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john berry

Bavarol, is it still working?

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Last spring I suspected it didn't work as well as I would have expected.
I tried it on a few hives which was showing too many mites in January and it appeared to fail completely.
I then did some trials at home on four single brood box hives each receiving four strips.
Hive 1     2     3     4
       52     33   55     72    6/3   initial alcohol wash before strips went on the same day. Four strips per hive
       37     15    23   63      27/3
       31      22    45  105     6/4

at this stage hive 4 was unsurprisingly showing quite bad PMS and all hives were treated with apivar for the next two months. Surprisingly all of them survive the winter and came through very strong.
Samples of the strips I used in spring and samples from a separate batch used in autumn along with varoa were sent to Bayer who were very helpful and the testing suggested there was nothing wrong with the strips and that the mites were showing no genetic signs of resistance.
I used the correct dosage and the strips were very carefully spaced through the brood nest. Other hives in the same apiary treated with apivar    6/3 were not recorded but I did test a couple of hives after one month and they had few or no mites. I should have done a couple of controls and I regret not doing so but they all survived The winter and had no obvious varoa damage in spring.
There was no obvious reinvasion and anyway I have never had any problems with reinvasion while strips are actually in the hive. To me these results show absolutely that I have resistant varoa but I am interested in other people's interpretation. The strips were in for only one month but I believe if I left them in any longer I would have lost these hives. One month is more than one full brood cycle and there should have been a marked reduction in varoa numbers.
PS. I am not the only Hawke's Bay beekeeper to encounter this problem last season.

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Given @Bayer claim up to 99% efficacy , it would not be unreasonable for them to comment and offer up some form of explanation, on your trial , your results , the reliability of their testing regime for mite resistance and a solution .

You’ll find many beekeepers have lost faith in synthetics , not only Bayvarol , but the producers of the things just don’t believe it .

Why?

 

If for example there is no resistance and the strips work as intended , is there another external factor interfering with their efficacy?

And if so , what ?. 

Edited by M4tt
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It still works for me down here.. I had some collapsing colonies of my own in autumn, I vaporised once .. emergency treatment as I was awaiting payment for my Honey to buy some strips.. 

had a big phoretic drop following that dose, bayvarol turned them around and found them booming come July.. pics have been posted. 

Going forward I will run ox staples (currently all in) for entire season, post harvest maybe a dose of bayvarol then staples in again winter. 

I think a treatment programme that has zero time untreated through the whole year is best for me. 

No chance to give the crawlies a break to build up. 

For me... two treatments per season is simply not enough. 

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Synthetics still kill a lot of varroa in my hives .

But we got varroa later in our area.

Do you think it is inevitable they will fail here too.

Or could they be managed to keep them viable .

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Is there some other parameter that’s messing them up? Heat/cold/damp or something? Would be good if testing could be done independently.

 

Mark Goodwin & Michelle Taylor suggest testing for Apistan resistance in Control of Varroa (the green book) on page 171. It’s basically putting bees in a jar for a day with some sugar and a strip. Count the fall, then alcohol wash and work out the kill percentage. Any less than 10 varroa and the sample was too small. Any less than a 50% kill rate is a very bad sign. summarised to an extent that has probably added inaccuracies.

 

Might not be transferable to Bayvarol but someone here might know?

Edited by cBank
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1 minute ago, kaihoka said:

Synthetics still kill a lot of varroa in my hives .

But we got varroa later in our area.

Do you think it is inevitable they will fail here too.

Or could they be managed to keep them viable .

There’s been posts on this site where beekeepers that should know better were only half treating with synthetics, contrary to directions on the packet. .theres too many variables in how they are applied I think it’s inevitable that resistance will occur here too even though tests have shown non resistant mites. 

You get a feel about it when you open thousands of hives per season.. regardless of what the tests say. 

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2 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

Synthetics still kill a lot of varroa in my hives .

But we got varroa later in our area.

Do you think it is inevitable they will fail here too.

Or could they be managed to keep them viable .

You never really know until they don’t work 

ie you open the hive weeks into treatment and find mites on Bees 

 

Happened here in the spring of 2014, I think , and I’ve been shy of them ever since .

 

Most of the problem here I attribute to many beekeepers with lots of hives in varying states of condition and care ,

but that doesn’t excuse mites on bees while the strips are still in .

 

I’d like a good answer too 

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3 minutes ago, cBank said:

Might not be transferable to Bayvarol but someone here might know?

Yeh it is , but it’s more what’s happening in the hive , or not , that needs sorting out 

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31 minutes ago, john berry said:

varoa were sent to Bayer who were very helpful and the testing suggested there was nothing wrong with the strips and that the mites were showing no genetic signs of resistance

keep in mind that afaik they are only looking at the spots where they have found mutations before. doesn't mean resistance cannot occur elsewhere. 

if anyone finds any more "resistant mites" i think it would be good to talk to @JohnF

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Just now, tristan said:

keep in mind that afaik they are only looking at the spots where they have found mutations before. doesn't mean resistance cannot occur elsewhere. 

if anyone finds any more "resistant mites" i think it would be good to talk to @JohnF

Good point and that reminds me , did anything come of those mites I sent you @JohnF regarding Apivar ? 

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I guess there are just too many variables for the manufacturer to consider there is yet a real problem even if it certainly appears there may be.

I was happy with the result of using Bayvarol last Autumn. I did move them to follow the brood in some cases. I was marginally late placing them and may not have had the same success if left any later at all.

@tristan, I think you had said you don't use Bayvarol? What lead up to this? Was there a problem with it previously?

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12 minutes ago, Stoney said:

Going forward I will run ox staples (currently all in) for entire season, post harvest maybe a dose of bayvarol then staples in again winter. 

 

What’s the consensus view on this - ie treating while supers are on? If it’s ok it seems a no brainer but my reading of the regulations leaves me somewhere between unclear and ‘it’s not allowed’ - especially as Oa occurs naturally. Oa is approved, paper strips aren’t and Gl...?

 

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We are finding that our hives are now not responding to Bavarol, even with following packet guidelines..

We did a Bavarol treatment in Autumn, correct strip no. per hive, correct duration. When I removed the strips I had a look through and some hives still had significant mite numbers, and I have seen whilst doing a brief late-winter check that hive health appears to be lower (There are highly likely other factors contributing to this), and that DWV is apparent in an amount of newborn bees. 

 


 

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26 minutes ago, cBank said:

 

What’s the consensus view on this - ie treating while supers are on? If it’s ok it seems a no brainer but my reading of the regulations leaves me somewhere between unclear and ‘it’s not allowed’ - especially as Oa occurs naturally. Oa is approved, paper strips aren’t and Gl...?

 

As an own use treatment it is up to the user to ensure that the treatment leaves no harmful residues in the Honey for sale.
So if there are no detectable residues and the treatment meets other requirements within the rules then its ok.

Edited by Philbee
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Used old barely in date strips that worked well so is there a possibility of change of formulation? Still same chemical/active constituent but dud batch. Happens with medications and at least with that there is some signal with change of packaging or brand name as controls more rigorous. Just a thought.

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40 minutes ago, Ali said:

@tristan, I think you had said you don't use Bayvarol? What lead up to this? Was there a problem with it previously?

i've mentioned the story a few times.

resistance was found probably 5 or so years ago by a neighboring beek.

we where running high losses the following season including on some remote sites (no chance of invasion). changed to apivar. been pretty much solidly apivar since, with some use of bayvarol in the last few years. (not ideal)

trouble now is there is so many hives around that its hard to discount invasion. have found a few hives in the last few seasons with high mites with apivar. but can't say its resistance or not.

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What treatments do you rotate or is it apivar 

14 minutes ago, tristan said:

i've mentioned the story a few times.

resistance was found probably 5 or so years ago by a neighboring beek.

we where running high losses the following season including on some remote sites (no chance of invasion). changed to apivar. been pretty much solidly apivar since, with some use of bayvarol in the last few years. (not ideal)

trouble now is there is so many hives around that its hard to discount invasion. have found a few hives in the last few seasons with high mites with apivar. but can't say its resistance or not.

Do you use apivar only? 

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1 hour ago, cBank said:

Is there some other parameter that’s messing them up? Heat/cold/damp or something? Would be good if testing could be done independently.

 

Mark Goodwin & Michelle Taylor suggest testing for Apistan resistance in Control of Varroa (the green book) on page 171. It’s basically putting bees in a jar for a day with some sugar and a strip. Count the fall, then alcohol wash and work out the kill percentage. Any less than 10 varroa and the sample was too small. Any less than a 50% kill rate is a very bad sign. summarised to an extent that has probably added inaccuracies.

 

Might not be transferable to Bayvarol but someone here might know?

 

George @Bayer has said that Bayvarol-specific kits (the test is called the Pettis test described above) are coming out soon. Perhaps he can comment further

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Up until last year I never had any trouble with the efficacy of bayvarol , indeed I generally found that 5 to 6 weeks treatment was more than enough especially in autumn to give me zero mites. I have no reason to dispute Bayer's findings, they have been extremely helpful and good to deal with but they just don't seem to realise that something new is going on. I think they have a wonderful product and would like something done to try and keep it useful for as long as possible in as many hives as possible. I am now in the situation where I have only one synthetic treatment which is not good for resistance with apivar either. I would love to try some oxalic staples but I also have to be sure I can sell my honey and it's way past time MPI got off their butts and gave us a definitive answer as to whether we can use it or not. The official gobbledygook that I got in reply to my request as to whether it was legal or not just doesn't answer the question.

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1 hour ago, tristan said:

keep in mind that afaik they are only looking at the spots where they have found mutations before. doesn't mean resistance cannot occur elsewhere. 

if anyone finds any more "resistant mites" i think it would be good to talk to @JohnF

 

It sort of does mean that Tristan - the region is the active site (ie target !) of the pyrethroids. Our test detects and differentiates any one of the 3 current mutations but also scans the active site region looking for other changes. However none found to date. We have some new samples into check at the moment

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15 minutes ago, Stoney said:

What treatments do you rotate or is it apivar 

Do you use apivar only? 

"been pretty much solidly apivar since, with some use of bayvarol in the last few years. (not ideal)"

 

we simply had no choice. bayvarol simply didn't work at all, not talking a few hives but entire sites and multiple sites.

 tho in the last few years its seams to be working ok but thats only with limited use.

 

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1 hour ago, M4tt said:

Good point and that reminds me , did anything come of those mites I sent you @JohnF regarding Apivar ? 

 

Apivar @M4tt ? I thought they were for Bayvarol resistance. We did not see any of the DNA mutations but we're going to test more of your mites.

As far as I know, the claim from the manufacturers is that there has been no described resistance to Apivar yet. Perhaps that means no 'documented DNA mutations conferring resistance to Apivar' . . .but I don't know

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A long time Beek mate of mine recons the problem is that Beeks are not casing the Brood with the strips.

They are also probably not placing them well initially.
It could be that there is a significant scope for error within these few critical details.

Edited by Philbee
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Here's how mine were placed, right through the brood combs.

 

 

IMG_1137.jpg

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3 minutes ago, Philbee said:

A long time Beek mate of mine recons the problem is that Beeks are not casing the Brood with the strips.

They are also probably not placing them well initially.
It could be that there is a significant scope for error within these few critical details.

casing the brood ??

 

i don't think placement is super critical unless the hive is weak.

 

but heres another thought. if the hive is crashing, caused by non-varrroa issues, then brood size can shrink and move away from treatment. it also gives varroa a big change in mite-bee ratio. so in effect it looks like a varroa issue but it could well be other issues instead.

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