Topics, Varroa Management


Sick Bees – Part 12: Varroa Management – Getting Down to Brass Tacks

Randy Oliver Last month I showed how to make a mite shaker bottle, so that you could easily keep track of the actual mite levels in your hives.  So now you may wonder, how do I use those mite counts to better manage my hives? I was recently speaking in New Zealand, where the beekeepers […]

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An Early Summer Test of Mite-Away-Quick Strips(tm)

Randy Oliver In the February issue of this Journal, I wrote about a fall trial that I performed with the new formic acid delivery method—Mite-Away Quick Strips (MAQSTM).  I had been impressed by their efficacy and ease of use.  Imagine my surprise and dismay when I received a couple of phone calls from beekeepers in […]

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The “Rules” For Successful Beekeeping

Advice for recreational beekeepers Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com In my articles I chronicle my own process of self-education in becoming a successful beekeeper—which has been much more difficult since the invasion of varroa.  The learning curve has been brutal—there were times when I thought that I was the worst beekeeper in the world (although that notion […]

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The Birds and the Bees

I was greatly concerned when I read that news item that the neonicotinoid seed treatments might be causing the decline of bird populations.  I don’t know whether you read the referred paper (http://www.abcbirds.org/abcprograms/policy/toxins/Neonic_FINAL.pdf), which was earnest and detailed.  Unfortunately, it was mostly speculative, as opposed to being based upon field evidence.  The authors themselves, in […]

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The Harvard Study on Neonicotinoids and CCD

A recent press release by the prestigious Harvard School of Public Health claims that one of their researchers has found that Colony Collapse Disorder was caused by a common insecticide used on corn.  As an informed beekeeper and environmentalist, I feel that this study calls for standard scientific scrutiny to see whether their claims actually […]

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Zombie bees

A parasitic fly was recently discovered to be infesting honey bees– the press wildly extrapolated it into being the cause of CCD.  I’ve kept in touch with the researchers in San Francisco, and with beekeepers in the affected areas.  The study is ongoing. The fly is a native parasite that normally parasitizes bumblebees and paper wasps. […]

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What Happened To The Bees This Spring?

First published in: American Bee Journal, June 2013

Part 1: Environmental and Biotic Factors Setting the Stage The Lead Up The Drought Lack of Good Forage Varroa Diseases Other Indicators of Impending Collapse An Unexpected Chill Feedback from Brokers The Silent Majority Beekeeper Management Part 2: The Contribution From Pesticides The Lynch Mob Debunking The Myths The Precautionary Principal See For Yourself Be […]

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Mite Management Update 2013

First published in: American Bee Journal, August 2013

Monitoring Mites by Sampling Frame-to-Frame Consistency of Samples Mite Recovery of the Alcohol Wash Sticky Boards Natural Mite Drop vs. Alcohol Wash Discussion Experimenting with MAQS Strips References and Footnotes Randy OliverScientificBeekeeping.com It’s that time of year again to get a jump on varroa mites before it’s too late.  This raises two questions: how to […]

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Reflections on the Honey Bee Health Summit

First published in: American Bee Journal, August 2013

(And Other Random Thoughts) Randy OliverScientificBeekeeping.com  Reflections of the Honey Bee Health Summit (And Other Random Thoughts) Into The Belly of the Beast Plant Breeders Drop the Demonization Let’s Be Logical Take Home Sound Bites Colony Health The Varroa/Virus Complex Pesticide Issues Agriculture and Nutrition Toxins Sentinel Apiaries Weighing the Costs and Benefits The Varroa/Virus […]

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Winter Colony Losses

First published in: American Bee Journal, September 2013

A Pesticide-Free Control Group 2011/2012 Beelogical Trials Discussion What Makes Dinks Dinks? The Midwinter Assessment (Size Matters) Another Trial The Winter Turnaround So What To Do With Dinks? Spread of Infection From Hive to Hive Coming References   Randy OliverScientificBeekeeping.com For nearly a decade now beekeepers have been experiencing a higher rate of overwintering losses […]

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Queens For Pennies Powerpoint Presentation

You can download the linked Powerpoint presentation below for a slide show to go with my article Queens for Pennies. Updates:  I recently tested several models of lighted magnifying headlamps available from Amazon and was most pleased with the: Carson Pro Series MagniVisor Deluxe Head-Worn LED Lighted Magnifier with 4 Different Lenses (1.5x, 2x, 2.5x, […]

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Small-scale Queenrearing

This page is not a finished product, but due to requests, I’ve posted a rough version.   The Oliver “foolproof method” of queen  rearing Step-by-step Oliver modification  of the “Modified Swarm Box” Starter/finisher colony Click the link below to download my Powerpoint presentation, minus my voice.  It is a large download and may take some […]

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Updates

May 2014:  The current hot topic is the new study from Harvard that claims to link neonics to CCD.  Read my comments at news-and-blogs-page. I recently tested several models available from Amazon and was quite pleased with the: Carson Pro Series MagniVisor Deluxe Head-Worn LED Lighted Magnifier with 4 Different Lenses (1.5x, 2x, 2.5x, 3x) […]

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The Short Version

The Major Problems Facing Bees and Beekeepers Number one is varroa.  Varroa changed the virus dynamics within the colony.  If either the bees or the beekeeper don’t keep the varroa infestation rate down to fewer than 5 mites per 100 bees, colonies start to suffer.  At about 15 mites per 100, viruses go epidemic, and […]

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GMO Updates

GMO updates Please don’t parrot misinformation–learn the actual facts! Introduction “GMOs” are a hot topic these days, due mainly to the media attention given to a few advocacy groups, as opposed to those who actually understand the science involved in the development of genetically-modified plants. I find this unfortunate, since the future of many species […]

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