Frequently Asked Questions
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Our UBeeO™ mix is based on pheromones naturally produced by brood in the hive.
We recommend testing during the spring nectar flow in your area. Testing early in the season will ensure the most accurate UBeeO™ results and allow you to implement your data sooner.
In general, colonies tend to be less hygienic during a nectar dearth. If you test during a nectar dearth, we recommend supplemental feeding with sugar syrup for at least one week before UBeeO™ testing.
Yes! It is important to be sure that colonies have been queenright for at least 7 weeks before testing with UBeeO™.
UBeeO™ measures the mite and disease resistance traits of a queen through the hygienic performance of her worker offspring. If a colony is queenless or has recently requeened, the UBeeO™ Score will apply to the previous queen and may not accurately reflect the colony’s hygienic capabilities or management needs.
We recommend inspecting your colonies a day or two before UBeeO™ testing to confirm that they are queenright.
This depends on the goals and size of your apiary.
If you are a small scale beekeeper, it may be feasible to test all of your colonies to gauge the mite and disease risk level of your apiary and inform your management strategy.
If you are a mid- to large-scale operation, establishing a pre-UBeeO™ selection criteria may be more efficient, especially if you are rearing queens. Before assessing mite and disease resistance with UBeeO™, you may first want to select your top performing colonies based on other favorable traits, such as colony growth, productivity, and temperament. A breeding program that incorporates selection for multiple traits will facilitate production of high quality queens.
Don’t worry! A Low UBeeO™ score does not guarantee that your colony will fail. However, it does indicate that the colony is more susceptible to mite and disease damage, which can lead to colony failure.
Here are some management options you could employ to support the colony:
- Isolate the colony. If you have multiple colonies, separate the Low UBeeO™ colony to prevent mite and disease transmission by limiting forager drift.
- Exercise proactive mite management. Monitor mite loads closely and be ready with a mite management plan before mite loads peak.
- Requeen with a hygienic queen. You may want to requeen the colony with a hygienic queen sourced from either your highest scoring UBeeO™ colony or from a local, reputable queen breeder. Other factors such as time of year, nectar flow, and worker population will be important to consider before requeening.
It’s likely that the colony will recap brood in the UBeeO™ test area within a couple of days. Brood that is recapped will complete development and emerge as an adult to perform colony tasks as normal.
Some colonies have been observed to remove brood during the testing period. These colonies tend to be more hygienic and often get very high UBeeO™ Scores.
A colony should score consistently on UBeeO™ with the exception of testing after a requeening event or during the nectar dearth. Unless there was a disruption in the testing process, it is likely that the UBeeO™ Score is accurate to the mite and disease resistance capabilities of the colony.
Reach out to us first before you retest a colony! A member of our team will be happy to assist you in reviewing your results to determine if retesting is necessary.
Should you proceed with retesting, be sure to allow one week in between UBeeO™ tests to ensure accurate results. Our research has shown that worker bees are temporarily more responsive to the UBeeO™ mix after the initial test which can inflate the colony’s UBeeO™ Score if retested too soon.