Mite Management - Page 2


View Poll Results: Who treats for varroa mites?

Voters
20. You may not vote on this poll
  • I don't treat

    9 45.00%
  • I treat only when I see mites

    8 40.00%
  • I treat as a preventitive regardless of mite count

    3 15.00%
  • What are varroa mites?

    0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll.
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 16 to 25 of 25

Thread: Mite Management

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Eastern Washington state
    Posts
    289
    So do you take the old queen out or just let nature take its course?
    Quote Originally Posted by Omie View Post
    I don't use mite killing products in my hives at all. I absolutely will not do it. No mite problems yet in 3 years so far. Last winter I had 5 of 5 hives survive beautifully, with no feeding either.
    I tend to let most of my hives requeen themselves at some point of the year, either in Spring or mid summer, depending on which hives I want to put honey supers on and which have newer queens. That crashes the mite breeding cycle and makes sure the queens are no more than 2 years old and vigorous. That's basically how I keep mites from taking over my hives. It's working well so far, my bees seem real healthy, no apparent diseases, problems, or symptoms.


  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Eastern Washington state
    Posts
    289
    I have a screened bottom board which came with the sticky board. When should I stick the sticky board in to check for mites and how long should I leave it in for(2-3 days)? This is a new package of bees placed in their hive in May. Thanks Halley


  3. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Hiddenite, NC
    Posts
    323
    Blog Entries
    11
    Quote Originally Posted by hlhart2001 View Post
    I have a screened bottom board which came with the sticky board. When should I stick the sticky board in to check for mites and how long should I leave it in for(2-3 days)? This is a new package of bees placed in their hive in May. Thanks Halley
    I use the board for 36 hours, count (with a magnifying glass) and divide by 3 to get a daily count. I do it again a month later. This is basically to monitor if the counts are staying in the same range or if they are increasing. An acceptable range for me is 10 to 15 daily, because I don't chemically treat. But I have not seen it higher than 14. I am fairly new at this IPM stuff, but I think natural management is using a combination of things. These boards can be a messy undertaking, It is gross! But I would rather not treat chemically on anything in our yard or gardens.
    I did not have a mite issue the first year, but did the following spring. The sugar shakes helped, but it can cause some loss of uncapped brood. I only do the sugar shakes when it is needed.
    Tonja and Steve

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    the Hudson Valley, New York
    Posts
    2,845
    Quote Originally Posted by hlhart2001 View Post
    I have a screened bottom board which came with the sticky board. When should I stick the sticky board in to check for mites and how long should I leave it in for(2-3 days)? This is a new package of bees placed in their hive in May. Thanks Halley
    Your hive is barely 3 months old, from a package. Unless they are sickly or weakened, I wouldn't think they'd have any mite buildup worth watching until next summer, after the heavy Spring drone brood is produced. You might want to measure a mite drop number this Fall, just so you will have something to compare it with next year. Just my opinion.
    It's 'tough love' for the bees here at Wayward Girl Apiary.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    the Hudson Valley, New York
    Posts
    2,845
    Quote Originally Posted by hlhart2001 View Post
    So do you take the old queen out or just let nature take its course?
    If it's Spring or Summer, I take the queen out and make a new nuc with her.
    It's 'tough love' for the bees here at Wayward Girl Apiary.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    N. Ontario
    Posts
    967
    Omie, are you up for some quibbling? Tell me why being from a package would preclude a hive from having mites. I had one hive run away with mites that I should have been onto quicker if I had been doing mite counts. It is entirely possible the queen was a bit slow out of the gate otherwise should have been able to stay ahead of any mites, but she is doing OK now that the mites have been knocked back.

    So not to hijack this thread; If your hive is not on a screened bottom board it is easy to avoid counting mites with a stick board. That was my excuse I guess. It really is not too difficult to shake a few bees into a bottle and do a sugar shake or alcohol wash to show up the mites. I was relying on examining my photos and eyeballing the bees for mites but that didnt work for me.
    Frank

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    the Hudson Valley, New York
    Posts
    2,845
    Quote Originally Posted by Crofter View Post
    Omie, are you up for some quibbling? Tell me why being from a package would preclude a hive from having mites.
    It wouldn't preclude it, since probably all hives have mites. It's just not likely that a new package will have a serious mite buildup during their first season. Unless, as i suggested, they had some other issue that was keeping them from being a vigorous first year hive. (quibble quibble!)
    It's 'tough love' for the bees here at Wayward Girl Apiary.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    N. Ontario
    Posts
    967
    It is just that varroa is such a vector for other ailments that I feel it was often the original stressor when disease shows up. It IS a bit like the chicken or the egg riddle, but since it is about the easiest pest to establish the status of, why not? Being a package is the ultimate of brood interruption but the the small bee numbers makes re-contamination a stronger issue. The original poster said that the fellow package swarmed (absconded) quite soon. I wonder what its mite count might have been.
    Frank

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    the Hudson Valley, New York
    Posts
    2,845
    Crofter, I've read that most packages don't actually have a high number of mites riding around on the bees' backs. It's when the mites have access to fresh open larvae cells (especially drone cells) that the mites can begin to multiply to higher numbers...and they need a number of breeding cycles in order to achieve very high numbers. If the fellow's package absconded shortly after being installed, I doubt the mites had a chance to achieve a population explosion. At least, that's my own theory of logic.
    It's 'tough love' for the bees here at Wayward Girl Apiary.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    N. Ontario
    Posts
    967
    Almost everything I have read also points to lower odds for high mite numbers on packages. Have only used nucs. Lower odds does not mean you should close your eyes in that direction, especially when a young hive fails to thrive thus acting as unpredicted: mite counts are easy.
    It would be interesting to see what has been the experience of other buyers from the same source. Were they tested or treated for nosema? We have had a few problem hives that seemed hard to get the mites down and seemed to re infest. Maybe a hive like that should be just let go; that is certainly one philosophy but hard to do if you only have a few hives.

    Frank

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •