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Honeybees — The Grow Network Community
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tomandcaratomandcara Colorado front range- Denver MetroPosts: 522 ✭✭✭
edited September 2018 in Raising Livestock
I habe honybees, just heading there with my four Year old daughter. They das in standard hive boxes.


going go count.mites today.


  • tomandcaratomandcara Colorado front range- Denver MetroPosts: 522 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Hi Jens,

    Bees are great, no matter what type of hive they are in.  What do you do for mites?   I have done nothing for many years.  tried oxalic acid vaporization using a propane torch set up years ago.  Couldn't tell a difference and it was difficult to use, so stopped.  started using an electric one this year.  I think it is helping.
  • JensJens Posts: 359 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    I use formic acid, und oxalic acid.  Currently mite count is zero so no need for treatment.
  • tomandcaratomandcara Colorado front range- Denver MetroPosts: 522 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Great news.  I love my topbar hives, but conventional hives make it easier to treat with formic acid.  T.here are no spaces between the bars on the topbar hives that I have
  • JensJens Posts: 359 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Some space is helpful indeed ;-)


    We have a very low mite burden this year. Generally spoken only 20% of the hives need treatment right now.


    UNfortunately in Germany vaporising oxalic acid is not an approved treatment.
  • tomandcaratomandcara Colorado front range- Denver MetroPosts: 522 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    I am not certain if oxalic acid vaporization is an officially approved varroa treatment here in USA.  I purchased the current vaporizer off ebay.  The first one I purchased years ago that used the propane torch was off a website and that one definitely stated that at that time it was an effective but unapproved method of treatment.
  • MikeFMikeF Posts: 35 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    We do. We installed a honeybee colony this spring.

    I'm planning to inspect the hive and check on the girls this afternoon.


  • StacyLouStacyLou Southern WisconsinPosts: 89 ✭✭
    edited September 2018
    We plan on getting another hive going next spring. We have tried twice in the past - neither hive survived the winter. We used the standard Langstroth hives. I’ve not tried any other type. I’ll keep the suggestions for mite control in mind - thanks for the tip, Jens!
  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 2,058 admin
    edited October 2018
    Something that we learned about top bar hives is that if the bees are allowed to make their own smaller spaced combs from the start (instead of starting off with pre-determined larger commercial sized ones), that they can naturally deal with varroa mites on their own. I know that there is information on this on some top bar hive sites. It might be worth looking into.
  • DebiBDebiB Posts: 93 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2018
    My husband is the keeper of the hives at our house. Right now we have 6 hives, only 1 hive was successfully overwintered last year and he bought 5 packages (of bees) this past spring so we will most likely not get any honey this year because he's planning on letting the new hives keep their honey to make sure they have a strong start.
  • JakeMartinJakeMartin Posts: 5
    edited January 2019
    Mite control can be done naturally in two ways:  1) allow honey bees to produce their own comb, not using commercial foundation, or special order small cell comb.  Man, in his infinite stupidity, enlarged the cells in an effort to produce more honey by percentage to comb, which creates slightly larger honeybees, which makes it easier for both varroa and trachea mites.  The smaller natural sized honeybees are too small for mites to paracitize easily.  2) Plant mint around the entrance to the hives.  The bees love it and will have to navigate through it to get to their entrance, but mites, hive beetles, and wax moths hate mint and will avoid the entrance!  Also keep the entrance SMALL - even a large hive only needs a 1 inch or less entrance.  In the summer do NOT keep hives out in full sun - it overheats the hive, stresses the bees, and makes the wax less stable.  You will never find a wild hive in a location that allows the hive to overheat.

    I've been an apiarist for 50 years, own 50+ hives, and do cutouts (bee removals) yearly.
  • EarlKellyEarlKelly Penn state master gardener Northeastern Pennsylvania zone 5bPosts: 225 ✭✭✭

    Just got started in bees this year. Thanks for the info on the mint. Anyone hear anything about horizontal hives? Figured this way could still use all my Langston frames. Would appreciate any info or opinions you may have. Thanks

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