What is considered a v-mite problem in terms of count number? I tested over the last 24 hours with oiled board and only came up with 2 that dropped out. Should I be concerned? I've read elsewhere that I should treat every year regardless of count numbers. Hive is from a swarm I got 2 months ago that I know nothing about, but they seem to be doing great.
my opinion is that you really need to do a 3 day average for the number to actually be meaningful. there is a wide range of opinions on what is the "magic" number and the target varies with your location. 20-40 is fairly common theme for your general area.
So Wineman, is this the number where a decision is made to treat?
Since I'm doing oils and various routes of treatment, I'm wondering if I should do the three day count?
I have seen colonies with numbers like 60-70 survive the winter but in general I think that once you start to see numbers in the 20-40 range that they stand a good chance of perishing. So I generally try to treat when they are in that range.
From what I have seen, that will save them purely from a varroa perspective but you still could have issues ranging from starvation, old queens and tracheal mites. I have let them go thru the winter with those type of numbers before and some will die and some will survive. I suspect that those that perish also have other stresses such as t-mites. The bees can take a level of t-mites without problem but if you add the stress of varroa then the chance of survival significantly decreases. Also, the varroa numbers will decrease in the winter as the brood rearing ceases but come spring if you have gone into the winter with a varroa population then it will just catch you sooner the next spring or summer. Whereas if you go into the winter with a low population of varroa, young bees often can outrun them thru the summer (but not always).
I have 3 experimental hives that I have been watching the natural mite drop on since spring. One of these days I am going to put Apistan in one, fog the other with FGMO and hopefully add the Apilife thymol stuff to the third and see what kind of drop I get. Sorta curious if there is any fluvalinate resistance these days and what the other other treatments do.
The UGA bee lab says not to treat until the over night mite count is 59-187. The #'s were from a study done at the bee lab. They were trying to find a "economic threshold". A point at which you should treat you hives. This is to help keep beekeepers from treating every year no matter what. If you treat too soon you may lose your crop to late you lose the hive. You can read it on the UGA web sight.
This is the main page. Click on the Disorders link then V-mites link.