Natural Beekeeping

Top Bar ApiRevolution has begun! Lets make some inexpensive Top Bar Hives and let them be pesticide free on their own natural comb! Che Guebee is a rebel bee fighting for the survival of the Biodiversity we all depend on and which is seriously endangered by deforestation and mono-crop agriculture! What kind of teaching have you got if you exclude nature?

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Colonies are evicting bees with DWV

I was surprised today to see some colonies evicting bees with Deformed Wing Virus (DWV). I mean I am glad they are removing them from the hive its just that I have not seen so many bees with DWV before in my hives. I could see at least dozen bees with DWV so there could also be more of them which I haven't seen.
Note the shriveled wings. This is called deformed wing virus or DWV and is caused by either Varroa Mites or by Chilled Brood. So late in the season I would say its the Varroa.
A healthy Worker Bee evicting a bee with DWV
Note the shriveled wings and the abdomen is also much shorter and the body hairs have fallen off.

I don't treat my hives against Varroa because I would like to breed bees only from survivor stocks. I can't wait to meet the survivor colonies next year to increase their strong genes. I find that treating weak colonies will only weaken the future colonies through weak Drones mating with local Virgin Queens. Such stocks will only be able to survive with treatments which is far from sustainable. That said bees located in mono-crop agricultural environment can easier succumb to DWV and other diseases because they lack healthy and biodiverse forage and in this case treating maybe the only way to keep them alive until the day comes when we abolish mono-crop agriculture and start practicing small scale organic farming based on biodiversity. 

Right now it is of utmost importance to feed them well for the winter and I hope they can find enough pollen which they need to create "Winter Bees" which can live up to 6 month or more. Summer worker bees live up to 4-6 weeks only because they lack fat bodies filled with Vitellogenin aka "Bees' Fountain of Youth".


  1. Amen to not treating the bees. With mite poisons, mites will eventually develop a resistance. Plus, mite strips will kill the beneficial mites also. So why do the beekeepers in my club insist on using them? Old school, I guess, and they think they will get more honey.
    For some reason, this blog dated August 31st, showed up today (October 8) in my mail. As I read it, I'm thinking, "Wow, he's got DWV in October too." A couple of my hives are spitting out bees now, not a lot, but definitely some. My guess is, they will either make it through the winter or not. If they do make it, they are the ones I'm happy to keep swarms from.

    1. I can still see bees with DWV being evicted in most hives. I only hope some of them make it through. It would be painful to have 100% losses. We simply have no wild swarms around here. So for me it would be spending money to buy new bees. It would be great to start with a feral swarm which has already survived for 5-6 years without treatments. Here in Denmark they say it takes 3 years for an untreated colony to be killed by Varroa. I agree that they keep breeding more virulent Varroa rather than resistant bees. "Varroa-breeders" rather than bee-breeders.

  2. By the way, I will be shaking down all my survivor hives onto empty top bars with wax guides end of Jun to build new comb free from pesticides and viruses. I didn't rotate comb this year at all.