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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering on the idea of selectivly treating for mites vs. treating everything with one product.

From mite counts I did I found hives with very light loads, some at or near treatment threashhold and a couple in bad shape.

Thinking the benifit of treating in a few of the low mite count hives would be less than the gain of dimminishing the mites a little. For the hives in the middle of the range I wonder if softer treatments will do enough while saving the strong medicine for the couple infested hives.

This would avoid treating with lower mite counts with chemicals that could cause later resistance but is there a risk of exposing drifting bees to lowered chemical doses as they drift between hives?

Thanks for your thoughts.
 

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Re: Treeat everything same or match treatment to hive condit

Only the drones drift enough to move mites. Drones are diminishing at this time.

Treat only those needing, and only as much as needed.
 

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Re: Treeat everything same or match treatment to hive condit

bee n there...
From mite counts I did I found hives with very light loads, some at or near treatment threashhold and a couple in bad shape.

tecumseh:
some age of hive information would be useful. basically my strategy for rearing treatmentless bees began some time ago by making exactly the same determination you have provided above. from this you utilize the hive showing resistant as next years drone sources.... then treat the remainder with an 'organic' varroa treatment and use these next year for splits and/or increase. I would also rake (pluck and kill) any early drones from these hives that fell into the unacceptable level of varroa infestation.

no matter what product you might use for treatment of whatever, only treat those that need treating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: Treeat everything same or match treatment to hive condit

Good to know you guys are on board with treating only what needs to be treated. I was concerned on some info I was getting locally that was promoting treating everything the same irrespective of infection/infestation levels.

I think it flows with our view of farming in general, use of medicine/antibiotics does have it's place, but not unless clearly needed and not if there is a viable and effective alternative.

All hives with the exception of two swarm captures here were started this year eaither from nucs or single deeps, last years Queens except for some hives that were splits and a couple that we replaced with queens we raised.

The two swarm capture hives have the highest mite counts by far, likely related to not getting spring treatments that the nucs would have. Lesson for me on this, the swarms should have been treated right after they were captured!

I think the plan forming in my head is to treat mites in the couple hives from swarms with chemical strips, the others close to threashold with formic acid or thymol. Then will monitor and treat those that need it later in the fall with oxalic once they are broodless.

Clearly it would be difficult though to pick and choose treatments if I was dealing with 200 hives.
 

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Re: Treeat everything same or match treatment to hive condit

bee n there writes:
Good to know you guys are on board with treating only what needs to be treated. I was concerned on some info I was getting locally that was promoting treating everything the same irrespective of infection/infestation levels.

tecumseh:
some livestock programs (like feedlots) promote treating everything. I would guess lot of folks in the bee pollination business follow this same thinking.

bee n there writes:
Clearly it would be difficult though to pick and choose treatments if I was dealing with 200 hives.

tecumseh:
my numbers now generally varies between 200 and 250 hives. early on I did play around with using organic treatments (sucromid and vaporized oxalic) but once I decide to go treatmentless nothing was a pretty easy choice. picking genetic material for next years bees is another issue but now for me largely is about age or survival over time. without a doubt I was given something of an early (and unknow) boost in the pursuit of treatmentless bees since I started out with treatmentless bees and added more treatmentless bees as I expanded my numbers.
 

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Re: Treeat everything same or match treatment to hive condit

Search Integrated Pest Management IPM. It is determining thresholds, treating with the appropriate method, and rotating treatments to reduce adaptation or resistance. Your bees will appreciate IPM. Overtreatment and undertreatment are worse than none at all.
 
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