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I did a sugar shake test on my hives yesterday and one of them had a varroa count of 10, but the sample probably had around 400 bees in it. That seems a bit high for this time of the year, but 'Practical beekeeping in NZ' says treat if there are 40 or more, and 'Control of Varroa' has a threshold of 65 mites.

 

What do other people use as a threshold?

 

I could treat now as this hive was split and is rebuilding at the moment, but am unsure if it is necessary.

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Hi,

 

Yes I agree with @yesbut I would treat.

 

Also remember to do another count after treatment to make sure it worked.

 

Have a look at the Green Varroa Book by Mark Goodwin and think his recommendation is 3 per 300 bees.

 

We talk more about this and how to do a sugar shake HERE

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Apiguard treatment applied today. The hive did have a frame of drone comb that I had installed some time ago, about 75% of the frame was sealed brood. Decided to discard the brood and comb as I anticipated significant/reasonable amounts of varroa in the drone comb, but I inspected at least 1/2 of the sealed brood with a comb/needle tool and did not see a single varroa. Hmm, I have much to learn.

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Fairly new to it so watched the youtube video. I put 2 X 25g sachets onto the cardboard 'trays' and placed them on top of the lower brood chamber and put the upper brood chamber over them. I'm using 3/4 depth equipment.There is enough space between the top of the lower frames and the frames for the flat cardboard tray.

I have a screened bottom board so i 'sealed' it up with a piece of corflute.

Hopefully I got it right, will check towards the end of next week.

 

 

check the hive it was split from too

I did check the other half of the split, only 2 varroa in the sugar shake test. That half got a queen cell & probably had a 2 and a bit week brood break which may have helped.

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Apiguard is a slow and long treatment, well suited when there is higher day time temps. It won't kill mites in brood until the brood emerges and the mites come out with the bee.

You also don't want it tainting your honey, which may be difficult to manage when your flow kicks off.

Check hive weekly to see if your bee numbers are increasing or decreasing

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Each was a week apart, the last would have been 6 or 7 weeks ago.

Ok... I am not expert on OA but from what I have experienced, That isnt enough. You will have had good control back then however they will have restocked over the past 6 weeks to be a problem now.... Your best bet would prob be another full course of OA.... However there are others around who only use 'organics' who will be able to offer more advice....

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Maybe need to plan on 2 OA treatments in spring before the flow in future?

Oxalic vapour treatments work, but you need to be right in top of your monitoring , and acting fast when you need to . Good on you for giving it a go . A really handy treatment to have on hand is MAQS, which is also organic, if that's your choice, and has fast knockdown, kills mites in brood and can turn your hive around quickly if needed

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would it be fair to say that OA is good to treat the winter bees in early spring when there is not much brood and temperatures are too cold for opening hives, but less effective during spring buildup of summer bees with masses of capped brood? It might be BS, but I try to avoid any treatments when I get the feeling winter bees are at the end of their life and summer bees not yet born; so there is a bit of a no-go region in between. For hives that test positive to need treatment during spring build up, maqs (formic acid gel pads) becomes the option because it is effective on capped brood. As for organic versus synthetic, it is a non-issue for me. Firstly nothing other than OA can be used in cold temperatures with no/little brood (because I don't want to open the hive) and secondly nothing has beaten maqs for cost effectiveness and fast knockdown for a large strong healthy hive. I'm still glad we started with apivar and bayvarol, and I think I'd probably recommend to bk's newer than me to go through that. I have never used apiguard and from what small amount I have seen, can't imagine I will. In the future, I might sometimes use a single apivar strip on Nuc's if for some reason I think they are fragile and can't handle OA or a half of a maqs, we will see where we are next autumn when we get there..

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will oxalic acid treatment cause harm to a newly emerged queen?

no idea, but I think it is a risk I would never take. I never conduct any treatments if a colony does not have a queen that is not mated / laying. Thus for some late season nuc's the OA was a good option because I had delayed and delayed treatment until the cell/ virgin/ queen was all sorted and proven.

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I can't quite remember the latest price but I do remember my thoughts.

Our last purchase was $8.20+GST for a double brood box equates to $4.10 per FD brood box. If you buy commercially prepared treatments, then that is pretty good. If you only run single boxes of brood it is still under the synthetics, but only just and does not represent a big saving. If you attended any of the presentations of the NZ maqs road trip, then you may still be working through a free supply from your freezer...

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