deformed wing virus

We don't treat for pests or diseases, but we do need to identify them. We can then breed for resistance, or destroy as necessary.
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nicole
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deformed wing virus

Postby nicole » Mon Aug 24, 2015 1:51 am

Today would be my first inspection in 2 weeks and it's the first time I have seen mites in one of my hives. I also noticed many new bees with deformed wings. I haven't had much time to do my usual research but from what I have read it seems that the DWV is untreatable? I also noticed a few open combs with what looked like shriveled brood. would this also be a symptom of the mites, DWV etc...? I tried to snap a picture but I was unable to focus enough to really see what it is. I also looked at pictures online and I can't find anything resembling what my brood looks like. I would be really grateful for a local mentor right about now!

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Re: deformed wing virus

Postby waspkiller » Mon Aug 24, 2015 2:10 am

I did a google and found this video that may be helpful, it shows brood damaged by mites so you can ID if yours is the same, and also a bee with DWV, and also noticed a bee with a mite on it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xqj0vU8uEI8

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Michael Bush
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Re: deformed wing virus

Postby Michael Bush » Mon Aug 24, 2015 6:11 pm

>... it seems that the DWV is untreatable?

There are no recommended treatments for any bee virus that I have ever heard of. DWV was around long before Varroa but DWV is trasmitted (among other methods) by Varroa so large population infected with it is usually viewed as a sign of a lot of Varroa.
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nicole
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Re: deformed wing virus

Postby nicole » Thu Aug 27, 2015 6:29 pm

I have inspected my hives every 1.5-2 weeks and this is the first sign of mites I have seen, yet it seems they are blowing up. This hive has been my weakest of the 3 so I guess it doesn't surprise me. As I won't be adding chemicals to my hive for treating the mites, should I worry about my other 2 hives on the same pallet? One of them is a split I made about a month ago with a new queen so I know they are vulnerable. I have planned to be treatment free and have read so much but it still gives a small panic when you see all those mites! Thank you!

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Re: deformed wing virus

Postby waspkiller » Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:32 pm

If the hive weakens and eventually dies, it's mites will transfer to the other hives throughout this process.

It's about whether the other hives can deal with the mites, but even quite mite tolerant bees can collapse under pressure of mite invasion from other hives. If you think things may head this way it could pay to move the infested hive elsewhere.

Just wondering, where did you get your bees, ie, are they from bought packages, or swarms, or survivor bees, or what?

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nicole
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Re: deformed wing virus

Postby nicole » Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:19 pm

I bought two Italian nuc's this may from a beekeeper in Spokane,WA. I haven't had much luck here in MT. I made a split from one of those hives and used a queen from the same beek but Carniolan this time. I'm nervous to move my infected hive out of my electric fencing but I suppose it might be for the greater good.

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Re: deformed wing virus

Postby waspkiller » Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:44 am

OK well if the bees were not sold to you as claimed varroa resistant bees, chances are they are not, ie, they would be bees that have been periodically treated with a miticide to keep them alive. You may be able to find out for sure by getting back to the person you bought them from and asking. If they are non varroa resistant bees, this could be remedied by requeening them with resistant queens, may be too late this season to do that though.

Re moving the hive, just moving it a few yards will not change much, because as it collapses (if it does), the other bees will rob it and get the mites, mites can recognise their hive is collapsing and deliberately jump onto robber bees to find themselves a new home. If you move it at all it should be moved to a completely different location.

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nicole
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Re: deformed wing virus

Postby nicole » Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:49 am

All of that sounds like I'm doomed to have my hives collapse unless I treat. I get that we don't want them if they aren't resistant but what am I to do with the bees I already have that most likely have been treated?

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Re: deformed wing virus

Postby waspkiller » Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:43 am

Find a source of resistant queens and requeen them. Beeweavers have a good reputation for mite resistance.

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nicole
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Re: deformed wing virus

Postby nicole » Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:35 pm

They may be might resistant but would a queen from TX have any luck overwintering in MT? Our winters aren't very forgiving on top of a mountain. From what I have read you are supposed to stay as local as possible.

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Re: deformed wing virus

Postby Chuck Jachens » Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:59 pm

DWV is something you will be living with until your bees reach a balance with the mites and live through it. My bees were treated before I got them and I am still have a few bees with DWV after 2 years but the problem is lite. My 1 yr bees have more problems but they are remaining strong with good coverage on 75% of the 15 combs built.

You might want to do a alcohol wash to get a mite count. Lots of reference out there.

I believe the more local your bees the better and if you can split your surviving hives next spring then you will be going down the road to survivor stock. Check out Expansion Model Beekeeping and Solomon's podcasts. Something to study this winter.

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nicole
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Re: deformed wing virus

Postby nicole » Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:30 pm

ok i have watched several videos on alcohol washes but what is the goal of it beyond mite count? I guess I don't understand the point when they say at the end, if you have too many mites, then treat. It seems wasteful to kill off so many bees in an already weak hive. How does it come into our practice of keeping bees? Would it just give me a closer look to determine if I should move the hive elsewhere? Thanks so much for everyone's input, I do very much appreciate it. Also, thank you Chuck for the insight on my treated bees, I have been worried I wasted my time/money/love on these bees when they are doomed to die.

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Re: deformed wing virus

Postby Chuck Jachens » Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:44 pm

With the alcohol wash I was thinking of doing all three? hives. This gives you a comparison with a hive that seems to be doing ok. Yes I agree it is not a necessary thing to do but it may give some insights to how the hives are managing with varroa. Personally I would just let it ride the storm.

A treatment free way to help manage varroa is to go foundation-less. Let the bees build and raise as many drones as they want. the mites will go for the drone cells and lessen their impact on the workers. There is a discussion somewhere on the forum about this. I have top bar hives so all my frames (bars) are foundation-less.

If you do a mite count. A is the DWV hive and B is a good hive.

1. A count is high and B count is low or zero.
2. A count is much higher than B count.
3. A count is about the same as B count.
4. A count is much lower than B count.

Regardless of the results A isn't doing well and B is doing well or at least coping.

You can interpret the results a lot of different ways but it needs to take into account the whole environment of the hive. A lot of things are codependent in the ecosystem and locality makes for some relationships to behave differently.

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Re: deformed wing virus

Postby JasonBruns » Sun Aug 30, 2015 1:52 am

Nicole. Are you certain there us no feral bee population near you? If there is a river valley within an hour of you that has trees large enough there may be bees there. I know nothing about your area, but if bees have ever been kept near you there are bees there now.

Have you ever been out and noticed bees anywhere near you?

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Re: deformed wing virus

Postby kalama_beek » Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:17 pm

Nicole, a source for mite resistant Queens - Olympic Wilderness Apiary. Maybe give them a call to see if they're still shipping queens? They are PNW raised.


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nicole
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Re: deformed wing virus

Postby nicole » Wed Sep 02, 2015 6:34 pm

Thank you so much for the replies everyone! I know there are plenty of bees being kept around me but I also know that they are kept by a commercial beekeeper who loves to treat. In regards to re-queening, is there a point where it is too late in the year to do this? We have already had a few mornings of frost. I may just let them ride and see what they got in 'em. We are planning on making the move to OR this spring so maybe I will just wait to invest in TF stock when I am in a better position to get them locally. Thank you so much Chuck, you have been a solid source of information!

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Re: deformed wing virus

Postby Chuck Jachens » Wed Sep 02, 2015 9:32 pm

Save your money and don't replace the queen. If any of the hives survive the winter then that will be a huge hurdle on the road to treatment free. The hive that hasn't done well - Is there enough honey for the bees to make it through the winter? In comparison to your other hives? if it is full of honey, you want to harvest it now, kill the queen and combine only the bees with another hive? (don't move the brood)

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Michael Bush
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Re: deformed wing virus

Postby Michael Bush » Thu Sep 03, 2015 5:01 pm

>ok i have watched several videos on alcohol washes but what is the goal of it beyond mite count?

IF you want to count mites, you can do it with a powdered sugar roll and not have to kill the bees...

Reality is that too much information often causes us to do the wrong thing. There have been studies on the topic and basically the more information a doctor has the worse his decision is. If he has the basics and makes a decision it's better than if he has too much information. I think a lot of treatment free beekeepers would have stayed treatment free and succeeded at it if they didn't get so wrapped up in measuring things that may not be related.

http://kirkwebster.com/2005scan2.pdf

"And now I have another terrible confession to make. Not one as bad and un-American as passing up short-term gain and investing in the future—but still horrible: I have never yet counted even a single sample of mites from any of my bees. I consider counting mites as a way of evaluating Varroa resistance to be fraught with all sorts of shortcomings and difficulties. It's very time consuming and hence the size of the apiary, the number of colonies tested, the gene pool, and the income available all start to shrink. It's also very easy for the results to be skewed by mites migrating from other colonies or bee yards. And it doesn't show which colonies are more resistant to secondary infections--a trait I consider very important."--Kirk Webster, ABJ April 2005, pg 314

"We’re making the same mistake with our honey-bees. We’re trying to ensure the failure of modern bee-keeping by focusing too much on single traits; by ignoring the elements of Wildness; and by constantly treating the bees. The biggest mistake of all is to continue viewing mites and other “pests” as enemies that must be destroyed, instead of allies and teachers that are trying to show us a path to a better future. The more virulent a parasite is, the more powerful a tool it can be for improving stocks and practice in the future. All the boring and soul-destroying work of counting mites on sticky boards, killing brood with liquid nitrogen, watching bees groom each other, and measuring brood hormone levels—all done in thousands of replications—will someday be seen as a colossal waste of time when we finally learn to let the Varroa mites do these things for us. My own methods of propagating, selecting and breeding bees, worked out through many years of trial and error, are really just an attempt to establish and utilize Horizontal breeding with honeybees—to create a productive system that preserves and enhances the elements of Wildness. My results are not perfect, but they have enabled me to continue making a living from bees without much stress, and have a positive outlook for the future. I have no doubt that many other beekeepers could easily achieve these same results, and then surpass them."--Kirk Webster, What’s Missing From The Current Discussion And Work Related To Bees That’s Preventing Us From Making Good Progress?
"Everything works if you let it"--James "Big Boy" Medlin
http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

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Re: deformed wing virus

Postby Chuck Jachens » Thu Sep 03, 2015 5:34 pm

Thanks Michael for the reference and the website from Kirk Webster. I was trying to get to the same point, just not as eloquently.

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nicole
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Re: deformed wing virus

Postby nicole » Thu Sep 03, 2015 6:16 pm

Chuck, my weak hive has 2 deeps of honey but I did feed them when they were starting out from nuc as we were still weeks from a flow. I do have a split from my strong hive that I just placed in a deep that will more than likely need the honey.

Michael, I can't thank you enough. That is exactly what I needed to read.

I'm going to combine my weak hive with my split and ride out the harsh MT winter.

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Re: deformed wing virus

Postby waspkiller » Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:03 pm

Good luck Nicole hope it goes well, and please update later with how things are working out.

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Re: deformed wing virus

Postby ExpatBeekeeper » Wed Sep 09, 2015 2:06 pm

Michael Bush wrote:DWV was around long before Varroa but DWV is trasmitted (among other methods) by Varroa so large population infected with it is usually viewed as a sign of a lot of Varroa.


Michael, interesting paper I just posted in the research sub-forum, especially interesting for our members in NZ, on recently discovered DWV vectors.

Tony.
Beekeeper, Meadmaker, Teaboy, and Gopher. Richmond, VA

waspkiller
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Re: deformed wing virus

Postby waspkiller » Wed Sep 09, 2015 2:37 pm

Thanks Expat yes that was pretty interesting.

Argentine ants new here but are giving my bees some grief, they can defeat all other ants. But at one site they suddenly and mysteriously vanished, your link may provide an explanation.

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Re: deformed wing virus

Postby Dustymunky » Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:42 pm

I found 2 live bees in the grass today, about 20' from my hives. They both had severely deformed wings. I have seen a few bees here and there in the hive with DWV but thought this was odd. I'm guessing housekeeping bees dropped these live bees in the grass to protect the colony. I have seen dead bees deposited this way but assumed that sick live bees would just be forced out the front door. Is this rare or common hygenic behavior?

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Re: deformed wing virus

Postby SiWolKe » Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:13 am

I´m not sure but when I had crippled living bees they crawled out of the hives, fell down and crawled away.
I don´t know how far.
I´ve never seen crippled living bees carried far away, only robbers were carried. The living or the drones were chased out.
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Re: deformed wing virus

Postby Salvatore » Mon Jul 03, 2017 1:09 pm

It could be possible that the sick bees, recognizing their illness, removed themselves from the colony and struggled to fly/ crawl away from the colony. It is just as plausible that the bees recognized their troubles and allowed themselves to be carried-off.

There is a selfless nature about honeybees. It is the survival of the super organism not the individual that is most precious. We shed dead cells every day, individual cells that collectively make-up our being. I believe that there is a higher collective conscience within honeybees and that they recognize when it is necessary to make individual sacrifices for the greater good of the collective. Whether it be working themselves to death, protecting their nest site to the death, or removing sickness and unnecessary dead weight (drones in autumn) from the colony for the greater good.
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