Natural Varroa Control and Split Timing?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by queen_bee09, Jun 12, 2010.

  1. queen_bee09

    queen_bee09 New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi!
    We have 10 hives total, 5 from April packages, and 5 from May packages, and they are going like crazy. While out the other day watching them with my trusty beagle, I noticed a bee acting funny on the grass in front of the hive. When I looked closer, I noticed she had a varroa mite on her. Eventually she kicked it off. I know its not a big deal to spot one of these things, but I was wondering whats the best way to start controlling them naturally? I know screened bottom boards are one of the ways. The thing is, is that we plan the expand greatly, so we need something cost effective. We are looking to have at least 20-30 hives going into winter. Another question is when we do split, should we put them right into deeps, or into nucs? We're not focusing on honey production this year, so its not a concern if we knock down honey production. The May 5 are on a farm and have alfalfa and soybeans to forage on, and the other 5 are right next to a commercial nursery, and crop fields. I guess my question is when is the cutoff for making splits (in southeast Michigan) to ensure that they have enough time to build up and winter properly?
     
  2. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

    Messages:
    2,683
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    hygenic bees are the best. there is sugar dusting and break in brood cycles. In kansas i will do splits clear up into sept if i got drawn comb to put them on. its hard to get them to draw comb once they have switched into getting ready for winter mode. I always split into 5 frame nucs then add another 5 frame on top if needed. My late splits i overwinter in a 5 on 5 deep nuc box configuration. Then in spring when they start to build up in the 2 nucs i split them into 2 hives. I believe wintering in the 5 on 5 the bees winter better than in 10 frame equipment.
     

  3. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

    Messages:
    1,322
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    one relatively cheap method is dusting with powdered sugar, the bees will use the suger the mites fall off into the screened trap and die. The beekeepng supply companies offer a bellows type duster to forcefully spray powdered sugar into every nook and cranny of the colony--and apparently is quite effective. There are obviously other control techinques the best perhaps is using formic acid pads kills almost %100 percent of adults both on bees and the immature and adults in the capped brood cells. But this is not cheap or not as cheap.
    :thumbsup:
    Barry