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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Pearl River, LA, USA zone 8b
    Posts
    6

    Post

    Hello
    I want to medicate for varrora in the fall and spring for preventative purposes.
    Does anyone know the best schedule for inserting varrora strips into hives....the month to install in fall and in spring?
    I am in South Louisiana.
    I know about alternating between Apistan and Checkmite and intend on doing so.
    Thanks, Pete

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    Bees do not store medication for a rainy day. You can't kill something thats not there. Research the word "preventative" than do all beekeepers a favor and read-up on the overuse and resistance of strips. I am trying to help without sounding too harsh, but overuse is a major reason these chemicals may be useless in the future.
    All beekeepers should know how to do mite tests and treat only as needed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    23

    Post

    I would suggest a screened bottom board and the "sticky sheets" to monitor infection levels. I believe the threshold for a 24 hour period of natural mite fall is 60-180(?). You can check the University of Georgia's Honey bee program for specifics. I believe it is www.ent.uga.edu/bees.

    Hope this helps

    Rob

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,113

    Post

    I agree. Always monitor or they will sneak up on you. But don't treat something you don't have. You'll just contribute to other problems like resistance to the mitacides.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    South Mississippi
    Posts
    128

    Question

    BjornBee

    I am a newbie with bees so excuse my ignorance. My question is this. If he has mites then he needs to treat, correct? If he doesn't have mites and he treats then there are no mites to build up a resistance to the chemical, correct? Just dumb and would appreciate some enlightenment.

    Marty


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Wyoming MN
    Posts
    406

    Post

    There is usually some residue left in the hive after each treatment. If mites then come in and successfully reproduce on frames with slight amounts of the chemicals, then they will grow and reproduce with a resistance to those chemicals.
    Just like people and antibiotics. If a person has a cold, and takes an antibiotic for it, the meds will not help the cold at all, but if this is done often, then the antibiotic will be useless for that person.
    Another example is head lice. Because too many people use the shampoos as a preventative, there are lice out there now that resist most of the over the counter stuff. (Parents of public school elementary children will understand this.)
    The Apistan worked well originally, but some people got sloppy. They left strips in hives too long, skimped on treatments, or treated without mites. Now many are resistant to the Apistan strips in many places. So, we followed with Coumaphos, and it's many warnings...but, the same problems, probably for the same reasons. So, yes, IF there are mites, you can try treating with the miticides. But, to treat automatically, as a preventative, is not the recommended method.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,113

    Post

    Yea, like she said.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    >But, to treat automatically, as a preventative, is not the recommended method.

    Unless you read that on the side of the box...

    I use a different treatment every time AND follow the instructions to the letter. Next time I am useing oxalic strips.

    I am really enjoying my observation hive, it brings the obvious to light. It makes me wonder though, since the bees tend to rearange the honey stores, what is the chance of honey that was either stored in a cell in contact with a chemical or a treated (HBH, Oils, etc.) syrup, being moved up into the supers for comsumption?

    I would think that there would be a little, most of the lower honeys are used to feed the young, humm..., it doesn't seem to hurt them.

    I am not concerned as for myself, I have eaten enough preservatives and breathed in enough lead to preserve me well into the advanced stages of Oldheimers, but it is a curiosity.

    Living, inspite of better chemistry,
    Bill

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,113

    Post

    I agree with Bullseye Bill. I've seen them move honey around alot. Who's to say that honey in the brood chamber doesn't get moved out of the chamber when it gets to honey bound to make room.

    Bill, let us know how the oxalic strips work. I'm curious.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    South of Houston, near Galveston
    Posts
    59

    Post

    I'm going to need to check for mites in the next couple of weeks. The usual procedure down here is to put apistan in after the honey flow. I dont want to use it unless needed. I'm thinking of using the powdered sugar method. Has anyone else used this and how do you get enought bees in the jar and keep them there while you put the lid on? The descriptions I've heard all refer to shaking bees into the jar. Does this mean taking a frame and knocking the bees off over the open jar and trying to get enough into it for a test? If any one has first hand experience I would appreciate a step by step.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    South of Houston, near Galveston
    Posts
    59

    Post

    Pete I should have prefaced my reply with I dont know, I'm in the same boat you are. Here is a link for the Houston Beekeepers Assn that describes a typical year in the beeyard down south. http://www.houstonbeekeepers.org/hbayear.htm

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,113

    Post

    Bees go down a funnel pretty well. If you use an old gallon milk jug and cut the mouth bigger and cut the bottom out, it's much easier to shake bees into a jar. If you get too many, you can always pour some back out if you shake the jar (with a lid on) and then dump the disoriented bees out. Of course in shaking the jar you wan to find the "just right" amount. Too much and you can kill the bees, too little and they are not disoriented. Practice will tell.
    http://entomology.unl.edu/beekpg/tid...0.htm#Article2

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    2,837

    Big Grin

    Greetings . . . Pete

    Sorry, I cant offer you an answer based upon experience. (I install my first package 4/12/03) But, here are the instruction from my package of Apistan.

    "Effective control may be achieved by treating hives in spring before first honey flow and in fall after last honey flow. For best chemical distribution, use Apistin strips when daytime high temperatures are at least 50'F. Do not remove strips from hive for at least 42 days (6 wks). Do not leave strips in hive for more than 56 days (8 wks)."

    Using this info, I plan to TREAT latter part of Feb / first of Mar so I can remove strips and install honey supers by Apr 11 to 25th. Sometimes the temp in Feb here is not in the 50s.
    I will TEST July 1st and treat if required (remove honey first or during dearth period).
    Treat again Oct 1st, and remove strips after Nov 15. Again the temp should in the 50s.

    Hope this works!
    Dave W

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    2,837

    Big Grin

    Greetings . . . Pete

    Sorry, I cant offer you an answer based upon experience. (I install my first package 4/12/03) But, here are the instruction from my package of Apistan.

    "Effective control may be achieved by treating hives in spring before first honey flow and in fall after last honey flow. For best chemical distribution, use Apistin strips when daytime high temperatures are at least 50'F. Do not remove strips from hive for at least 42 days (6 wks). Do not leave strips in hive for more than 56 days (8 wks)."

    Using this info, I plan to TREAT latter part of Feb / first of Mar so I can remove strips and install honey supers by Apr 11 to 25th. Sometimes the temp in Feb here is not in the 50s.
    I will TEST July 1st and treat if required (remove honey first or during dearth period).
    Treat again Oct 1st, and remove strips after Nov 15. Again the temp should in the 50s.

    Hope this works!
    Dave W

    [This message has been edited by Dave W (edited June 18, 2003).]

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    Funny how the instructions for Apistan does not say anything about resistance, about rotating other products to limit resistance, or not treating when there is not a problem. I wonder if sales and profit has anything to do with it. They certainly didn't mention the increased mite resistance when they themselves mentioned "effective control can be achieved...." There are certanly experienced beekeepers that would argue the "effective control" that apistan has.
    Good luck with your "chemical solution" and time table. (I'm sure using apistan a minimum of two times yearly can't hurt their profits, just resistance efforts.)
    Marketing experts have certainly made their money with some people.

    [This message has been edited by BjornBee (edited June 18, 2003).]

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    2,837

    Question

    Greetings . . . BjornBee

    Here are two (Pete & myself) newbees wanting to learn from experienced beekeepers.

    You seem to have valuable insight that I would like to know about.

    I would like to "do all beekeepers a favor and read-up on the overuse and resistance of strips" and learn "about rotating other products and treating when there is not a problem". Where can I find this VERIFIABLE information?

    When FGMO is discussed, a point that is often repeated, is the need to follow proper protocol. Failing to do so, leads to failure. What is the proper method of using Apistan? Is the product failing or is the failure in not following simple instructions?

    "Profit" is not a bad word. Profits come from the use of ALL chemicals; Apistan, FGMO, etc. The profit I am looking for is "good luck" w/ beekeeping.

    thanx for your help!
    Dave W


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,113

    Post

    Varroa Mites

    It IS possible to not follow directions on Aptistan. The results are contamination of the honey (if you do it while supers are on or, worse, put it in the supers) and build of residue in the wax, which contributes to resistance. However, if you come even close to following directions, it SHOULD kill the mites. It used to. It doesn't seem to anymore. The main point, in my opinion, is whatever your philosophy, whether it is to use chemcials as directed or to use alternative methods. THEY CAN ALL FAIL! If you don't monitor the results you will not know if you are succeeding or failing. We need to be scientific in our approach. Not superstitious. Just doing because we THINK it will work is not good enough.

    Also, let's keep in mind that even the "man" is suggesting and even insisting on IPM (integrated pest managment) systems. This means you SHOULD use a SSB and essential oils and maybe FGMO and maybe other things that help with the mites, not just one thing.

    Methods of monitoring:

    You can keep a SSB (Screened Bottom Board) on the hive (recommended) and use either a sticky board (which you can buy) or a piece of cardboard with vasoline or something on it so the mites get stuck and you can count them. You can do a drop test over 24 hours and count how many mites dropped. If you are not using any aracnacide (mitacide?) and you have 100+ mites you have a serious infestation.

    You can do the drop test with apistan (I'd do it AFTER doing one without, if this is your choice) and if there is no significant increase (like 1000% increase) then the mites are resistant to the Apistan.

    You can do an Ether roll. You take a cup of bees or so and put them in a quart jar and spray it with "starter fluid" for 2 seconds and put the lid on and shake it. The mites will stick to the sides of the jar. I you have more than 15 mites stuck to the jare you need to do something. Disadvantages to this method are: 1. It kills the cup of bees. 2. Ether is VERY flamable 3. If you live in the south you may have trouble finding "starter fluid".

    You can do a bee wash with soapy water. Same as the ether roll except you use soapy water and then you filter the bees out with hardware cloth and then the mites out through a coffee filter. 15 or more is an infestation. Kills the bees.

    You can do the powdered sugar method. This is the same as the bee wash or the ether roll except you put in powdered sugar and shake. It does NOT kill the bees but the mites fall off in the jar with the sugar. 15 or more is bad.

    Drone comb method. If you have a big patch of capped drone comb in your hive and you pull the pupae out with a capping scratcher you can look for the reddish brown mites on the white pupae. If you pull ten drone larvae or so and see more than one mite I think you have a problem.

    DO NOT RELY ON SEEING MITES ON THE BEES. This does not mean you shouldn't look for them. I watch them in my observation hive and have seen them in the past. Currently I'm not seeing any. But they are very difficult to see. They are like a freckle and are not obvious. When I do see them, it's most often on a bee doing the "get it off me dance". This is significantly different than the "jitterbug" also known as the "booty" dance or the "there's a lot of nectar out there!" dance.

    You have to choose your method of control. People who think that using chemicals assures them of success against the mites are decieving themselves. Try what appeals to you, but be sure to monitor before and after treatment to see if it's working for you! If it's not working at all, give it up. If it is helping, maybe combine it with other methods.

    Methods of control, details are in the Point of View section and the Elements of Beekeeping section and by searching the forums.

    Apistan (fluvenate)

    Check Mite (cumaphos)

    Screened Bottom Boards (SSB)

    Food Grade Mineral Oil (FGMO fog and emulsion cords)

    Oxalic Acid (vaporizer and strips)

    Formic Acid

    Essential oils (in the syrup and in grease patties for the tracheal mites)

    Natural sized cells (4.9mm small cell)

    Genetics (Harbo, SMR, Minnisota Hygenic, Russian, Survivor Feral Bees etc.)

    And probably some I've forgotten.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    Dave,
    I will go through any handouts and material that I have piled at my house. I'll make an effort for verifiable written information. Please understand that much of my experience is from between my ears and I do not have an extensive file for me to refer you to. I wish I had the resources/links and time that others do like M.B. I do have more than several books I refer to and believe all beekeepers should have reference books to read and build upon.
    I do belong and attend meetings from Capital Area and York county bee associations, Pa. state assoc. and attend Maryland bee assoiation meeting when time permits. We also have a very well run state inspection program run by Dennis VanEngledorf, and works closely with the Penn State Ag. Dept with ongoing research. I am saying this because alot of what I know came from open discussion and hands-on experience from attending seminars/meetings. We also recieve newsletters on passed along information.

    Points I can pass on,
    -Chemical strips such as apistan have shown a building mite resistance. Through misuse and overuse. Apistan is a treatment, not prevention.
    -Rotating apistan, checkmite, and other chemicals would prolong effectiveness as each treatment would string out the time between uses of each.
    -Screened bottom boards, Healthy queens, good site selection, GOOD BEEKEEPERS, can and do go a long way in helping the bees survive and overcomb hive deseases and mites.
    -Non chemical approaches have shown promise such as oils and the like.
    -Mites multiply in drone brood faster than in worker brood. Cull or replace and only use FULL sheets of foundation.
    -Knowing how to test and monitor and thus only treating when needed is good for the industry, your honey production, and the health of your queen and bees.
    -A piont I have no research to prove is this: I believe some beekeepers stink. Point made. They have hives die, than blame mites. They would of lost it anyways but need to blame something-certainly not themselves. Some I'm sure couldn't find a mite or know what one is.
    If anyone has anything to add, please do. And please, I know I can come across as hard, but I am passionate about this. And by no means do I hold myself as knowing all.
    I'll do some looking tonight.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    South of Houston, near Galveston
    Posts
    59

    Post

    I only have two modern bee books, Beekeeping for Dummies and The Queen and I. Only BKFD even mentions mites and it suggests treating whether you see any mites or not. If my memory is correct George Imirie advocates this also. I dont like that idea at all so I come here and read BeeL to get ideas. You get so many conflicting views that I could see how a new beekeeper with the best of intentions could screw up and have his hives die. My plan is to check for mites and if I find them then treat with Apistan this first year.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,303

    Post

    If the mites are established in your hives(are there any left who arent?)you will end up treating once or twice a year anyway.The question is at what point are there so many mites that treating will not save the hive?(over threshold)I believe a lot of the claims of Apistan and checkmite not working can be traced to treating hives too late,after the mite numbers have gotten over the threshold at which point the hive is doomed no matter what the treatment.The only way to tell,as has been pointed out above,is to monitor mite levels.The overnite sticky board is good.I found that an overnight drop greater than 25 in early August meant the hive was in big trouble,in this area anyways.Everyone should have a capping fork(scratcher)when checking hives.Forking out some drone brood will give you a definite heads up that mite levels are increasing.

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