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Timw

Pesky mites

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I’ve been treating the TBH - very strong hive -  with OAV each 4 days for a month with a consistent drop of 30 odd pesky mites. The autumn approaches (although not much sign of it in Auckland!). I’m considering Apivar as an autumn treatments or March April. Is it worth continuing OAV till then? Other suggestions. Plan to leave all honey in for the winter (about 8 bars full)

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I did a lot on this about 3 years ago. I found in my area the bees never go broodless in winter and while there is any brood rearing going on, that OAV  is not a viable treatment, it only allows you to tread water. As a winter tonic for a hive without brood it is great and in Europe on the continental landmass where it does get cold enough so that brood raising ceases, OAV is perfect for them.  Once every four days is a lot of work to achieve basically nothing.

 

Some use apivar in spring and bayvarol in autumn or vice versa to suit their circumstances, that's good. If yours have been breeding mites all year you might consider apistan instead of bayvarol for a one-off. Seriously recommend a sugar shake or alcohol wash at this point.

 

We have been using OAG staples as per the long running thread on this forum in our TBH and have had great results. Unlike the thread itself.

 

Depending on size of colony, leaving too much honey does put a target on their back if they can't defend it. I would normally allow capped honey and brood in equal areas. So if you have less than 8 combs of brood, then take some of the honey off and store it to one side for now, maybe in the freezer.

 

Anyway, that is my 5c.

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Thanks @ChrisM  I treated with Apistan while away November December and it was v effective - however some potential issues with likely start of honey flow. Agree about winter here with brood throughout. I’ve read a bit about caging the queen to create a brood break but she a good newish queen and I don’t fancy the associated risk. I’ll think about staples but currently favour the Bayvarol Apivar approach. Will sugar shake and thanks for the honey advice
 

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November-December seems quite late for a Spring treatment to be in and April is quite late for an Autumn treatment; in my area.

 

Some of those around you may be installing treatments August-September and then again Feb-March.

In respect of flow, future harvest and reinvasion, it might be better to bring your calendar forwards slightly.

If strips go in end of August they could come out mid November; especially if you need strips in when pollination circus is in full swing.

Our Autumn treatments go in Feb and will all be in by early March.

 

 

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@ChrisM sugar shake during inspection of the TBH per your advice. 2 mites! So the repeated 4 day  OAV appears to have been effective. Do you still advocate an autumn bayvarol now or would you continue with OAV into winter. I’ve got strips ready.  

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Timw said:

@ChrisM sugar shake during inspection of the TBH per your advice. 2 mites! So the repeated 4 day  OAV appears to have been effective. Do you still advocate an autumn bayvarol now or would you continue with OAV into winter. I’ve got strips ready.  

 

a result of 2 mites in 300 bees is less than 1% which is pretty good, so you are ahead of the curve and not in a panic. Yes, if you have finished harvest or wont do one, then there seems no reason not to treat. The colony population will be sinking back for winter and the mite population will only get bigger. So, I would put in the strips and then once they are out/finished do another sugar shake at that time to confirm numbers. If you like doing the OAV and it is working for you and you have spare time to do it, then by all means keep doing what you're doing since it is working for you. But I'd advocate a longer slower continuous treatment as opposed to OAV that is a flash treatment and a winter tonic.

 

Did you look at total brood comb area versus honey area and consider a small harvest? If you are not keen to harvest there is still the option of removing the surplus, cutting into 2L ice cream containers and freezing this as a feed backup, come September when colony ramps back up, but forage and weather may or may not.

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Thanks. There’s slightly more honey to brood area. The colony is v strong and I’m inclined to leave it in and keep an eye (it’s on the front deck). I think also it’s a good thermal barrier in the colder weather. I’ll go with bayvarol as that hive got Apistan in November so can’t argue the “organic” line in that hive and i agree with your slow continuous approach. I’ll test the Warre in the next couple of days - sugar shake - and if it’s also <1% I will consider continuing with OAV as a efficacy comparison in my back garden. Really appreciate this conversation. Had some good input from my knowledgeable arborist beek friend Nick Holmes now based in Whangarei https://i.stuff.co.nz/life-style/food-wine/91756186/warre-hives-providing-new-zealands-most-natural-honey

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3 hours ago, ChrisM said:

 

a result of 2 mites in 300 bees is less than 1% which is pretty good, so you are ahead of the curve and not in a panic. Yes, if you have finished harvest or wont do one, then there seems no reason not to treat. The colony population will be sinking back for winter and the mite population will only get bigger. So, I would put in the strips and then once they are out/finished do another sugar shake at that time to confirm numbers. If you like doing the OAV and it is working for you and you have spare time to do it, then by all means keep doing what you're doing since it is working for you. But I'd advocate a longer slower continuous treatment as opposed to OAV that is a flash treatment and a winter tonic.

thoughts on sticking to vapour for another few weeks before adding strips to ensure treatment still in as the re-invasion from collapsing hives nearby starts to bite?

1 hour ago, Timw said:

Had some good input from my knowledgeable arborist beek friend Nick Holmes now based in Whangarei https://i.stuff.co.nz/life-style/food-wine/91756186/warre-hives-providing-new-zealands-most-natural-honey

say hi to nick from dave with bees from tomahawk. Last time i saw him was at the airport in dunedin. From memory he got into warre around the time i ran a topbar workshop at my place, pros and cons, all that - had both at that stage

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15 hours ago, tommy dave said:

thoughts on sticking to vapour for another few weeks before adding strips to ensure treatment still in as the re-invasion from collapsing hives nearby starts to bite?

say hi to nick from dave with bees from tomahawk. Last time i saw him was at the airport in dunedin. From memory he got into warre around the time i ran a topbar workshop at my place, pros and cons, all that - had both at that stageThanks. There’s slightly more honey to brood area. The colony is v strong and I’m inclined to leave it in and keep an eye (it’s on the front deck). I think also it’s a good thermal barrier in the colder weather. I’ll go with bayvarol as that hive got Apistan in November so can’t argue the “organic” line in that hive and i agree with your slow continuous approach. I’ll test the Warre in the next couple of days - sugar shake - and if it’s also <1% I will consider continuing with OAV as a efficacy comparison in my back garden. Really appreciate this conversation. Had some good input from my knowledgeable arborist beek friend Nick Holmes now based in Whangarei https://i.stuff.co.nz/life-style/food-wine/91756186/warre-hives-providing-new-zealands-most-natural-honey

@tommy dave - yep on reflection I’m going continue with AOV a few weeks then add the strips. Nick is back to prune in a few weeks so will pass on your regards 

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