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Wildflower

NZBF Rediculous amount of varroa mites on bottom board.

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Applied Apistan early Spring. All 3 hives look good now and are building up nicely.

When cleaning up though, one hive board was covered with varroa mites. 

Am I to assume these are dead from treatment? I check weekly and will keep a keen eye on them. But if varroa is still present what do I do seeing as the honey flow has started. They were treated with thymol wafers in Autumn. One wafer must have dropped into bottom of box.

20191228_115649.jpg

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4 hours ago, Wildflower said:

Am I to assume these are dead from treatment?

well, they've definitely died from something..

Have you considered doing a sugar shake or alcohol wash of nurse bees off a couple of brood frames to get a better feel for it?

Edited by ChrisM
typos

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14 hours ago, ChrisM said:

well, they've definitely died from something..

Have you considered doing a sugar shake or alcohol wash of nurse bees off a couple of brood frames to get a better feel for it?

I knew that would be one of the responses. 🙂

At this stage I would love for them to build up a bit more.  But definately will be very regular in checking.When doing a sugar shake ( must google how) do any of the bees die? 

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1 hour ago, Wildflower said:

 

At this stage I would love for them to build up a bit more.  But definately will be very regular in checking.When doing a sugar shake ( must google how) do any of the bees die? 

You have been loosing a lot of bees to varroa, so if one or two die in a sugar shake, still worth it to get a grip on real numbers. In over ten years involved in hobby groups, I have never met a hobbyist who had been able to get any thymol treatment to work properly - including an AP 2 using it at a club apiary. Comes back to why we try and get newbees to use conventional treatments for the first three years - there is nothing at all 'organic' about watching colonies dying from varroa.

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Hi Wildflower - Is this Eyrewell, Nth Canty?  I always think one of the great ways for beekeepers to learn is join a club.  Unfortunately, I do realise in rural areas people are practising in isolation.  I think the nearest club to you might be some distance a way and that would be I think the North Canterbury Beekeepers Club http://ncbeeclub.org.nz/  There next meeting is in February, and my recommendation would be that you attend this, and see if they have a member in your area that you can buddy up with, and the two of you can grow your beekeeping knowledge together. 

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5 hours ago, Wildflower said:

do any of the bees die? 

not in my experience. I actually shake the container so hard as if I'm actually trying to kill them, but so far as I know, I never have done that. They then spend the rest of the afternoon licking off icing sugar; so its not all bad. However, if you don't have nurse bees over more than two frames of brood, then it is a bit more of a concern and 'the horse may already have bolted'.

4 hours ago, Sailabee said:

have never met a hobbyist who had been able to get any thymol treatment to work properly - including an AP 2

 

Same for me. I have never used thymol because I've only read of people having problems with it and I figure that smarter people than me have tried and failed so why should I?

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14 hours ago, Wildflower said:

I knew that would be one of the responses. 🙂

At this stage I would love for them to build up a bit more.  But definately will be very regular in checking.When doing a sugar shake ( must google how) do any of the bees die? 

You have been here a long time now.

If you dont make a determined effort to up your game I can see you in the same situation in 5 years time

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On 29/12/2019 at 9:32 PM, Philbee said:

You have been here a long time now.

If you dont make a determined effort to up your game I can see you in the same situation in 5 years time

Sounds a tad nasty but oh well. Doing my best. Haven't yet killed a hive. And yep thymol wasn't good in Winter.

Watch this space.

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That's strange looking material for a bottom board, what is it? Could it be that those mites are embedded in it and have been there a long time?

 

Anyhow, if you determine those mites are recent, it would pay to treat for them sooner rather than later. Is there any dead brood?

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2 hours ago, Wildflower said:

Sounds a tad nasty but oh well. Doing my best. Haven't yet killed a hive. And yep thymol wasn't good in Winter.

Watch this space.

Not intended to be nasty.
Mite monitoring is now the norm.

Experience teaches us that controlling Mites and maintaining good Hive health is much more than simply knocking the Mites back twice a season.
There is a High probability that the hive with that ridiculous Mite drop is now actually severely damaged and even if the count drops to zero it will take a long time to recover, if it ever does recover

 

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On 29/12/2019 at 9:33 AM, Maggie James said:

Hi Wildflower - Is this Eyrewell, Nth Canty?  I always think one of the great ways for beekeepers to learn is join a club.  Unfortunately, I do realise in rural areas people are practising in isolation.  I think the nearest club to you might be some distance a way and that would be I think the North Canterbury Beekeepers Club http://ncbeeclub.org.nz/  There next meeting is in February, and my recommendation would be that you attend this, and see if they have a member in your area that you can buddy up with, and the two of you can grow your beekeeping knowledge together. 

I am a member of both of the north Canterbury bee clubs. One of which made the thymol wafers. I have never lost a hive but prob prefer chemical treatment to be safe. 

8 minutes ago, Philbee said:

Not intended to be nasty.
Mite monitoring is now the norm.

Experience teaches us that controlling Mites and maintaining good Hive health is much more than simply knocking the Mites back twice a season.
There is a High probability that the hive with that ridiculous Mite drop is now actually severely damaged and even if the count drops to zero it will take a long time to recover, if it ever does recover

 

 All 3 hives seem happy and well. Increasing nicely. I have never lost a hive. My main loss early Spring was due to robbing. I replaced a FD on bottom with 3/4 with my best frames. Didn't realise I was setting them up for being robbed. Made worse by having a Hive Dr that the sugar crystals dropped out of.

Will treat again if neccessary. They are filling 2 x 3/4 boxes nicely at moment and bringing in a good amount of honey. Likely I will read up about the sugar shake again to be sure. Yes I will use chemical treatments if needed. I will also keep an eye on the freshly cleaned bottom board.

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I would personally be hard pressed to believe that it is possible to manufacture thymol wafers which have any real efficacy - it  is very volatile, and therefore would be unlikely to hold enough to actually work - just supposing the ambient temperature was suitable. There could be questions about the legality manufacturing a treatment for others, but at least you have managed to keep the colony alive and treat with a proper treatment which is the plus in the story.

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I did some relatively extensive trials using different thymol products some time ago. All products were used according to instructions and all failed to control varoa adequately indeed some of the mite counts went up during the treatment. Even when they partially worked they still left enough varoa to do damage.

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On 31/12/2019 at 3:44 PM, Sailabee said:

. There could be questions about the legality manufacturing a treatment for others, 

On 31/12/2019 at 1:05 PM, Wildflower said:

One of which made the thymol wafers. I have never lost a hive but prob prefer chemical treatment to be safe

 

Wasn't the same club that was illegally making and selling oxalic strips as ready.to.go treatments that turned out to be dud was it?

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16 hours ago, tommy dave said:
On ‎31‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 3:44 PM, Sailabee said:

 

Wasn't the same club that was illegally making and selling oxalic strips as ready.to.go treatments that turned out to be dud was it?

 

Tell us more.  Details?

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47 minutes ago, Maggie James said:

 

Tell us more.  Details?

 

I'm sorry, I don't know which either of those clubs was, was only pointing out the legal niceties. Perhaps OP would share?

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On 4/01/2020 at 8:46 PM, tommy dave said:

Wasn't the same club that was illegally making and selling oxalic strips as ready.to.go treatments that turned out to be dud was it?

I don't know details of what happened in this specific case, but in general if club members pool together to do something that would be entirely legal for any one of them to do on their own as an individual, then it is still legal when the club members pool together to do it too, possibly at better economies of scale. Where it gets into trouble is if non-members are also buying. Thus everyone has to pay up and join as a member first.

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