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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH, USA
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    29

    Default what mite count is acceptable?

    I just did a sticky tray mite count for 48 hours on my two hives. They're big colonies with big populations - started as Italians three years ago. One tray had 10 and one had 40 mites. Does anyone here have an opinion about what a threshold is for acceptable mite levels? My plan is to wait and treat with oxalic acid in fall, when there's little or no brood.

    thanks, Karen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,147

    Default Re: what mite count is acceptable?

    Thresholds are specific to season, & region where you live.
    There is a lot of debate about the numbers.
    Many say to have them under control in Aug, so strong bees raise the winter bees.
    You might want to powder sugar the one with 40, a few times.
    Dan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,200

    Default Re: what mite count is acceptable?

    Just the tray? No miticide? Seems good to me, but I really have no idea. KQ has a good suggestion.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Default Re: what mite count is acceptable?

    You might consider treating for mites now and treat both hives.
    You might be surprised how many mites are in the hives!
    The one with 40 will soon be 80-120+ soon and then you will lose the hive, hives.
    You might try Apiguard.
    Count the red mites only

    Ernie
    Last edited by BEES4U; 06-25-2010 at 06:59 PM. Reason: edited a sentence
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default Re: what mite count is acceptable?

    Rule of thumb:

    Double digits requires attention.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,699

    Default Re: what mite count is acceptable?

    http://www.capabees.com/main/files/p...athreshold.pdf

    here is a web site which will give you a chart to convert to % of varroa. Scroll down and there is a chart with acceptable varroa thresholds for certain months. I know it is for the Canadian Praires, but the idea is there.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,212

    Default Re: what mite count is acceptable?

    The number usually bandied about seems to be something between 50 and 100. But reality is the number needs to be taken in the context of the time of year and the direction the hive is taking (building up the number will be smaller because they are in the cells and winding down it will go up as they are not in the cells). The trend is more significant than the number.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Default Re: what mite count is acceptable?

    Trend
    And, July is in a few days.
    Read the chart and please notice thr ver strong up-turn for July and forward.
    Ernie
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH, USA
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: what mite count is acceptable?

    Bees4U- You say count red mites only. Please say a bit more about this. I need this comment to be amplified. Is red a stage of the varroa life cycle; is red varroa and other non-red are not varroa? thanks, Karen

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
    Posts
    829

    Default Re: what mite count is acceptable?

    This works for me for the last several years.

    During May - 24 hour natural mite drop less than 3 mites I wait with the treatment till August. 3 mites or more I treat immediately. Remember, when bees have brood, more than 90% of the mites hiding in the cells.

    During June – 24 hour natural mite drop less than 6 mites I wait with the treatment till August. Between 6 and 10 mites I give them one Thymol strip, this will clean up approx 60% + of the mites.

    I don’t check for mites in July.

    My regular mite treatment, with two Thymol strips per hive 2 weeks apart, starts not later than the second week in August. The result is, the bees raising healthy winter bees and not crippled bees with several holes in there bodies made by the sucking mites.

    I also make a clean up treatment every winter with an oxalic acid vaporizer.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default Re: what mite count is acceptable?

    Thank you for sharing Axtmann. Are these the Thymomite strips available here in US? The ones I have seen are yellow. Are there temperature perameters to work within? I have never used these but have seen others using with apparently good results.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stirling Ontario Canada
    Posts
    77

    Question Re: what mite count is acceptable?

    Quote Originally Posted by BEES4U View Post
    You might consider treating for mites now and treat both hives.
    You might be surprised how many mites are in the hives!
    The one with 40 will soon be 80-120+ soon and then you will lose the hive, hives.
    You might try Apiguard.
    Count the red mites only

    Ernie
    What do you mean the red mites? I counted some almost clear mites, what's up with that?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Leetonia, Ohio
    Posts
    389

    Default Re: what mite count is acceptable?

    In my opinion, you are better off doing an alcohol wash or sugar shake to test for the level of mites. Do a search and there are a lot of threads explaining both of these techniques (sp?). Now given the results you have I would for sure treat the 40 count colony. The 10 count colony I would be tempted to leave alone. I would not wait until Nov. or Dec. (broodless time in our area) to treat unless you want dead bees in March and April. The time to treat is mid July so that you have bees raising healthy bees for the winter.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default Re: what mite count is acceptable?

    Ladies and Gentlemen, jdpro just gave you the greatest inside tip of the decade:

    TREAT in LATE JULY.


    August 1: Bee keepers New Year.

    Edit: Sorry, or MID, whatever you can get done.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH, USA
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: what mite count is acceptable?

    Thanks a lot for the very specific guidance. My aspiration is to natural beekeeping but in the meantime I will still choose "soft" chemicals until the bees can hold their own. Don't want to lost colonies when I have only two. Apiguard only when needed and then oxalic acid treatment in fall is within acceptable treatment range for me.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,699

    Default Re: what mite count is acceptable?

    that 40 count hive, waiting until fall will be too late

    Here is why,

    Mite counts will at least double in three weeks. Then double again. By that token
    40 today,
    July 19---80
    August 7 --- 160
    August 31--- 320
    Sept 21--- 640
    Oct 7---1280 if they make it that long
    By Feb/march, dead colony for sure.

    I gave you a link to the capa web site. Did you look at the chart on page 4 which converts the drop # to a %? On the chart 33-43 drop in 24 hours is = to 5-6% mite infestation. At 4% brood damage occurs. Brood damage in the form of deform wing virus.
    You will probably start seeing it when the next bees hatch out.
    Waiting until fall will ensure a dead colony in the spring, and a weak colony in the fall.
    Please understand, the bees that hatch out in late August and later are the bees that will carry you through the winter. Weak bees due to mite pressure while in the brood will shorten the life span of your August and September bees.
    If you have brood damage in July, those bees that hatch out will be the nurse bees for your August September eggs. The bees in July will be weak, and will not be able to feed the larva properly. So the larva will be weak on feed, add to that, the mites that enter the cell and feed off the weak larva, and it is a recipe for the "perfect storm".
    As well, the nurse bees in July will probably become foragers earlier than anticipated because the foragers for July will probably die earlier than scheduled because they were weakend by the mites.
    Weak bees will also be suseptable to other viruses, spores or fungus' that exist in a hive.
    yeah.... s ...or should i say the hive will be

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stirling Ontario Canada
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: what mite count is acceptable?

    Got to agree with honeyshack... I talked to a beekeeper of 30 years because I have the same problem and he said that you(and I) should definitly treat... I am meeting with him today to find out with what.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
    Posts
    829

    Default Re: what mite count is acceptable?

    Hi Tom G. Laury

    Yes I use the yellow strips (Thymomite); there is no extra space necessary. I lift up the inner cover and place a full strip on top of the frames beside the brood. It takes me a few seconds per hive and the treatment is done. After 2 weeks the second strip and the bees shred the leftovers.

    In the past I have tried many different thinks including the Thymol paste, but the strips are the easiest and with the best result for me. We have a distributor here you should phone the manufacturer; if you have seen them in the US they must be available. There is another advantage; they cost less than half from the other products.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stirling Ontario Canada
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: what mite count is acceptable?

    Okay... my mentor said the best thing to do would be to put Mite-Away II on your hives. It is a soft chemical. Leave it on for 7 days instead of the full 21, most of the pad is expended by then. This is not for every situation, just now because there will be a honey flow soon. Either that or Apivar.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Weston, ME
    Posts
    566

    Default Re: what mite count is acceptable?

    Not knowing a lot about mite treatment...
    Doesn't treating in july coincide with the honey flows? So either people are treating in a honey flow, treating between honey flows with little time for the residue to diminish, or there is no honey flow in july for those posting to do so?

    Isn't there a requirement for so many days between removal of the chemicals and the start of supering?



    My state ap. said 3 day drop test time with 30/day mites or more should receive treatment.

    Mike

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