The other day I was crouching beside my hive observing the activity at the entrance and I saw some bees climbing in the grass. I figured they were old bees on their way into retirement so I started picking each one up on my fingers to admire. I soon found several within 2-10 feet of the hive who had mangled wings. I hoped they were just worn out wings, but I worry that they were mangled in the brood cell by V-mite interference. Further from the hive, about 15 feet, I picked up a little bee and I believe I saw a rusty colored mite on the back of the shoulders. Before I got a good look, it flew away.
The thing I saw matched what I've seen in the pictures on-line of Varroa. The hive-ware is brand-new this year, but the bees came from a split off the hive I began last year. I've had my first super on for a week and the colony seems very strong and is packing the hive bodies with brood and honey.
Who can recommend a treatment that won't interfere with honey production this summer? Should I get a screened bottom board? Should I try grease-patties or oils? Should I treat the other hive that was split? I just took frames from this hive to make my nuc, which I wrote about last week.
Thanks, Mike Mundy
[This message has been edited by mmundy (edited June 17, 2003).]
Everyone has their favorite method. Axtman may be right and the oxalic acid strips might work. I've seen the Apistan fail and I've seen the Cumophos wipe out the bees. I'm using FGMO, SSB and small cells. I had gone all spring without seeing a mite until this last weekend and found some on my drop boards. Just because you have a mite doesn't mean it's all over.
You can't use the Apistan or the Cumophos (Check mite) with supers on. You CAN use the FGMO and the SSB. Small cell is a bit of a long term plan, but I would recommend it (see the Point of View by Ed and Dee Lusby). There is also the drone magnet method (see article on this site, I think it's under "Elements of Beekeeping".