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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Warsaw NY USA
    Posts
    40

    Default OK to hold off mite treatment for a month?

    I did a mite count on my 7 hives (3 are new swarms this summer), and the established hives had a mite drop count that was around 20 or more per day. These are very large, congested, packed full to the brim hives with at least 5 shallow and medium supers on top of 2 deep boxes. I had been using powdered sugar and drone traps with excellent results up until July when the number of supers on top made it too hard to break down the hive.

    My reference books offer different threshold levels before using a treatment. One says anything over 10 a day requires treatment, but another says 50 a day is acceptable before emergency treatment. I am NOT one who plans on no treatment, but would like to wait until early to mid-September when I will pull all the supers to extract.

    I was thinking I'd pull them apart to powder sugar the brood boxes in the hopes that that would help hold off any other treatment until September. Then I'm considering using Apiguard (thymol) or a formic acid treatment.

    Any thoughts as to whether this is a reasonable plan?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
    Posts
    829

    Default Re: OK to hold off mite treatment for a month?

    You might have luck with your treatment in mid September…. but what’s happen if the temperatures drop and you can’t treat with Thymol successful?
    IMO with a mite drop of 20 a day there is no way your bees will survive if you don’t treat immediately.
    The hive probably has more than 2000 mites hidden in cells and in a short while they have more than 4000. August is the time they start producing winter bees, how can they survive with several holes in there body drilled by Varroa mites??? If they still make it in the winter, the first cleaning flight and your hive is empty.

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

    Default Re: OK to hold off mite treatment for a month?

    How can you say you had an excellent result with powder sugar and drone cut? You can say I found lots of mite with this procedure. Excellent mean you killed the mites and the hive is mite free. How come your hive has a mite drop with 20 or more?
    For the future, don’t believe in the hocus pocus like powder sugar. It tells you only your hive have lots of mites and not more. Cutting drone cells or using a drone frame regularly might cut the mite load by 50% but not more.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,696

    Default Re: OK to hold off mite treatment for a month?

    if the formic flash treatment is approved in your area you can use that as a stop measure to reduce the mites until treatment time. It is a over night procedure and requires the removal of all honey supers. The supers can be placed back on in the morning
    Different mite levels are accepted during different times of the year. For example in the spring, a mite threshold of 1% is at the most you would want if you do not want to lose honey production
    Check out this site. It explains alot about why different levels at different times and what happens if the threshold is breeched
    http://www.capabees.com/main/files/p...athreshold.pdf

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Warsaw NY USA
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: OK to hold off mite treatment for a month?

    In Kim Flottum's book Backyard Beekeeper, it recommended 20-60 for a tolerable amount, and that if a count conducted in midsummer showed a mite drop count of 60 or more per day, treatment would be needed. That's why I haven't PANICKED up to this time.

    I considered my previous efforts with drone comb and powdered sugar to be excellent because the drop count was 2-4 (or less) a day until mid-July. For large established overwintered hives, that's a pretty tolerable amount. I'm sure this sudden surge is due to the fact that I stopped doing it in midsummer and only bothered the hives to add more supers.

    We should be careful about attacking people with words like "hocus pocus" and a disdainful tone about their efforts to keep bees happy and healthy with a different method than our own. Yes - it's a LOT more work. Yes - the mite load never goes down to 0. There must be a happy medium between "totally no treatment at all" and "treat aggressively at the first signs of mites."

    That being said, I think I will pull the supers at the beginning of September to treat with Apiguard.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    piedmont s.c.
    Posts
    244

    Smile Re: OK to hold off mite treatment for a month?

    well I have held off treatment with chemicals for 16 years, I use a trap like the feeman trap ,aclosed bottom board and an oil pan with veg' oil and a screen over it , I lost about 40%over the winter to start with now its about 10%.I dont like to use chem' in my hives and I try to keep about 50 hives if my health will let me.good luck rock!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,082

    Default Re: OK to hold off mite treatment for a month?

    This is the time of year mite loads are high. Some southern universities set the threshold at 50-100 per day at this time of year.

    You need local threshold numbers if you can find them. They change depending on what season it is.

    Forgot to mention my point. Depending on who you ask, many will say not to treat at all if the numbers are below 50 in Aug.
    Dan

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Warsaw NY USA
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: OK to hold off mite treatment for a month?

    Tried a little experiment. I tried a good strong dusting of powdered sugar on 3 of the the hives and left 3 others alone, rechecked the mite count a 3 days later. The "unsugared" hives were still at 25 mites a day, the "sugared" ones had dropped to 8-14 a day. Not a very scientific study, but still it has enough effect to let the girls keep going until I pull the supers off in September.

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