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Thread: Varroa

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Woodbury, CT USA
    Posts
    13

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    Hi all:
    I just cut out and inspected a small section of drone brood from one of my strong hives and found a lot of varroa. My question is: Would it be best to wait until the upcoming honey flow is over, then treat with Apistan. Or to treat immediately and forget about harvesting honey from the hive this year. Again, the hive is strong so far and I was looking forward to a decent harvest this year.
    As always, your comments are greatly appreciated.
    Regards
    Gary

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Medford Lakes,NJ,USA
    Posts
    94

    Cool

    Hi Gary, Most Integrated Pest Management (IPM) systems say that if you feel the hive is in danger to go ahead and treat for the pest. Your hives will now start to increase in population making the infestation seem to decrease and possibly increase grooming by the hive. If you feel they are strong you may be able to wait, BUT. Have you taken a look at FGMO treatment?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Woodbury, CT USA
    Posts
    13

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    Hi Newbee:
    Thanks for your thoughts. I have read a little about food grade mineral oil, but I really wouldn't know where to start. I only have a handfull of hives, so I'm not sure if fgmo would be economicaly wise for me. Can you easily purchase small quantities of fgmo? However, if you feel that it has merit, I am very willing to give it a try.
    I don't want to put you on the spot, but if you (or anyone else out there) have any pointers on how to start I would love to hear them.
    Thanks again

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Neodesha, Ks
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    623

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    I bought my Burgess Insect Fogger from Ace Hardware for about $50.00. Food Grade Mineral Oil is $12.00/Gal. if my memory is correct. Works good for me. Dale In S.E. Ks

  5. #5
    BILLY BOB Guest

    Post

    Hello,

    I started useing FGMO last fall in a almost gone, just go ahead and let it die, don't wast your money on it, hive! I didn't do anything fancy just put a small beed of FGMO on the top bars of the frams. Once every month.

    That same hive today has over 125+ lbs. of honey in it, and is my strongest hive.

    Does FGMO work? Yes it does.

    Cost? I bought a gal. of it for 19 or 20 bucks + shipping. I use it on 5 hives, and still have half of it.

    Apistan, pack of 10 cost ???around 30 bucks + shipping and will treat 5 hives in one season. (so much for economics)

    I will keep varroa under control and have a nontoxic honey to eat and sale.

    Just go to the FGMO bullentin board and read what "Dr. R" has done and you should find links on beesource.com from where you can order it on line.

    It realy works great. It's worth every penny.

    Billy Bob

    [This message has been edited by BILLY BOB (edited May 02, 2002).]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Woodbury, CT USA
    Posts
    13

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    Thanks everyone for your thoughts. I just ordered my first gallon of oil from STE, and I'm going to pick up the upholstery cord today. The more I read about this the more I understand that it is at least worth the minimal expense and time involved. I honestly thought it would be more expensive/involved. I will keep you all updated on how it has worked for me.
    A special thanks to Dr. R for all the info he has put on-line for us.
    Regards
    Gary

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

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    I read one of Dr. Rodriguez's older articles regarding the use of mineral oil for mite control, and the article also mentioned just pouring a small bead line of oil down the top of each frame. Is this still a valid treatment? Is it just that this method is time consuming and troublesome? I am new to beekeeping, and glad this thread was started. Just wondering about this. Thanks all.

  8. #8
    BILLY BOB Guest

    Post

    Hi Dragonfly,

    I didn't start using the fogger untill this spring. It worked great, but the fogger is better. The advantage of the fogger is it doesn't use as much oil, it takes care of T mites, and if a bee walks through a big glob of oil right after it is put on the top bar it will kill her (generly you get 20 or 30 dead bees). So yes it works, but as soon as you get a chance buy a fogger.

    Billy Bob

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

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    Billy Bob- thanks for the reply. I felt really dumb after I posted this question, then found an entire section devoted to mineral oil with Dr Rodriguez as a participant. Like I said, I'm new to the craft, and was just curious about the direct application of oil on the top bars. I had read that varroa mites were not a problem in this particular area of Texas, but after talking with the fellow who sells me my supplies and bees (he's older and been in the business for about 30 years and loves to take new beekeepers under his wing, lucky me), he said that there definitely are cases around here. I know he has tried some of the essential oils to try and get away from the chems, but he has not had very effective control. I wonder if he is aware of the FGMO or not. I'll have to ask him next time I see him. Anyway, thanks much for the feedback- very helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    West Harrison, NY, USA
    Posts
    261

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    Hi,
    I have read that an organic treatment for varroa mites is a mix of garlic powder and powdered (confectioners?) sugar dusted over the top bars of the brood box.
    Does anyone know how effective this is?Can this be used during nectar flows? In other words, would the honey taste like garlic?

    Thanks

    Jorge

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,742

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    >I have read that an organic treatment for varroa mites is a mix of garlic powder and powdered (confectioners?) sugar dusted over the top bars of the brood box.
    Does anyone know how effective this is?Can this be used during nectar flows? In other words, would the honey taste like garlic?

    I put garlic in sausage I was making once. Got it just the right taste when I mixed it. Put it in the freezer and it permeated everything in the freezer and the sausage tasted so strong I couldn't stand it. And I like garlic. My guess is it would permeate the hive. My other guess is if it works, it works on the same principle that essential oils do. I have not tried using only essential oils, but I have used wintergreen in addition to FGMO in the spring and Apistan in the fall and I had good results. I don't think I would rely on only essential oils and personally, I wouldn't try the garlic. I just think it will ruin the honey and I doubt it would work as well as other things.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    West Harrison, NY, USA
    Posts
    261

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    A plus with the garlic could be that it is a natural antibiotic (it is called the russian penicillin since it help the russians sieged by the germans in Leningrad survive during WWII) and thus it might also fight AFB and EFB I guess (this is pure speculation on my part).

    Jorge

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    It's true garlic has some antimicrobial properties, both bacteria and viruses, but also true that propolis has antimicrobial properties, both bacteria and viruses.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Danbury,Ct. USA
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    1,966

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    Hi GSM,
    Are you still out there? I'm from Danbury, CT and a neighbor. I used the fogger on my 8 hives last summer and (if they come through the winter) had excellent success. Or maybe it was luck, but I never saw a mite. I also have screened bottom boards that I left open all summer. I'd like to know how your story ended.
    I head west for a long road trip each summer (2 mo)and left them untended for that time. They were fine without me. I'm at dickm@snet.net if you want to talk. Michael Bush: I travese Nebraska on my way. How would you like a visit this fall? I want to visit a few beekeepers this year.
    Anyone else want to meet this old man?

    Dickm

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    I'll email you.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Mason, MI, USA
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    1,015

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    I tried the garlic and powdered sugar on top bars 2 years ago on 2 hives. It did nothing for the mites and the honey was more garlic than honey. that fall I burned the combs and frames and put new frames and foundation in. This year I still could taste the garlic in the honey so I moved the bees to new hives and burnt the old ones frames, foundation, and hivebodies. Both hives were 3 bodies deep. So I would not recomend garlic within 50 feet of a hive
    Clint

  17. #17

    Post

    hello
    Dickm
    if your down georgia stop in and visit a old man and his bees.
    I raise queens all summer build new equiptment. we can exchange ideas
    Don

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    West Harrison, NY, USA
    Posts
    261

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    A question about the drone comb method. I understand that it can be used to attract the mites here; then you take the whole frame, freeze it, and bye bye the mites (together with the drones).
    Isn't it a wasteful method. Wasteful in the sense that the bees put a lot of effort in making the cells, laying the eggs, feeding and taking care of them, etc. What do you do with the frozen frame now full of dead drones and mites. Put it right back for the bees to clean it up (and waste more energy and time)?

    Why not used drone cells just as a diagnostics method: open a few drone cells and check for mites every time you open your hive. You don't need drone comb for that, just a few drone cells here in there, which are there no matter what. If drones are infested and you also see the mites under the SBB, you do something about it. Is there really a need to fog if none are seen by these 2 methods?

    I never tried it, just thinking.

    Thanks

    Jorge

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >A question about the drone comb method. I understand that it can be used to attract the mites here; then you take the whole frame, freeze it, and bye bye the mites (together with the drones).

    There are a couple of variations on this method. This is the simplest. The variation involves removing all of the brood to another hive while inserting the drone comb, or at least just before it gets capped, so ALL the varroa will have no other cells to go in. In theory this should get every varroa that wants to mate. Then you do the same to the hive you moved the brood to, moving the brood back to the original one (leaving the bees behind so we can clean them up. This more complicated version is in the POV section.

    >Isn't it a wasteful method. Wasteful in the sense that the bees put a lot of effort in making the cells, laying the eggs, feeding and taking care of them, etc. What do you do with the frozen frame now full of dead drones and mites. Put it right back for the bees to clean it up (and waste more energy and time)?

    My view is that the queen really wants to lay drone. It doesn't waste fertile eggs because drones are unfertilized eggs. It lets her do what her instincts tell her to do. The workers really want to make some drone comb and raise some drone now and then. It lets them do that. The varroa want to go to a drone cell to mate. It lets them do that. We just interrupt it to everyone, but the mite's, advantage. I don't think it's that wasteful.

    >Why not used drone cells just as a diagnostics method: open a few drone cells and check for mites every time you open your hive. You don't need drone comb for that, just a few drone cells here in there, which are there no matter what. If drones are infested and you also see the mites under the SBB, you do something about it. Is there really a need to fog if none are seen by these 2 methods?

    I was intending to do just that this year. Pull the drone comb, pull out some drone with an uncapping fork and see if they are infested. Then freeze it and put it back.

    I figure you can do this every other week and have a frame of capped drone to pull out.

    >I never tried it, just thinking.

    I haven't either, but I have the drone comb to use and I need some way of assesing my success or failure and it's another way to get rid of the mites. I figure if you don't see any in the drone comb you're methods are working. If you see alot of them in the drone comb, the drone comb is working but your methods are failing.

    The down side of all of this is the labor involved. If you could just insert or remove the drone comb without having to move all the supers this would be a very nice method.

    I just want to use it until I get them on small cell and get a chance to verify if small cell is controling the mites, before I quit using the drone comb and other methods.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    brown county,indiana,usa
    Posts
    571

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    i read an article somewhere that talked about dusting with powdered sugar,it said that anything smaller than 5 microns would get under the suctioncup-like feet of the mite and they would not be able to hang on.this said that you could just liberally powder all your bees on the frames.anybody had any luck with anything like this?

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