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  1. #1

    Post

    The other day I dusted my hives with powdered sugar (2 cups per hive with a flour sifter)...then I put sticky boards down to see how many would drop.

    In the first hive (All American) there were roughly 78 to 80 mites over a 3 day period that dropped onto the board....so that roughly comes out to 26/27 mites in a 24 hour period.

    The 2nd hive had right at 60 mites which put them at 10 mites in 24 hour period (this is a Russian hive).

    What is the general rule of thumb on when to treat or what number indicates how bad the mites are?

    I have never treated these hives except with grease patties last fall.


    Thanks!

    LaRae

    [size="1"][ April 01, 2006, 04:19 PM: Message edited by: LaRae ][/size]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    Keep counting LaRae, don't stop now [img]smile.gif[/img]

    The problem is that your numbers aren't from "natural" drop so you really don't know what you've got other than Less Mites, which of course is a Good Thing. There is however no real fixed number which when reached means you should treat and all hives are different. You need to monitor the change over time. That said, I'd start sweating with 24 hour drops much over 20, but that's just me. I was seeing 24 hour drops on the order of 60-80 mid summer last year, and most of those hives are dead now.

    If those were natural 24 hour drop counts (26 and 10), I'd say you would want to keep a real close eye on them given that it's spring and the bees and the mites populations will grow considerably over the coming months. You could have a real problem come July or August. You'll want to see that coming.

    George-
    Dulcius ex asperis

  3. #3

    Post

    Hmmm well if there are no real fixed numbers and all hives are different etc...then what is a trigger to tell a person 'treat this hive'?

    Is there another behavior within the hive to look for along with mite numbers? I haven't seen any deformed wings/bees etc.

    Thanks George!


    LaRae

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,472

    Post

    I've read several different accounts of people using the powdered sugar dusting method and most of them were seeing "hundreds" of mites in the first day after treatment. I've not tried it yet... plan to this summer... but based on the results of others you might be in good shape with the numbers you just came up with.
    It would be interesting to see what you're natural drop counts are now after some time has passed.
    To everything there is a season....

  5. #5

    Post

    I am going to order more sticky boards tonight or Monday...after I get them I'll put them out without dusting to see what happens.

    I got my other sticky boards from Dadant and they came with this black mesh thing...I didn't use it, what is that for, does anyone know?

    The sticky board itself had a grid pattern on it which was nice when counting the mites.


    LaRae

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Ellenboro N.C.
    Posts
    261

    Post

    Black mesh thing is for use without screened
    bottom board so bees dont get stuck to it.
    You slide it on top of solid bottom board.
    If your gettin stung your doing something wrong...

  7. #7

    Post

    ah...I use sbb so I don't need it anyway!

    Thanks Stinger!


    LaRae

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Eugene, OR
    Posts
    345

    Post

    George

    George Imirie says apply Apistan strip(s) and take a count exactly 24 hours later. If the count is > 100 mites then its an emergency and treat immediately. Otherwise remove the strips.

    I hope the folks that do a lot of testing will chime in here.

    Thanks for the link Fordguy, George is somethin'.
    Time wounds all heals.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Eugene, OR
    Posts
    345

    Post

    I know this isn't what you're after LaRae but here's another of his papers with powdered sugar testing.
    yup

    It seems to me that dividing the total number of mites by the number of days invalidates the test for a given period- all of the mites may have dropped the first day. Keeping the test consistent each time is the key.

    Imirie seems to run 2 deeps busting with bees so that is definietly a factor as George F. above elluded to.

    [size="1"][ April 01, 2006, 09:04 PM: Message edited by: wade ][/size]
    Time wounds all heals.

  10. #10

    Post

    Wade I didn't do a powder sugar test though...I did a powder sugar treatment.

    Several sources I've seen said to leave the sticky board 48 to 72 hours then divide...so that's the method I went with.

    I'm trying to avoid apistan...but thanks for the links!


    LaRae

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI, USA
    Posts
    268

    Post

    I bought a screened bottom board from Dadant. It came with an instruction sheet.
    If more than 100 mites are caught in a 48 hr. period, a chemical treatment may be indicated. Contact your state apiarist for guidelines.
    That seems kind of high, from what I've read.

    The strips worked pretty well at first. They will soon be useless, if they aren't already. What they do best is the selective breeding of strip resistant mites. They are failing for the same reasons that antibiotics for humans are. Both make stronger bugs.

    I'm hoping that varroa won't be able to adapt to small cell, and powdered sugar, and drone magnets. To me, harsh chemicals are a last resort. Our best weapon is communication.
    Best,
    Tom

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI, USA
    Posts
    268

    Post

    I bought a screened bottom board from Dadant. It came with an instruction sheet.
    If more than 100 mites are caught in a 48 hr. period, a chemical treatment may be indicated. Contact your state apiarist for guidelines.
    That seems kind of high, from what I've read.

    The strips worked pretty well at first. They will soon be useless, if they aren't already. What they do best is the selective breeding of strip resistant mites. They are failing for the same reasons that antibiotics for humans are. Both make stronger bugs.

    I'm hoping that varroa won't be able to adapt to small cell, and powdered sugar, and drone magnets. To me, harsh chemicals are a last resort. Our best weapon is communication.
    Best,
    Tom

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    211

    Post

    Some photos of a field day award winning enhancement of a test using a strip in jar that I created during the early stages of a mite resistant bee selection/breeding project in New Zealand where one has to conduct tests without the use of chemicals etc within the hive.The photos should be self explanatory.

    http://tinyurl.com/8rnfd

    This double necked jar was purpose made following an observastion made during testing 200 brood bees for mite load one day.All my mite load testing is now performed by checking for mites in 20 newly capped worker brood cells as a percentage of those cells uncapped.Sticky board testing being researved for VKF (varroa killer factor)near season end, a resistance trait that is measurable over a 10 day period that I adopted from Alois Wallner Randegg Austria.The main thing is that La Rae is doing tests,it's only a matter of getting a procedure in place to avoid any surprises.A hive with a very high natural mite drop count nearing season end that has had low counts all year is worth checking out further as it could very well be varroa resistant.
    BOB

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