Don't use them anymore. Never did use them much. Often heard that they contributed to TM resistance. What kind of grease patties are you using? What formulation? For what purpose?
I'm all for not using something in my hives unless there is a reason to. Propholactic treatments are quite often wasted time and money. In some cases, in some operations they aren't. If one is running thousands of hives using lots of help it is simpler to treat all the hives the same, I guess.
SQKCRK you are talking about extender patties with chemicals in them. A plain old crisco/powdered sugar and granulated sugar patty is supposed to help with Tracheal mites because the bees eat they patty and get the grease on them masking their scent and making it harder for TM to jump hosts and spread. Also thought to maybe help with Varroa too...
I don't use them. Keep strong genetic stock and you wont have problems. Let the weak die off and dont enable the weak ones with medication or assistance.
I made some up myself last week and my bees are liking them.
Crisco veg.shortening, sugar, honey, and a little oils of wintergreen, thyme, and lemongrass.
If any of my bees have tracheal mites (and my guess is they don't, but hey), it will dislodge them, and varroa hate wintergreen. The tiny amounts of crisco on the bees' legs and mouth from feeding on the patty encourages more grooming, thus possibly knocking off more mites. It's not unlike doing a sugar powder shake to encourage vigorous grooming and mite knock off. All this is debatable of course, but as with Honey-B-Healthy, I do believe that small amounts of some essential oils can be good for bees. My bees are just not interested in syrup right now- too much good nectar out there for the foraging.
I have heard a lot about people using grease patties with essential oils for varroa control.
Lots of articles here if you want to read some: http://www.google.com/#hl=en&source=hp& ... 6a628ab495
I don't know for sure whether grease patties work well (like most treatments, they are sources of debate), but I like the logic of them, some people claim they help with varroa, and I know people who have used them, so I'm happy to try them out. Bees seem to really like mint and lemongrass oils anyway.
I am afraid the answer to that question is no. However.... the bees that were highly effected by tracheal mites are now dead... much like a replay of their initial infestation in England long ago. it has been suggested (written) that after the initial introduction and the resulting die off of the highly affected hives the economic impact of tracheal mites was minimal.
They seem to be more a concern in the northern US than anywhere in the south.
If my memory is still functioning properly??? the homey remedy of essential oils as a receipt for tracheal mites appears to be wishful thinking.
Good to know tracheal mites are not as big a concern nowadays.
I hear people for and against the use of both grease patties and essential oils, depends on who you ask. my bees came from FatBeeMan in GA, who didn't say anything about grease patties per se, but who does use essential oils and FGMO as part of his bee health management routine. My bees seem really healthy so I'm letting them enjoy their 'essential patties'. I don't make them overly strong. I usually add a little HoneyBHealthy to sugar syrup when I feed, and that has spearmint and lemongrass oils in it, lots of folks use that, but the bees are not taking syrup now anyway with all the nectar available. My bees are enjoying working on their minty patties.
I have used grease patties in the past & I made them from the book Natural Beekeeping by Ross Conrad which is just simple 2:1 Crisco/Sugar. I don't have any on now because I was thinking you should just use them in the early spring/fall - I would think that if you used them in this HOT weather that the Crisco would melt some and ruin brood?? I was just wondering what other beeks did because you don't hear a lot of talk about traceal mites these days.
I don't use ANY chemicals/treatments in my hives and my bees are very strong. I am lucky that I have the only beehives in my area and we live in the country - away from any spraying/ etc. I have never used any supplements other than giving them sugar syrup when they need it. The closest beehives are probably 15 miles away from me, and she is a fellow teacher, and her bees are extremely healthy. She doesn't use any treatments/ supplements either.
I see very few mites, and I have to really LOOK to see them when I inspect frames. I have never seen a mite on the drone larvae - but I am sure they are there. I am a believer in screen-bottom boards. I keep mine on year around - even through the winter and they do fine.