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Integrated pest management 2019

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Ok I have been getting requests both on here and outside this forum on how I deal with varroa these days. I don't have a lot of time at the moment to give a full run down at the moment, but the basic methodology behind it is to not let the mites get a chance to reach any dangerous level, which as we know isn't much these days, and secondly make it as cheap as possible. 

I will try and outline in more detail later on, one of the problems I see with suggestions on treatments etc is fitting them into how you manage your hives, and like always what I may do won't work for someone else, so we just make things work for ourselves which is fine it's just a matter of figuring out the best for your management.

Anyway I'll sit down bit later on and write it up and not turn it into a novel. But basically I guess this topic can be used for everyone to outline there seasonal approach as how they deal with varroa. 

Ok I got a bit of time not sure exactly where to start  but here goes. So for the last two years I have been doing up to 7 treatments a year amongst a few other management strategies to combat varroa, theres a few things that have allowed me to do this and a few things that bought it on but that can wait,  I think a brief outline for now will do and maybe though disscuion it can get more in depth.

I have given a bit of  a outline in another topic so sorry for any repeating.

Well start with winter,

I have a chemical in at this stage i useapivar as it has a longer treatment time but I'm thinking alternating chemical  for winters not sure yet, the reason I use this treatment at this time of year is basically because it's the most expensive and it made sense to me that the hives are at there smallest  so I only need minamal application,   this coming winter I'm going to just one strip in the top box, I winter on 2 x 3/4 boxs, the top box is all food.

In early August as soon as weather permits we start our rounds for us that's about 40 sites  so on this round we pull out the apivar snd do a oa dribble 35gm solution and tag any really strong hives, and any drone layers etc, these are the ones we know are going to cause problems later on, it dosen't take to long to do this round about 2=3 weeks, we then quickly go around fix up all queens and feed where needed, we then go around again and do another oa dribble 35gm solution, on this round we start counting brood and what we call leveling up trying to keep all hives at similar strength, the strong ones we marked on last round  that's what we use to level up, we also mark and note anything thats showing signs of being to strong, this round is a bit slower but about 3 weeks,  again it depends on weather. We are now into September the next round we move to a home made thymol, at this stage hives have pretty good strength and growing, so more nucs are made on this round and buy the end we are splitting and still leveling up, we are now going into October  and only weeks away from pollination so this round is when we start putting in oa/gly strips, generally these go on outside of brood they grow into it, this keeps the core brood uninterrupted,  in the past I have added one bayverol also almost center top brood closer to front, this part we are still debating? Any way we are now heading into pollination snd now are only dealing with the odd site that is bit behind  and we off to pollination. As soon as hives are out of pollination we then pull out the bayverol, last year spring we left oa strips in or what was left of them in bottom box but removed what ever was in top brood then on go honey boxs and off to honey.

In late January we start harvesting it takes us about 5 weeks  this is when we add a 80gm FA,  on this round we also push down all queens to bottom box queen exluder dividing boxs, we mark queens any that have changed we kill any old queens and ones we dont like. This is the longest and slowest round of the season. Once harvest done we quickly do another round with another FA 80gm checking food and problems from last round, the next round is oa/gly, in  bottom box where queen is, this round we add nucs to any hives that have not worked and food to hives in areas where food is behind, we are now basicly back to the last round on this round we pull the excluded out and put a apivar in top box for bees to move and cluster around make sure food is ok and basicly thats the season.

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