Is anyone seeing any signs of varroa infestations now or anything out of the ordinary?
I am finding some varroa but nothing special or at a level that makes me worried. However, I hear of a guy here who is pulling honey to treat because the hives are collapsing. Seems to be off the normal schedule for around here. Not sure what to think.
I havent been able to find a single mite so far this year.Last year the bees were lousy with them.I guess if I had been fogging with fgmo this year I would be singing the praises of the stuff like some others.Anyhow,from here on is the time to really watch close.Some years and areas are definitely worse than others.
In my 3 hives I have seen not a single mite inside drone cells. However, up to yesterday I have counted (under the SBB) a total of 9, 16 and 24, respectively, since May 3rd, when I started these hives from packages. It was exactly 2 weeks after I set them up that I saw the largest jump in the dropped mite population: 3, 12 and 9, respectively. This pattern makes me thik that the mites I am counting are foretic ones arriving from elsewhere.
I have been fogging weakly with FGMO and followed the 2 week cycle of emulsion soacked cord replacements religiously.
Good!Keep it up and let us know how it turns out.I am interested in how the fgmo treatments work where there is definite mite pressure.Some years and areas seem to have no real mite problems and the data would give the wrong idea.In other words if there aint no mites how do you know the treatment worked?
I forgot to mention that I have also started regressing my bees to 4.9mm cells. One of the hives has done quite well (well below 5.0mm in nearly all frames) on its first pass while the other 2 not so much. I have no idea how much the smaller cell size in many of the frames is contributing. In any case, since I started with the regression approach, I will continue, and I will continue fogging as well. In a couple of years I guess I will start reducing the fogging to see how well they do on just small cells.
Well as of a few days ago varroa populations seem low. I've seen probably less than 10 mites all season (I am excellent at spotting them)and maybe one chewed wing bee very early in the spring. All colonies have had zero chemical treatments for 3 years (one 4 years)with nothing other than 4.9 cell sizing. Have seen very little chewing out at the purple eye stage that is common with bees on 4.9 since spring. By august I should have a clearer picture of how varroa populations are however.
Greetings . . .
Here's my "mite" results, to date.
4/12 - Install package on CLOSED SBB.
5/15 - Checked tray - No mites
5/21 - Drone Cell Inspection - No mites
6/1 - Checked tray - No mites
6/17 - Opened SBB - No mites
6/25 - 24 hr Natural-drop Test - No mites
7/2 - Sugar-Shake Test - No mites
No treatment of any kind.
Grease/Salt patty replaced as needed (since 4/26).
Yesterday I checked carefully 2 of my hives for mites:
In one, that has shown only 12 mites under the SBB in the whole season, I found 3 under the SBB in a 4 day period since my last count, and 1 out of 20 capped drone cells checked.
In the other, I counted 0 under the SBB (for a 4 day period) and 3 out of 30 capped drone cells.
So, I conclude that, since this is the first time I see varroa in drone cells this season, and since my total counts of mites under the SBB have been very low so far (around 1-2 mites per week on average), the growth season for varroa in beehives may be on its way up.
What are others seeing? Are your counts also growing?
[Note: I fog with FGMO weakly and change emulsion soaked cords biweeekly. I'm also in the process of regressing to 4.9mm cells].
I'm treating with vapo rub from the dollar store. And powdered sugar and olive oil patties mixed with a trace of tea tree oil.
One hive had bees with deformed wings.
Lots of mites dropped the first couple of days.
After seven days using the vapo rub on poster board pushed in the entrance, at last check today, they had two mites to fall. I treated with the poster board and vapo rub at least once, and sometime twice a day for over a week.
I am going to wait a couple of weeks and treat again.
The bees are getting stronger, perking up.
I moved a hive from next door to a new location in the yard in the middle of the day, and all the workers come back to the hive I'm treating.
I think they may pull through this. I hope.
There were two dead drones on the roof this evening....something happened....Maybe due to relocating the neighboring hive today...
So far so good.I checked 12 hives in one yard by forking out at least a hundred drone larvae from each hive and found one mite.But that can change overnight if they start robbing out collapsing bee trees.They are ok right now,though.
>There were two dead drones on the roof this evening....something happened....Maybe due to relocating the neighboring hive today...
I think you are micromanaging. Drones die at the same rate they are born. I would consider two dead drones prefectly normal, not "something happened".