Cool Pics of Varroa Mites --

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by jim314, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. jim314

    jim314 New Member

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    Unfortunately they are from one of my hives. I went into all three hives today and the first one was full of mites. The bees had built drone comb between the bottom and second deep that broke apart when I separated the boxes (actually when I pulled the frames on the second deep). The drone larva had mites. The amount of mites I saw was shocking :eek: There was also drone comb between the second deep and the medium, with mites. This is a very strong hive, but with the mite load I saw I don't know for how long. The hive next to it had the drone comb drawn between the two boxes also, but I only found one mite (I'm sure there are more). The 3rd hive (swarm) didn't have any that I could see, but I think they are too mean to allow mites in. :lol: I closed them up as quickly as I could.

    -----Warning: Graphic Images ------

    The mites on the larva were obvious, also the ones in the wax, but I didn't see any on the workers. But when I came back in the house and looked at the pictures on the computer, there it was.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Better get some MAQS on them things.
     

  3. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Jim:

    Thanks for posting the pics. There are a lot of new keeps that still are not sure of what they are seeing in regards to varroa and your contribution helps. It's never fun posting when we are having a problem but by sharing when we do we all learn and benefit. :thumbsup:
     
  4. kebee

    kebee Active Member

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    Here we go again, what is MAQS, would someone please make a glossary of abbreviation here so I may know what you are talking about.

    Kebee
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Mite-away quick strips. The newest mite control.
     
  6. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    Here's a start, although it could be updated a little bit. :)
     
  7. jim314

    jim314 New Member

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    Ordered Hop Guard when I got back in the house :D
     
  8. Marbees

    Marbees Member

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    Jim, make some of this and spray your bees
    Varroa cleaning infested hive
    Mix 5 cl of thymol EO in 1gallon of sugar water syrup and spray each frame once a week for three weeks. Mite count should go down significantly
     
  9. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Jim,
    I assume you have already extracted and destroyed ALL those cells of drone brood. Having caught them before emerging, you could have actually done a nice job of mite control--attracting the females to lay on the preferred drone brood and thereby keeping your worker brood cleaner than could have been the case without the drones.
    Did you check a few cells of worker brood to see their condition? If not, I would recommend it.
     
  10. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    thanks for posting the pictures... like perry I suspect this kind of stuff is of great value to new bee keepers. the real problem is knowing if this information means anything or not (to you). that is... is the infestation rate significant? for myself... if I see multiple varroa on a single larvae I pretty well know the hive has problems.... one varroa here or there is really of no concern (as far as the way I look at these things). quite typically my varroa counting starts just as yours seems to have here with drone comb placed in the gap between boxes... if I have no drone cells there I look for patches of drone cells at the edges of the brood nest (I would rather find these in clusters of drones cells rather than individual drone cells). in the latter case I typically uncap 10 or so cells.

    As ef states scraping drone cells can give you just a bit of an edge here... in the short run. in a bit longer term format.... this also removes drones from heavily infested hives from the future gene pool.

    for myself the information (a relative infestation measure) is all I want from this survey since I am pretty much* treatmentless in regards to varroa. it is good to have some treatment acceptable to yourself (which you seem to already have done) prior to confronting this problem.

    it is difficult from looking at your pictures to tell if you have a real problem here or not. there is just not enough information for me to say. actually picture 1 and 2 don't appear that bad.... but picture 3 does look suspect.

    *any treatment that I would consider must be fairly benign in regards to tainting wax and most especially not help in building a bigger and badder varroa mite. oxalic acid, sucromid and the newer hop guard (I myself have never used this product) would represent good choices for myself.
     
  11. jim314

    jim314 New Member

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    Thanks Marbees.

    efmesch: I didn't check any worker cells, now that you mention it I should have. And, I didn't destroy all the drone cells. I wasn't sure I should do that or not.

    tecumseh: There were places that had one or more mites on every larva and many many unattached mites in individual cells. I heard a commercial keeper say he checks 15 or so drone cells when looking for mites, and if he sees more that 5 he knows the hive is in trouble. I saw a higher ratio than that. I hope that mites won't live outside the hive because there are hundreds on the ground and the table behind the hives.
     
  12. Adam Foster Collins

    Adam Foster Collins New Member

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    Marbees, just to clarify. I'm under the impression that thymol is not the same as the essential oil of thyme. Is that correct? You mention "thymol" and "EO" together, and I wonder if I'm misinformed.

    Adam
     
  13. Marbees

    Marbees Member

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    No, you are not misinformed. Thymol is compound found in thyme oil.
    http://www.thirdplanetfood.com/phyt14.htm
     
  14. Adam Foster Collins

    Adam Foster Collins New Member

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  15. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Tec--what can you tell me about "Hop guard". I've never heard about it.

    Jim--I don't understand your comment about "there are hundreds on the ground and the table behind the hives". Did you actually see Varroa mites on the ground and around the hives? Could you possibly have seen other mites???. Varroa is, to the best of my knowledge and experience, totally restricted to bees. Off the bees they are going to die relatively quickly. I certainly wouldn't expect to find an infestation on the ground. :confused:
     
  16. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    jim writes:
    I heard a commercial keeper say he checks 15 or so drone cells when looking for mites, and if he sees more that 5 he knows the hive is in trouble.

    tecumseh:
    that sounds like about the ratio I have come to recognize as an accurate prediction of a hive having trouble... + multiple varroa on a single larvae/pupae is another significant alarm bell for me.

    and to efmesch... I really don't know much about hop guard beyond it is a produced from hops and is made from food grade material. it is advertised as a biopesticide (whatever that means???). safe enough it can be used multiple times a year... even during a honey flow. cost about $.60 per strip (I don't know how many strips are used per hive). seems to have about the same killing effectiveness as amitraz. the producer of the product is a firm called BetaTec.
     
  17. tommyt

    tommyt New Member

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  18. jim314

    jim314 New Member

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    efmesch: I was talking about the number of mites I dumped on the ground and the table behind the hives. I scraped out a lot of drone cone and wax that had mites in it. Glad to hear they die relatively quickly when out of the hive.

    I don't know much about Hop guard other than it and Api Guard were recommended by the commercial keep that told me about the mite count test. He said he didn't like using anything stronger than these two products in his hives.

    Edit to add: I have read that it is better to use HopGuard off label, meaning use it three weeks in a row, rather than three times a year. You use 2 strips per 10 frame box and I believe a package has 50 strips in it, for $30.
     
  19. Zulu

    Zulu Member

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    New product , extracted from the Beta oils from Hops. Not all states have release yet.

    I hope to learn more , as I grow my own hops.

    Alpha acids are the important bittering in beer brewing, but we use the whole Hop. I know about Beta acids but these are seldom analysed. As my hop project is monitored by NC State I will ask them more.
     
  20. TexasnewBee

    TexasnewBee Member

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    Jim, thanks for posting the pics. As the experts here have mentioned, this is very helpful for those of us, that are new. Great close-ups. Sorry these are in your hive though.
    :goodpost: