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  1. #1
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    Default Varroa mite count query

    High mite count or low mite count? If a lot of mites are on the sticky board does that mean the bees are shedding them? Or does a low count mean that the mites are clinging to the bees? The high counts are coming from a very strong hive. Low counts are coming from one that is not as strong.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Varroa mite count query

    The ones on the sticky board either fell off or where groomed off by the bees. A hive with fewer bees should have a lower mite count.
    What where you're 24 hour counts?
    Dan

  3. #3
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    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
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    Default Re: Varroa mite count query


  4. #4
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Varroa mite count query

    Quote Originally Posted by oldforte View Post
    If a lot of mites are on the sticky board does that mean the bees are shedding them?
    It means that there are alot of them that died, which implys that there are alot of them still alive. I would consider treating as soon as possible.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Varroa mite count query

    I read the Threshold article and did not really understand the conversion from sticky board/alcohol wash in percentage of infestation. If having 200 sb count in 24 hrs what would be the percent? Any help?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Varroa mite count query

    if you have 200 mites on a board in 24 hrs, your levels are extremely high and you needed to treat yesterday!

  7. #7
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Varroa mite count query

    Quote Originally Posted by oldforte View Post
    If having 200 sb count in 24 hrs what would be the percent?
    Percent what? Every time I ask an expert, "How many mites are there in a hive w/ a mite count of 10 mites per 300 bees in an Ether Roll or Alchohol Wash?", I am told that there are too many variables for anyone to accurately say.

    But, you might want to treat asap to insure young uninjured bees going into fall and winter.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  8. #8
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    Feb 2009
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    Algonquin, IL, USA
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    Default Re: Varroa mite count query

    From my understanding, dead mites are not all created equal. Some die of old age after creating many new mites, and some never make it out of the cell.

    When a female mite goes into a cell to lay, she lays multiple eggs that hatch. One becomes a male, and mates with the others. The mortality rate is VERY high, and usually only one mite survives. That leaves a bunch of dead mites still in the cells. As the bees clean the cells, they drop them on your sticky board.

    Now, you may have killed every mite in your hive (just making a point here), and in a couple of months notice some mite drops as the bees get around to cleaning out those cells for brood.

    A dead mite count is an estimate of what's in the hive. It can certainly be used as an indication of when to treat.

    I've heard to consider treating when the mite drop count gets to 25-50 per day.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Varroa mite count query

    Here’s a hypothetical situation. You have two hives. For the sake of argument, let’s say your treatment threshold is 60 mites in 24 hours. You conduct a drop test on both hives and get 58 each. So you don’t treat…..but what you haven’t considered is that one hive has 40,000 bees and has been going gangbusters and making brood all season. The second hive swarmed a couple of weeks ago, only has 20,000 bees and has had a break in brood production. Does the drop test make a fair comparison? Should you be treating hive #2, as the implied infestation is actually twice as high (per bee) as hive #1? Food for thought.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Varroa mite count query

    Has anyone reading this thread ever counted 200 + mites in the fall.....and not treated... and have a functioning hive the next year?

  11. #11

    Default Re: Varroa mite count query

    Quote Originally Posted by oldforte View Post
    200 + mites in the fall.....and not treated... and have a functioning hive the next year?
    Maybe not but the problem with using 24 hour mite counts isn't on the extreme high end....it's from the midrange down to low. A big bee population with an equally big mite drop may well collapse. But...a smaller bee population with a medium to low mite drop may also be doomed.
    Last edited by beemandan; 09-02-2011 at 04:56 AM.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Varroa mite count query

    Certainly one shouldn't make a treatment decision on just one thing. Hopefully a visual review of the condition of the brood is done before taking further steps.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  13. #13

    Default Re: Varroa mite count query

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Hopefully a visual review of the condition of the brood is done before taking further steps.
    All too often I see mite drop counts promoted as a stand alone test. It is an easy test but potentially misleading without knowing the overall condition of the colony of bees.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Varroa mite count query

    Yeah, that's what I meant to say. Thanks Dan.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Varroa mite count query

    Sqkcrk & beemandan are making my point. Has anyone had 200+ mite count in the last summer days ...not treated ..and the hive survived the next year. This hive is very strong...they came at me with vengeance when i opened the intercover. Five or six mediums in a 2 year hive. I treated the hive with MAQS in the spring. It lowered the count afterwards to about half. What
    "conditions" should i look for other than the mite count?

  16. #16
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    May 2010
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    Knox County, Ohio
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    Default Re: Varroa mite count query

    I have looked at as many sources as I could find on this and it is not an exact science but the sticky board is a good indicator and if more beekeepers used it we would loose a lot less bees. From all my searching I have come to the conclusion that anything over a count of 25 is getting treated. 25 is my threshold number and if I were truthfull I would probably treat at 10 on a smaller colony.

    My strongest hive a month ago had a count of 500 and I am working on saving it but 200 is very very serious and out of the thresshold range by any count. You should be counting on a monthly basis to see if the populations are on the rise or staying level but at 200 it doesn't matter your hive is in trouble. Try some of the MAQS for a quick knock down and take your counts again in a few weeks.

    Good Luck,

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Varroa mite count query

    Quote Originally Posted by oldforte View Post
    What "conditions" should i look for other than the mite count?
    How many frames of brood and what condition is it in? Spotty and sparce? Plentiful and wall to wall? Deformed wings on young bees? Diseases or queenlessness?

    Those sorts of things. But, it sounds like you aught to treat.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  18. #18
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    May 2008
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    Default Re: Varroa mite count query

    As others said 200 is a high number. If you're against using harsh treatments, at least powder sugar them 3 times a week for 3 weeks.
    Been keeping bees 4 year & haven't used anything but PS on the hives. Last winter 7 of 7 survived, so it can work. Its a lot more work than other treatments, but an option for people who don't want the other stuff in their hives.
    Dan

  19. #19
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    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    Default Re: Varroa mite count query

    Take one of those steel comb scratch thingys and skewer some capped drone brood. Count the mites, number of cells skewered, and report back.

    Crazy Roland

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    phoenix arizona
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    92

    Default Re: Varroa mite count query

    I'm new, so don't know, but what kind of temps do you have, and what meds would you use if you do treat? Seems that Tenn would be a bit warm for some treatments right now, so how would you remedy that if needed.
    I figured If I needed to treat I'd take my hives to the mountains where there is a flow going, and the temp is good for the treatment I'd use.
    I did what Roland suggested, after being told to by the guy I bought my bees from, and pulled some drone and saw no mites. Not even one, but if I had I already had a plan formulated for treatment.

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