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Regardless of whether you treat or not, I'm wondering how each of your mite levels are this year, or if you have a sense of that yet. Perhaps you use specific methods for monitoring; perhaps you're more of a "feel" person in the mite department. Whatever approach you use, I'd like to know where you think their numbers are at.

This has been a slow season in terms of weather here. Some plants are almost a month behind. I wonder if mites have "up years" and "down years" overall, and whether or not this has been a "good season" or a bad one for mite loads far and wide.

So how are your mites doing so far this year?

Adam
 

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Adam writes:
This has been a slow season in terms of weather here. Some plants are almost a month behind. I wonder if mites have "up years" and "down years" overall, and whether or not this has been a "good season" or a bad one for mite loads far and wide.

tecumseh:
one of the really negative sides of an introduced species such as the varroa mite is we know so little about their biology and the interaction of their biology with the honeybee. it may take decades of plodding along before we even have a glimpse of this interaction. thankfully we have science folks that moves the conversation along and enhances our thinking in this regards.

biologically you would think that yes a varroa like all organism have good years and bad years. we do know that anything that breaks the brood cycle also breaks the cycle of the varroa mite.
 

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I've had bees since April of this year and have tested with both sticky boards and used the ether test and haven't seen one yet in all 5 of my colonies.

Am I just lucky?
 

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I'm doing sugar rolls this year instead of sticky board mite counts. The ones I have done in the last week have been below threshold for August (less than 11 mites) for my area. I am not sure I am getting adequate samples. I have been taking them off of frames with older larvae, but have had to scoop additional bees from frames of brood beside them since nurse bees were not packing the frames. One hive that had a count of 6 mites also had 3-4 bees with DWV walking around on various frames, so I am suspicious. I will continue monitoring.
 

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Jacobs said:
I'm doing sugar rolls this year instead of sticky board mite counts
I've not heard(or read) of that method.....Hows that done Jacobes(or anyone else that wants to chime in)?
 

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I went through our hives last night doing sugar rolls. Basically it is scooping 300-400 bees into a container with a couple spoons of iceing sugar, shaking it up for a minute, letting it sit for a bit then shaking the mites out through a #8 mesh onto a white surface or bowl for counting.

It is said to cause a 90% mite drop off the bees. from there you can calculate the infestation rate.

I found several hives with 1-2 mites so they are in good shape, several others 6-10 so they will need treatment when honey comes off and two swarm captures that are in trouble loaded with mites and will be treating them ASAP.

In the future any swarm captures I get will be getting treatment(s) right from the get go.
 

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so far this year we are doing great. This year we have been switching out old comb and have made several splits so I'm assuming that accounts for the decrease we've seen in mite counts from this time last year.
 

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crackerbee writes:
I've had bees since April of this year and have tested with both sticky boards and used the ether test and haven't seen one yet in all 5 of my colonies.

Am I just lucky?

jacob writes:
One hive that had a count of 6 mites also had 3-4 bees with DWV walking around on various frames, so I am suspicious. I will continue monitoring.

and then bee-n-there writes:
It is said to cause a 90% mite drop off the bees. from there you can calculate the infestation rate.

tecumseh:
first Crackerbee the biology of varroa shows it ugly head generally in year two and luck generally favors the well prepared. I don't much do any mite testing besides plucking drones as an informal means of testing for mites in individual hives. all the stuff I have read from the early days of varroa introduction suggest to me that any method employed (sugar roll, ether roll, alcohol wash, etc) in highly subject to a huge error term and therefore everyone should heed Jacob's warning and suspect that any given sample may be giving you the wrong answer. multiple testing (using any means) would be the reasonable way to minimize the error term. if you employ sticky boards and monitor these over time you are pretty much doing multiple test anyway.
 

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Mine were early (from past years) and bad. Probably due to poor spring flow (where I had most). Therefore my theory is the bees did not continue building as in past years and the mites outran them.
 

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[quote="tecumseh"
I don't much do any mite testing besides plucking drones as an informal means of testing for mites in individual hives..[/quote]


Drone plucking huh...that must be something to watch.

Is it something like a squirrel beating :lol: ?
 
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