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  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Whitefield, Maine USA
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    6,624

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    >what hurts the hive more
    the varroa or the OA?

    The varroa!
    Dulcius ex asperis

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
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    George

    you paint a grim picture
    here's a thought nobody mentions
    how bout the queen?
    are some queens damaged by varroa and other not?
    if you raise 10 queens and 5 are parisitized by varroa and 5 are not, how does that effect there performace?
    are the queens who aren't damaged by mites better able to recover from the dire situation we're talking about?

    ignore my poor spelling, I still have my foot in my mouth from another post

    Dave

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
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    2,470

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    George,

    I had the same idea some time back, but never felt the need to implement such a fix. One of the things I wondered about was the load that you'd be placing on the hive by placing the previously frozen frames back into the hives. That's a big clean-up task.

    Regarding your statement:
    "You're raising sucky, weak, short-lived bees that can never pay their own energy bill. "

    I think this is heavily a function of how badly the bees are affected by the mite load. Of course shriveled winged bees will never pay their own bill, but if the bees can fly they stand a chance of contributing to hive's resources. They're certainly not going to overwinter, but they may bring some return.

    Overall, itÂ’s probably not an approach a rookie should attempt. I'd suggest perhaps a combination punch, of a heavy knock down, like those suggested, e.g., OA, Sucrocide, followed up with a time released agent, e.g., Apiguard, (even strips for a one-time use).

    I'd really like to hear form someone who may have tried "pull and freeze" approach.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Whitefield, Maine USA
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    >you paint a grim picture

    Yep Dave, that would be me. I'm not particularly good at painting rosy sweet smelling pictures, and I don't think rosy pictures and an optimistic prognosis really serve much purpose when talking about varroa mites. Granted, not all hives with mites are doomed, but they do kill a lot of hives and the mechanism by which they do so is relatively simple, but I think, often misunderstood. I lost a pile of hives last year to mites. I watched what happened and I studied mites and their life cycle. In classic cases of heavy varroa mite infestation, most hives ARE doomed. Few hives showing classic symptoms of PMS in early August are going to make it through to spring. There are exceptions of course- 2 of my original 20 hives survived the winter.

    >I had the same idea some time back, but never felt the need to implement such a fix. One of the things I wondered about was the load that you'd be placing on the hive by placing the previously frozen frames back into the hives. That's a big clean-up task.

    I agree.

    >"You're raising sucky, weak, short-lived bees that can never pay their own energy bill. "

    >I think this is heavily a function of how badly the bees are affected by the mite load. Of course shriveled winged bees will never pay their own bill, but if the bees can fly they stand a chance of contributing to hive's resources. They're certainly not going to overwinter, but they may bring some return.

    Mmm... I had to think about it for a while. I disagree, and here's why:

    1) At least in northern areas of the country where queens typically shut down egg laying in October, bees raised in August and September are expected to fulfill one and only one job: to live long enough to see the hive through the winter. These bees don't pay off their energy bill by flying and collecting nectar. They're expected to live 6 months or more rather than the typical 5-8 weeks. If they don't live long enough, the hive will die. These overwintering bees don't forage for the most part as bringing in the fall crop is the job of older summer-raised foragers. Overwintering bees may never take more than a cleansing flight in January. An egg laid in early August won't become a foraging worker for roughly 40 days- it will be mid-September before that bee comes of foraging age, by which time, the fall flow is pretty much over. Obviously then, by the time eggs laid in September mature into adult workers, the hive will be heading into winter cluster.

    Hives with a moderate mite load typically don't make surplus honey and hives with a heavy mite load can't even meet their own needs. This is because bees parasitized by mites during development are weakened, tired, and shorter-lived than unparasitized bees even if they're not outwardly deformed exhibiting shriveled wings or shrunken abodomens.

    When the bees are raising drones in the late spring and early summer, the mites don't infest worker brood as much. In late summer when hives stop raising drones, the mites have no choice but to enter worker brood, in ever-increasing numbers. The impact of this change is significant on overall hive health and productivity. You'll often see booming hives make a good surplus in June and July only to sucumb to PMS in August and early September when mite population numbers have gone ballistic.

    Then there is the whole issue of overall colony morale and the impact of lethargic, depressed bees. Don't get me started! [img]smile.gif[/img]

    >Overall, it’s probably not an approach a rookie should attempt. I'd suggest perhaps a combination punch, of a heavy knock down, like those suggested, e.g., OA, Sucrocide, followed up with a time released agent, e.g., Apiguard, (even strips for a one-time use).

    I've already explained why that approach is more often than not doomed to fail. As long as the bees are raising brood, you're fighting an uphill battle and the odds favor the mites.

    >I'd really like to hear form someone who may have tried "pull and freeze" approach.

    I would too. I just got some email from a German beekeeper suggesting that this method is routinely employed in Europe as part of an overall varroa strategy involving late-summer splits, combining colonies, etc.

    As I was heading for bed last night it occurred to me that this method is comparable to a shook swarm- not something you typically do in late summer I suppose, but the concept is the same.

    I'm not about to become the champion of, for lack of a better term, "the drastic method of varroa control" but I will play the devil's advocate here and happily shoot holes in people's more "conventional" approaches to managing heavily mite-infested hives in late summer.
    Dulcius ex asperis

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
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    Greetings . . .

    I can't add much to this discussion, 'cept to say that, "George is right!"
    He needs no affirmation from me or anyone. He is telling a "bought-n-paid-for" lesson that no one wants to hear.

    If it were my hive, I'd treat w/ Apistan and watch (and count) the 10,000 or so mites fall out. If this hive is not treated NOW w/ a treamnent that KILLS lots of mites, its doomed.


    longarm . . .

    I have posted (3+ year) mite drops for a simular hive. Do a search and find those numbers, you may be shocked!

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Benton County, Oregon
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    408

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    hmm... just did another 24hr mite count. this is 3 days after treatment w/ powdered sugar. count is down to 41. still...
    i think i will take advice here and treat this once with chemicals. i really don't want to lose this (my FIRST!) hive.
    Dan

  7. #27
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Whitefield, Maine USA
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    Longarm, you're going to see such day-to-day variation as brood tends to emerge in waves. For this reason most people recommend taking a 3 or 4 day average to obtain a 24 hour drop. That's actually the main thing I've got against drop counts- they can vary due to weather and temperature. Over time, they're pretty reliable indicators of mite load however.

    Checking mite loads in several ways is always a good idea- drop counts supplemented with either sugar shakes or drone brood examination. It helps to get a sense for how the different methods compare. Whenever I am pulling frames, I always check drone brood when I find it, at least 8-10 cells. I use an uncapping fork. If I find a mite, I pull some more until I've got a reasonable sample.

    >i really don't want to lose this (my FIRST!) hive.

    I sure hope you don't, but your mite load is pretty high. I'm not saying you'll lose it, but it's certainly at-risk. Have you seen any sign of deformed wing virus or bees with shrunken abdomens yet? Any uncapped pupae?
    Dulcius ex asperis

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Benton County, Oregon
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    No I haven't - they seem, to my admittedly untrained eye, very healthy! Have looked to find k-wing and have not, nor any of the other mentioned indicators. Will open some drone brood though next time in the hive (most likely tomorrow).
    thanks again George,
    Dan

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
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    " I had 20 hives last summer about this time with 24 hour natural mite drops ranging from a low of 45 to a high of around 100. Only 2 were still alive this spring. "

    George,

    I appreciate all of of your advice here but what I would like to know is... what did you use for treatment last year?
    Please fill me in so I don't make the same mistake you did.
    To everything there is a season....

  10. #30
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    >Please fill me in so I don't make the same mistake you did.

    Hehehe... Nicely put Mike [img]smile.gif[/img]

    If you'd like to know what *I* think I did wrong, I'll tell you. First, I bought 20 severely mite-infested hives in the middle of June. I wouldn't suggest doing that [img]smile.gif[/img] The second mistake I made was that I didn't treat effectively soon enough. Avoid those two mistakes and you should be OK [img]smile.gif[/img]

    I figured out I had a mite problem in early July. I first tried a powdered sugar blaster, dusting each frame one at a time. I did 8-10 hives twice, a few days apart. Not only was it largely ineffective, it was an ungodly amount of work and it quickly because clear that there weren't enough hours in the day and days in the week to treat all my hives that way, even if it was effective, which it wasn't.

    Next I tried FGMO, fogging all my hives every 3 days for oh, about 2 weeks. It too was largely ineffective, my mite drop counts just continued to rise unabated. By now it was early August and I started seeing deformed wing virus, bees with shrunken abdomens, dead emerging brood with their tongues sticking out, etc. Classic PMS. A few hives had a touch of european foul brood, and one went hopelessly queenless and developed laying workers. Lost that one [img]smile.gif[/img] By this time I also noticed that many hives were losing bees- their populations were dropping. Double deep hives that had been overflowing with bees in June were now to a single deep. I switched to vaporized oxalic acid. I think I administered 3 treatments a week apart, a few of the worst hives got 4 treatments. I killed a lot of mites.

    By now it was September and gee whiz, my hives were light. Way light. Not only had they not produced any surplus that summer, they hadn't done much towards filling up their brood chambers either. I started feeding. By the middle of October I'd fed out around 800 pounds of sugar. During this time I also combined 5-6 weak hives and requeened some as well in the hopes that the larger populations and young queens would make a difference.

    By early November my hives were all broodless. I dribbled oxalic acid once and put my hives to bed. I went into winter with 21 hives.

    I had my first deadout by the end of December:

    http://www.sweettimeapiary.com/pics/deadhive/

    I continued to lose hives in January and February. When April arrived, only 2 of those original 20 hives were still alive. Those 2 hives are doing OK now [img]smile.gif[/img]

    George-
    Dulcius ex asperis

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
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    If I may be so bold [img]smile.gif[/img] , I think George made THREE mistakes, not two.

    #1 - >First, I bought 20 severely mite-infested hives in the middle of June . . .

    #2 - >The second mistake I made was that I didn't treat EFFECTIVELY . . .

    #3 - >SOON ENOUGH . . .

    A wise newBEE will cut-n-paste George's story, print it out, AND READ IT OVER AND OVER!!!!

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Benton County, Oregon
    Posts
    408

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    First 24 hour mite drop count POST beginning of Apistan treatment: 935 mites.

    [size="1"][ August 05, 2006, 03:07 PM: Message edited by: longarm ][/size]

  13. #33
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    It will be interesting to see how that varies over time. I bet you'll see comparable numbers for more than a few days.
    Dulcius ex asperis

  14. #34
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    Apr 2006
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    Benton County, Oregon
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    mite drop 2nd day post treatment: 397.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Evansville, IN, USA
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    Based on your first day (935) and second day counts, I'll guess your numbers will hold at about the 300 range (a bit less than 2nd day) until 12 days from beginning of treatment (935). After 14-15 days, drop will probably level, at a much, much lower level (no mites left in hive, but kill will reflect "incomming" mites, if any), until strips are removed.

    Please, PLEASE, PLEASE, keep doing daily counts and keep us posted.

    Thanx,

    [size="1"][ August 07, 2006, 10:22 AM: Message edited by: Dave W ][/size]

  16. #36
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    Apr 2006
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    Benton County, Oregon
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    serious? ok.
    i plan to count everyday anyway this week so i'll happily post here. then i go on vacation for a couple of weeks.
    tell you what.. there is some satisfaction to be had from killing parasites!
    dan

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Benton County, Oregon
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    mite drop 3rd day post treatment: 257.

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Eugene, OR
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    Those are some pretty specific and serious predictions Dave W. Are you gonna be my new hero?
    Time wounds all heals.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
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    DaveW is basing his predictions on his experience with a heavily mite-infested hive and fastidious records. I don't know if you can predict the progress and outcome very accurately since there are so many variables, but clearly, there are classic situations and this appears to be one of them- the general outcome is likely.

    I don't agree with Dave's prediction that longarm will kill all the mites in his hive and that any subsequent drop will reflect new incoming mites. No treatment is 100% effective especially considering there is brood in the hive, resistance develops very quickly, and the efficacy of Apistan drops off relatively quickly over time. At the end of treatment, there's likely to be a healthy though substantially reduced mite population still in the hive and with no drone brood to infest, they'll be jumping into worker cells.

    The question is, are enough healthy long-lived bees being raised to carry the hive through the winter? I hope so, but I have my doubts.
    Dulcius ex asperis

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
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    I AM NOT A HERO!!!

    >I don't agree with Dave's prediction . . .
    That's GOOD, but please let me change your mind [img]smile.gif[/img]

    >No treatment is 100% effective . . .
    I'll agree, since "100% effective" is hard to define.

    >especially considering there is brood in the hive . . .
    Here is where "this treatment" really shines [img]smile.gif[/img]
    In the first 24 hrs, ALL (approx 660) phoretic mites were killed (935 minus approx 250-300).

    Each of the next 12-13 days, approx 275 (range of 300) mites per day will hatch out w/ WORKER & DRONE bees. These are "the mites in brood" everyone so much fears. No mites are entering any brood cells, they are ALL being killed.

    On days 13, 14, maybe 15, only DRONE brood will be hatching that contains mites. The "275" will decrease dramatically. No new mites are entering brood cells.

    After ALL brood EXISTING on day 1 hatches (about day 14), the "kill number" will be only incomming mites. This number his hard to predict and may vary from zero one day, to as much as 200 the next. Only DAILY counting can determine the numbers. No brood capped during the 42 to 56 days strips are present will be infected w/ mites. Only after strips are removed, will mites be allowed to enter cells.

    PLEASE keep counting [img]smile.gif[/img]

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