Mite Management

Discussion in 'Pests and Diseases' started by Eddy Honey, Aug 3, 2012.

Who treats for varroa mites?

  1. I don't treat

    9 vote(s)
    45.0%
  2. I treat only when I see mites

    8 vote(s)
    40.0%
  3. I treat as a preventitive regardless of mite count

    3 vote(s)
    15.0%
  4. What are varroa mites?

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Who treats for mites?
    Whether it be a "natural" treatment or not doesn't matter in this thread.

    Last year I never saw any mites but I panicked when I saw no brood or stores and my SBI said I had a varroa problem even though he/she never actually came out to look in my hives.
    This year I saw varroa on the backs of my bees in the Springtime. I pulled the queens and let the hives rear new queens...every single hive, and I haven't seen a mite since.

    My beekeepers association is recommending Api-Guard this year but I keep getting the urge to let the chips fall where they may and not treat.

    I know the formic acid and Api-Guard and others knock down the mites but could they also kill some of the healthy organisms that may be in a bee hive?

    Perhaps I'm overthinking......again....
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I treat when I see mites. That said, up until now, I only treat in the fall. With the possible introduction of MAQS into my arsenal, I could now treat whenever I needed to and not have to wait or give up on a flow.
    I am curious to hear the results from those who have given the product a try. I have heard mixed results from some southern keeps. Is it a temp. thing?
     

  3. ApisBees

    ApisBees New Member

    Messages:
    2,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Treat and treat early! The bees that are going to over winter the colony are raised starting in the last half of August, caped the second to third week. The mites have built up strength in numbers along with the bees, now starting when the honey flow decreases and the days get shorter and temp starts to drop the hive produces less brood. So also starting mid August the mite per bee larva increases in the hive. With the mites living off the larva we don't see any damage to the bees so we think they are OK, but if having the mite living off the bee shortens the life of the bee, then in the late winter early spring the colonies are dwindling because of premature bee die off quicker than they are replaced.
     
  4. Omie

    Omie New Member

    Messages:
    2,845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    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.
     
  5. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

    Messages:
    2,056
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Apis, my mentor is helping me this fall with a little doctoring of my hives. We are going to crush sugar for varroa and then "Crisco" patties for the tracheal mites. Have you ever used Crisco for that? Apparently it's very effective for keeps here.
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I do not treat. mites do make for a good example of where the approximate and ultimate outcome of the decision you do or don't make are definitely not one and the same.
     
  7. jcshoneybees

    jcshoneybees New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I am still up in the air on to treat or not. I have been increasing the size of apiary greatly. I would hate for all my work to be for nothing. I have not seen mites, but was thinking of trying a powerded sugar dusting over a sticky board and if there is a good mite drop then to treat.
     
  8. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

    Messages:
    728
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Treatment Regime

    My treatment regime is -----

    Summer...... Icing (powdered) sugar

    Winter.........Oxalic acid trickle

    Spring..........Apiguard (thymol)

    Open Mesh Floor (Screened Bottom Board) 12/12 (except when using Apiguard)

    Gave up on drone culling.
     
  9. ApisBees

    ApisBees New Member

    Messages:
    2,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Never had a problem with tracheal mites. The Ministry of Agriculture would test but they never showed up in my hives, then varroa came and using formic on Varroa also works on the trachea mites so don't do nothing special for them, Don't even test for them. Sorry
     
  10. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hey ApisBees, what application of formic do you use? Have you tried the QuickStrips at all or are they too expensive compared to the Liquid and pads?
     
  11. ApisBees

    ApisBees New Member

    Messages:
    2,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    There is a beekeeper in Kelowna that has developed a pad (It is that water absorbing foam material that flower shops use to support their flowers) special density to absorb and hold the formic acid. He has them manufactured 3/8" thick, 3" wide and 8" long covered in plastic that has small holes in them. use them by cutting in half so they are 3" X 4" and soak them in acid for a minute remove and let the execs run off them pin to the frame the formic is released slowly in the hive over the next weeks so only one treatment is needed for for the 24 day full brood cycle. If I don't have any pads handy or want to catch the bees when there is a break in the brood cycle I put folded paper towel in a zip lock bag (1/2 sandwich size) with 1oz formic need enough paper towel to absorb all the formic. Place on top bars and slice top of bag with a box Knife And do three treatments. A fellow beekeeper in the area who has the least winter losses treats his hives for 5 consecutive weeks in the fall starting in mid August to ensure his winter cluster bees are as mite free as possible and lessen any viruses that the mites infest the bees with. He uses the small meat pad tray liners and puts 1 oz on each. The proof of his method is in the success of his bees, when others around him are having higher hive losses and his loses are normal copy the guy who has the best success over many years.
     
  12. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Apisbees, I notice you mention a formic treatment starting mid august; would honey supers be removed by then? Some mention using MAQS (formic based) being used with supers on without compromising honey. I would like to get mite treatment going a bit earlier this year as we almost ran out of suitable weather last year with a few stubborn hives.
     
  13. ajaz

    ajaz New Member

    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    In india here are very few options
    I am giving 10 ml to every hive on absorbent pad after every 6 days total of 3 turns formic acid containing 85% purity

    Sent from my A52 using Tapatalk 2
     
  14. Omie

    Omie New Member

    Messages:
    2,845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Gotta say I'm surprised by the poll results so far, even though there aren't that many voting.
     
  15. HisPalette

    HisPalette New Member

    Messages:
    323
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    This is basically what we do, too, Omie (Well, actually what the honey bees do!) We did 3 early sugar shakes, because we saw some mites in our oldest hive. We use screen bottom boards, and a sticky board to do mite counts. We culled some of the drone brood when the drone production was high. We have purchased only 2 colonies - One with a Minnesota Hygienic queen, but they can lose the Hygienic trait in one generation, (after one supercedure, this colony had some mites). The other we purchased was a Wayne's queen package this year. Then we did a cut out, and these bees seem to be resistant. The other three are "artificial swarms" that we split from the above. Two beekeeping neighbors have kept Carniolans and Russians, and the other is a no treat keep...So we think nature and diversity helps the natural varroa resistance too.
     
  16. hlhart2001

    hlhart2001 New Member

    Messages:
    291
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    So do you take the old queen out or just let nature take its course?
     
  17. hlhart2001

    hlhart2001 New Member

    Messages:
    291
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    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
     
  18. HisPalette

    HisPalette New Member

    Messages:
    323
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    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.
     
  19. Omie

    Omie New Member

    Messages:
    2,845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    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. :)
     
  20. Omie

    Omie New Member

    Messages:
    2,845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If it's Spring or Summer, I take the queen out and make a new nuc with her.