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Increased numbers of varroa


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Noticed today a much increased presence of varroa in the drone brood. Have a ¾ frame in FD brood box as drone trap (as suggested in one of @Trevor Gillbanks highly educational videos) prior to today have only seen the occasional mite on the drone brood, today had no trouble finding ten.

Should I be doing something or wait it out till autumn?

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Noticed today a much increased presence of varroa in the drone brood. Have a ¾ frame in FD brood box as drone trap (as suggested in one of Trevor Gilbanks highly educational videos) prior to today have only seen the occasional mite on the drone brood, today had no trouble finding ten.

Should I be doing something or wait it out till autumn?

Personally I would treat with an Organic Acid .

Formic would be my choice.

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I am in same boat I treated the hives that had varroa in spring. But now I have 1 that is showing varroa that had none in spring.

@Philbee are you meaning mite away strips, bayvarol or a vaporizer with formic acid?

Thank you

I use the DIY equivalent to MAQS.

OA may be an emergency option also (Vaporised)

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today had no trouble finding ten.

Should I be doing something or wait it out till autumn?

that's not a very accurate way to describe the level of infection.

if for example you found 10 varroa in about 100 drones then your hive will be too infected by autumn.

 

i'm in a similar situation with some hives. so i am considering to leave them for a few more weeks till honey is off and treat then or treat right away. probably formic acid.

but waiting a few month would be too late.

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Hi all and thanks,

sorry about the vagueness, I would say 10mites in around 75 drone brood( guess-timate)

There is a new beekeeping shop here in Whangarei, seems like a good excuse to go gear hunting. So with honey supers on, there's no harm with either the Formic Acid or MAQS?

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You need to do a sugar shake which, when done properly, will give you a relatively accurate indication of the load of varroa in your hive.

Rational treatment decisions can then be made, rather than treating anxiety.

 

This thread has gone ahead of itself, i.e. the answer is being asked for which treatment should I use, before a decision to treat has been made.

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Before I make a sugar shake jar... is the mite drop method an accurate method?

I have the technosetbee floor with vented base which I wonder if this would be suitable for the drop test.

 

I suppose could try both to evaluate. Any thoughts? Should I just stick to the sugar shake?

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I found a huge number of varroa in one of my hives, the hive was a split I made just over a month ago, after 2 weeks their honey store were depleted so I put some 3/4 honey frames into the FD split, after a while the bees filled the bottom of the 3/4 frames with comb and the queen layer drones in the comb, I removed the excess comb in the weekend as it was all capped and found at least 3-4 varroa in nearly all cells, I done a sugar shake on the hive and had a zero count, I also done another shake on the hive next to it and got a zero count, I manually uncapped most of the other drone brood amongst the brood frames and found no varroa, just in the drone comb under the 3/4 frame, the varroa must of been hanging around the drone comb waiting for it to be capped and all jumped in at once! This has since convinced me to have drone management frames in my hive since it show it has real results, just as Trev show us in his video.

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I suppose could try both to evaluate. Any thoughts? Should I just stick to the sugar shake?

Hi @Deon. The problem with natural mite drop is that you can't easily extrapolate it to give a colony percentage mite loading.

 

Let's say you pull your board after 24hrs and count 10 mites, what does that mean? If 2% of mites fall off every day then there would be 500 mites in the hive. Perhaps the hive has 30,000 bees then that's a mite load of over 1%. That might suggest it's acceptable to wait and treat later when the honey comes off.

 

But hang on, the mite population is expanding. So that might be 2% of the old mites falling meanwhile all the young mites are holding on or hunkered down in brood cells. Then what if my guess is wrong and it's 0.5% falling, now there are 2000+ mites. Bees not as strong? 20,000 maybe, now suddenly we're up over 10%.

 

It's all based on guesswork. The only thing you can conclude from a natural mite drop is that fewer or more mites fell today than did another day. It tells you very little about the actual mite load per bee.

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I was under the understanding that checking a certain number of capped drone brood and counting the varroa was an accurate method of checking?

I don't know about accurate but it will definitely give a good idea of where the mite population is headed. Multiple adult mites in brood equals big increase coming.

 

Even sugar shake has its limitations. It can only measure phoretic mites. So really you need to look at the colony as a whole, its treatment history and use all the tools available to make an informed decision.

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Today went into the hive and did my first sugar shake test which only yielded one mite, so either the drone trapping is working or it was a poor attempt at the test, I used the mesh from an old sieve is this ok or too fine?

It will be interesting to see what is on the drone brood in a couple of weeks to see if the numbers are still on the increase.

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Today went into the hive and did my first sugar shake test which only yielded one mite, so either the drone trapping is working or it was a poor attempt at the test, I used the mesh from an old sieve is this ok or too fine?

It will be interesting to see what is on the drone brood in a couple of weeks to see if the numbers are still on the increase.

You should use 4mm mesh to do the test with....

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Today went into the hive and did my first sugar shake test which only yielded one mite, so either the drone trapping is working or it was a poor attempt at the test, I used the mesh from an old sieve is this ok or too fine?

It will be interesting to see what is on the drone brood in a couple of weeks to see if the numbers are still on the increase.

Yes the mesh is too fine. you'll need to use a number 4 mesh.

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Hey, guys, this is a beginner thread and we should go back to the basics before getting enough formic acid to kill a few people.

 

Does the hive need treatment for varroa now ? Not decided yet, and by the time a sugar shaker system is set up and used it will nearly be time for late summer treatments anyway.

 

So I would suggest slotting into an autumn treatment with strips (if resistance is not an issue where the bk is) ?

Or use formic acid strips (MAQS) if that is the way to go, as the chance of making a mess with home made formic delivery systems sounds like 90%.

 

i.e. keep it easy, simple and safe.

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Hey, guys, this is a beginner thread and we should go back to the basics before getting enough formic acid to kill a few people.

 

Does the hive need treatment for varroa now ? Not decided yet, and by the time a sugar shaker system is set up and used it will nearly be time for late summer treatments anyway.

 

So I would suggest slotting into an autumn treatment with strips (if resistance is not an issue where the bk is) ?

Or use formic acid strips (MAQS) if that is the way to go, as the chance of making a mess with home made formic delivery systems sounds like 90%.

 

i.e. keep it easy, simple and safe.

In this case I do think it is appropriate to split the thread..... From what I have read in this thread it is missing the most critical thing about FA.... That is.... it is VERY VERY DANGEROUS STUFF! breath one breath of fumes and you risk burning your lungs FOREVER and until it is better processed and safer to handle (like MAQS) PPE should be MINIMUM of chemical gloves, apron, suitable boots and breathing apparatus. it is DANGEROUS stuff. So, Lets remove it!

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