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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Northren MN
    Posts
    57

    Question

    I have an ifestation of verroa mites.My bees were mite free when they left MN.Now I have an infestation of them.Tried checkmite stripes,apistan stripes and fumidil b.None of the above are working.Heared you can use formic acid mixture but sounds risky does anyone have any suggestions or what the mix ratio of formic acid should be used.Says on container any mixture of 90% acid causes starlization and kills eggs and brood.If anyone has any suggestion open to here them. Another idea is OA,I dont know what it is does anyone have anny suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,470

    Post

    >I have an ifestation of verroa mites.

    As does everyone with bees.

    >My bees were mite free when they left MN.Now I have an infestation of them.Tried checkmite stripes,apistan stripes and fumidil b.None of the above are working.

    First, what is your indication that you have a bad infestation? How do you know the treatments aren't working? What is your indication that you still have mites?

    Checkmite usually works but many of the Varroa are now resistant. Apistan used to work, but, at least here, all of the Varroa seem to be resistant. Fumidil has nothing whatsoever to do with Varro mites. It is for treating Nosema infection which is a protozoan, not a mite.

    >Heared you can use formic acid mixture but sounds risky does anyone have any suggestions or what the mix ratio of formic acid should be used.Says on container any mixture of 90% acid causes starlization and kills eggs and brood.If anyone has any suggestion open to here them.

    I've never used formic acid. It has been tested much and seems to kill a high percentage of mites and also of queens. It seems to me if it kills the queens then it is probably damaging the bees.

    Do you have any kind of count of mite drop? A stickyboard or even a plain board and counting the 24 hour natural mite drop and averaging it over several days would give you an idea how serious the problem is. Also, it's the middle of winter in MN so it's not really the time to be trying to treat. Formic acid only works when the temperatures are fairly warm (don't remember how warm off the top of my head). You probably could use Oxalic acid, but personally I would guess any damage the varroa have done is probably already done. If you want to treat with something, try Oxalic acid vapor in the early spring before brood rearing kicks. off.

    If you search for "oxalic acid" you will find alot of info on it. If you just look at recent posts there have been several threads on Oxalic acid in the last couple of weeks. If you search on "mite counts" you'll find a lot of discussion on how many mites constitutes a problem.

    I would suggest the first thing you do is learn more about varroa mites. Learn more about counting mites (sugar roll test, mite drop board etc.) so that in the spring you can monitor them and decide what you want to do about them. If the counts are fairly normal, you can pick a less drastic solution, such as using small cell foundation in the brood nest, or fogging with FGMO rather than all of the harsh chemicals. If the infestation is bad enough that you don't think that's an alternative you can try something more drastic like the Oxalic acid.

    There is no "standard" treatment at this time that is 100% effective. The standard treatments are what you've already tried. Checkmite and Apistan. If they failed then you're into uncharted, unapproved territory anyway. Everything else is pretty much in the "alternative" category.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
    Posts
    829

    Post

    I have no idea where you live and what kind of weather condition you have. But in general during winter you would have the best result with even one oxalic acid treatment.
    You can vaporize OS without any problem as soon as the temperatures a few degrees (3-5) above freezing point.
    Depends on the amount of colonies you can build your own vaporizer or go for some electric vaporizers. With less than twenty hives and enough time build your vaporizer from some brass pipes and treat each hive with a half-teaspoon OA crystal. It will take approx 6 minutes for each hive. How to do it you will find on several pages in this forum.

    With more than 20 hives I would use one or more electric vaporizers in line. A treatment takes only a little bit longer than a minute doesn’t matter whether you connect 1 or 10 vaporizers on your battery. (10 colonies in approx 1 minute’s evaporation time)

    During this time of the year there is lots of moister in the hives and one treatment works up to 40 days. http://www.mellifera.de/engl2.htm
    Go to figure 2 on this site.

    If you have a really big Varroa problem go for a second treatment two or three weeks apart and that should solve the problem. Important is to monitor the mite drop with a sticky board.

    Forget the formic acid, OS has the same or better result and is 100 times saver and easier to handle. Why complicated when a much easier way is available?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Bismarck ND
    Posts
    38

    Post

    You can purchase the OA in Ontario California just East of Los Angeles.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Northren MN
    Posts
    57

    Post

    My bees are in california should this OA be used in those tempratures.(40-degrees to 90-degrees)
    And a vaporizer is made of what is there a design or blueprint.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Northren MN
    Posts
    57

    Post

    Just looked up the OA stripes.Has anyone used them? If so how well did they work.Want to know its pretty penny for 1000 stripes.Any info would help.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,470

    Post

    I have not, but the people who have used them seemed mostly disappointed. You can buy a small tub of oxalic acid wood bleach for about $7 or so and treat more than a hundred hives with the vaporizer.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
    Posts
    829

    Post

    You guys in the USA like to put strips in the hives and then forget about the Varroa.

    This might work more or less with Apistran or Checkmite but I think this lazy time is running out.
    I tried the strips and it works when bees are active but as soon as the summer is over they cover the strips with propolis.

    Like Michael said, better spend the money for some vaporizers. You can use them every year and OA is really cheap.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    Axtmann,
    I will assume its your very poor education of the english language that could allow you to broadly cast assumptions for every beekeeper in the USA. I would normally respond in the like and use my knowledge of the european catagory of people to say something in response. But I know outsiders of the USA are given a pass and its just assumed you meant the best, and it was only a improper use of a few words. We are held to a higher standard here in the USA as we communicate with those in other areas of the world. Being the best by example is not bad I suppose. I hope you learn from your ignorance. And the word "ignorance" would be a good word to look up in a dictionary.

    If I remember correctly from a post from you....it was your own incompetence in using chemicals in the past that does not allow beekeepers in Germany to use certain options in the fight against deseases. I know some of its goverment regulations and keeping chems out of honey(due to wrong applications), but its also from past ingnorance on beekeepers. Casting stones after breaking your own glass house is the ultimate in......"ignorance".

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Northren MN
    Posts
    57

    Post

    Hey I agree,but the oxamite stripes are available to the USA thru canada supplier.Was woundering if anyone in the USA has ordered them.They say that I have to pay extra to get it thru customs or something? Does anyone Know here in the USA.
    Also I run 500 colonies here and other bee keepers run alot more so the put in stripe and walk away and pray it works.Come back in a 4-10 day period to see if it works.(on mite drop inserts) So this is the American way.Would use the vaporizer but the cost and time is too much.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
    Posts
    829

    Post

    @ thekeeper

    With 500 colonies …….if you go for strips, one treatment cost you approx 2 dollar per hive = 1000 $. A second treatment, if necessary, cost you another 1000 dollar, that mean 2000 per year. Second year 2000 again = 4000$ in two years an so on…
    For both treatments you must open each hive, 2 x 500 = 1000 hive opening.

    Now my calculation, if I would have so many colonies I would use 20 electric vaporizers running on two batteries. I have 2 electric for up to 40 colonies, so it is comparable to you.

    Cost 20 x 50 Euro = 1000 Euro (approx 1,380 $) Oxalic acid would cost 7 Euro = 11$ for 1000 treatment. Total = almost 1.400 USD for the first year the next and following years only 11 $ per treatment.

    One treatment takes approx 1.5 minutes for 20 colonies if all vaporizers inside the hives. With a helper you can treat all 500 hives in one morning.
    Now think about how long it takes to put the strips in and out and what you have to pay in the long run.
    This calculation is the German way.
    -----------

    @ BjornBee

    It is not in my interest to offend American beekeepers. You’re might be right, there are a few words wrong in line. I hope I did not strike a nail on the head.
    I can’t mean all of you because in the meantime I know to many who are going the way with natural acids and others.

    Sometimes it’s not so easy for me and I often translate to directly. If I would say in German “you guys” this could mean 1, 2 a few or even all. If I talk to one person I can also say “you guys” and this could mean I put him on the same table with somebody else who works like him or has the same behavior like him.

    >>>We are held to a higher standard here in the USA as we communicate with those in other areas of the world. <<<

    I’m not interested to talk to you about politics.

    I’m a beekeeper, but I must really smile about this. It’s luck for you that you have not to use your second language on this great forum. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Believe me, I could tell this (about using strips) even to many German beekeepers if we would have the Apistran or Checkmite strips available instead of the liquid form.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    Axtmann, I understand.

    The keeper, Do you perform pettis tests on a selected hive from each apairy to determine which strip would be more effective? This is one way to see which strip would have the higher kill rate(prior to buying the strips for that many hives), help combat resistance, and also keep the cost lower by not having to double treat if uneffective, and lessen the overall hive kill and thus save money by selecting the most effective strips which would keep more hives healthier.

    For those still use strips, knowing the effectiveness by performing this easy test is needed to slow the resistance. I know the strips can, and do still work for those who rotate and use them properly, at least for 99% in my area.

    Rotation with a third option, even if its labor intensive for the big guys, would almost eliminate the resistant mites. Two out of three years they could use strips and the third year use O/A and just suck up the increased labor. Its better than losing hives to resistance. People have got to stop using the same strips every year. And stop using Apistan in spring and checkmite in the fall EVERY year. It is really a shame that this has happened and I will agree with this "lazy" approach that Axtmann mentioned. I guess you could throw in "stupid" also.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Northren MN
    Posts
    57

    Post

    No stripe is effective.All bees in orchard have all been treated with everything except acids.So ya it would be stupid to use the stripes that just logic.I'm not lazy stripes worked just fine till I sent them to California.Beekeepers in same orchard loss alot more than I.The only dumb question is the 1 thats not asked.Labor is nothin work all day every day.Life of a beekeeper.4am till when ever.Treating for tracheal mite,also for disease.Going to use thymol. Amitraze doesnt work mites were unaffected. Might use the OA if needed will try the labor intensive way for now.Ya it is a sham that it happened.I have 7 colonies wintered at home in MN and they look better than the bees in CA.Isn't that sad that I listened to another bekeeper and sent them there.Was my mistake and it wont happen again.I will let the other natral beekeepers know what works other than using acids.Guess the question is would you want to breathe the acid gas.So why should I make my bees when their is a remedy there that is natral and will work.Thanks for the feed back.Yes have done test and still some in process so far thymol,fumid b and mite-a-thol are working the best.Have seen the best results with these medication.How about yall?Oxamite effective but for how long.Same with the acids.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Hookstown PA USA
    Posts
    581

    Post

    OA is effective essentially forever. The way it kills can be compared to using your finger to squash a bug. They can't develop a resistance to a physical non-selective attack. I believe formic is the same way.
    Sounds like some very resitant mites...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Northren MN
    Posts
    57

    Post

    wont use formic acid used before ruins your equipment.But is worth using to save bees!!

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