens • Symptoms: no symptoms specifically indicative of Nosemia – inability of bees to fly – excreta on combs or lighting boards – Pile of dead or dying bees in front of hive – Failure of colony to build up in spring Nosema (Nosema apis) Slide 2 of 4 • Transmission: – spores enter body of adult bee through mouth and germinate in gut – Active phase of organism enters digestive cells that line the mid-gut where it multiplies – Contents of these cells are used as food supply until cell ruptures and sheds new spores which pass down through small intestine to rectum – Spores accumulate and are voided in the excreta of the bee – Cycle begins again – Spores can remain viable for months in dried excreta Nosema (Nosema apis) Slide 3 of 4 • Cyclic effect within hive(s): – Near end of winter, combs are often soiled with excreta – Other bees become infected as they clean soiled combs during spring expansion of the brood nest. – Thus, disease within the colony increases rapidly for a time leading to a dwindling of the colony in the spring because of premature death of the overwintered bees. – Usually, the colony survives and the proportion of infected bees begins to decline rapidly. – This decline occurs because the excreta are normally voided away from the hive when regular flights become possible in the spring. Nosema (Nosema apis) Slide 4 of 4 • Cyclic effect within hive(s) (continued): – Since the old bees now die off & are replaced by healthy bees emerging from the brood combs, the disease may not be detectable in the colony by the end of the season. – However, enough spores remain on the combs from the previous winter to infect a few bees in the cluster that form when winter sets in again thereby forming a nucleus for a repetition of the cycle. • Treatment: – FumidilR is the only chemical approved for the control of Nosema – Should be used in cell builders prior and during queen rearing schedules to protect queen honey bees from the disease. IV. Additional Diseases/Complications Slide 1 of 3 • Fungal Diseases: – Chalkbrood (Ascophaera apis) – Stonebrood (Sacbrood) • Viral Diseases: – Cripaviridae • Chronic paralysis - (CPV) – Dicistroviridae • Acute bee paralysis (ABPV or APV) • Israel acute paralysis virus (IAPV) Additional Diseases/Complications Slide 2 of 3 • Viral Diseases (continued): – Dicistroviridae (continued) • Kashmir bee virus (KBV) • Black Queen Cell virus (BQCV) – Cloudy Wing virus (CWV) – Sachwood virus (SWV) – Iflaviridae • Deformed Wing Virus (DWV) • Kakugo virus (KV), • Varroa destructor virus 1 – Iridivividae • Invertebrate Iridescent virus type 6 (IIV-6) Additional Diseases/Complications Slide 3 of 3 • Dysentery • Chilled brood • Pesticide losses • Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) V. Differences in Hive Mgmt./Mtnc. between Commercial and Hobby Beekeepers Slide 1 of 2 • Beekeeper’s objectives and goals for beekeeping: – Money (ex. Pollination vs. Honey production) – Enjoyment – Personal fulfillment – Job location and/or availability (beekeeping as a 2nd job position) – Incentive – Time – Ignorance – lack of knowledge Differences in Hive Mgmt./Mtnc. between Commercial vs. Hobby Beekeepers Slide 2 of 2 • Commercial beekeepers often feed their bees all winter and requeen yearly – reason: Pollination requires well-stocked hives – Hobby beekeeper may or may not do this – Pest & disease monitoring & treatments • Making colony increases/splits • Elimination/replacement of weak queens/hives and replacement of damaged/contaminated equipment • Keeping informed of beekeeping knowledge, organizations, laws, regulations, etc. • Staying involved with other beekeepers, beekeeping organizations and the like. • Registration/Licensing of hives/yards with state Similarities in Hive Mgmt. between Commercial & Hobby Beekeepers • • • • • • • • Repair, maintenance & replacement of equipment Inventorying and replacement of equipment Checking colony strength and honey stores Checking queen productivity Vegetation management in bee yards Assuring adequate space (supers) as needed Managing of weak hives: replace/combine Managing for and harvesting of honey VI. Reference Sources Page 1 of 3 • Images – http://www.bing.com/search?q=honeybees+%2B+swar ming&src=IE-SearchBox&Form=IE8SRC – http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=honeybees+%2b +small+hive+beetle&qpvt=honeybees+%2b+small+hive +beetle&FORM=IGRE – http://saulcreekapiary.com/wax%20moth%20damage %20and%20prevention%20in%20honey%20bee%20hi ves.htm Reference Sources (continued) Page 2 of 3 Documents and Fact Sheets – http://basicbeekeeping.blogspot.com/2007/09/what-arewax-moths-why-do-they-bother.html – http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef012.asp – http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef608.asp – http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/about/intheworks/honeyb ee.htm – http://www.ars.usda.gov/News/docs.htm?docid=15572 – http://www.sripmc.org/successstory/GA_small_hive_bee tle.cfm – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diseases_of_the_honey_bee Reference Sources Page 3 of 3 Videos • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0mO-cYTZ58 • http://www.videolica.com/videos/Q0mOcYTZ58/beekeep%C4%B1ng-bees-small-h%C4%B1vebeetles-beetle-trap-filling-install-beekeepers-honeybeesbeehives-georgia • http://www.georgiabees.com/ • http://www.videolica.com/videos/h_KDPp8H6PU/makingsmall-hive-beetletraps-with-the--fatbeemanMiscellaneous • Capital Area Beekeepers Association’s “An Annual Beekeeping Task & Mgmt. Calendar” The End • Goodbye, au revoir, farvel, nakemin, auf wiedersehen, avrio, qualcuno, Auf wiedersehn, gudbai, do widzenia, adeus, adios, despedida, hej da, gule gule. • Hit the road Jack and don’t you come back no more no more, What’d you say?, I said, Hit the road Jack and don’t you come back no more.