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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Larimer, Colorado
    Posts
    29

    Default Winter Mite Problem (First year beek)

    While cleaning out the dead bees today I noticed that there were mites on the bees I scraped out. One of them had 4 mites on it. I am wondering if apiguard would be appropriate this time of year? Or if there is any other advice you could give me

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    etowah,Alabama
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: Winter Mite Problem (First year beek)

    Look on YouTube for Oxalic acid vaporization treatment for mites. Its not USDA approved but they tell me it works.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Posts
    1,244

    Default Re: Winter Mite Problem (First year beek)

    Google Oxalic Acid drip or Honey bee healthy drench. Either should be effective this time of year in Colorado.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Grayson, KY
    Posts
    275

    Default Re: Winter Mite Problem (First year beek)

    How would a guy know they have a problem this time of year? I found 8 dead bees and one of them had a mite and two others looked to have deformed wings.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,525

    Default Re: Winter Mite Problem (First year beek)

    If one in 8 had a mite that extrapolates to 12% of your bees and that is a heavy load. The deformed wings is another indicator. Are your bees still flying and do they have brood? What is your daytime and night time temps. All that is part of the decision. Search this forum and there are many posts about mite treatment and mites. I would be inclined to try to knock down the numbers with Oxalic, but that is a perosnal decision and you have some reading to do. Good luck.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Cupertino, CA, USA
    Posts
    278

    Default Re: Winter Mite Problem (First year beek)

    Oxalic acid occurs naturally in spinach, rhubarb and other foods. It has long been used in Europe and Canada for mite control. Since it is dirt cheap (sold in hardware stores as Wood Bleach, eg. ACE Hardware), there is no "money" behind getting it approved in the US for mite control. Apparently an entirely new American study is needed for approval instead of accepting the extensive German studies. Correct me if I have this wrong.
    Oxalic acid info
    http://www.moraybeedinosaurs.co.uk/V...o_we_stand.htm
    http://www.honeybeeworld.com/diary/a...ublimation.htm
    Homemade oxalic acid sublimator
    https://picasaweb.google.com/Michael...36830921254930
    https://picasaweb.google.com/Michael...36827963884706

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Waukesha, WI
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: Winter Mite Problem (First year beek)

    Michael, Thanks for reposting the info. I didn't get a chance to look at all of them previous to the other post disappearing. I am looking into making a sublimator myself although with a glow plug.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Cupertino, CA, USA
    Posts
    278

    Default Re: Winter Mite Problem (First year beek)

    Quote Originally Posted by tsk View Post
    Michael, Thanks for reposting the info. I didn't get a chance to look at all of them previous to the other post disappearing. I am looking into making a sublimator myself although with a glow plug.
    Well, that didn't occur to me so I'd be interested. Plus I had heating elements and thermostats laying around. It is important not to get too hot because at 370F the OA melts and becomes formic acid and carbon monoxide. Sublimation (state change from solid to gas) begins at 315F. With mine set at around 315F, the hydration water quickly boils off leaving crystalline OA, then sublimation eliminates all trace of crystalline OA within 3-4 minutes for a 1 gram amount.
    Last edited by MichaelShantz; 12-12-2011 at 06:18 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Waukesha, WI
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: Winter Mite Problem (First year beek)

    Yours looks more complicated than what I've typically seen--most I've seen don't have temperature control. I do plan to do some testing to get the ideal temperatures so there isn't overheating.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Grayson, KY
    Posts
    275

    Default Re: Winter Mite Problem (First year beek)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    If one in 8 had a mite that extrapolates to 12% of your bees and that is a heavy load. The deformed wings is another indicator. Are your bees still flying and do they have brood? What is your daytime and night time temps. All that is part of the decision. Search this forum and there are many posts about mite treatment and mites. I would be inclined to try to knock down the numbers with Oxalic, but that is a perosnal decision and you have some reading to do. Good luck.
    The temps have been in the low 40s in the day and 20s at night. They don't fly until somewhere over 50. I have no idea about brood. These 2 colonies were placed in my care in October. They had to be moved or the city was going to destroy them. I was planning on starting my own colonies in the spring(even had all the woodenware prepared) so my plans got moved up. They were not worked much this year so all the frames were glued together to the point I couldn't do a proper inspection before it got cold. They do have honey in the outer frames of the upper deep.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Larimer, Colorado
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Winter Mite Problem (First year beek)

    So currently the temps in my area have been in the mid 30's to mid 40's going to 5-15 at night (F). I can't really do an inspection to make sure I am broodless is it still worth while attempting to to the oxalic acid. Also does anyone have any links to videos or websites that they really like that explains how to do all this?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Cupertino, CA, USA
    Posts
    278

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    706

    Default Re: Winter Mite Problem (First year beek)

    Here's another good site:

    http://scientificbeekeeping.com/oxal...-1-of-2-parts/


    In a nutshell:

    To completely dissolve oxalic acid dihydrate (wood bleach at hardware store), use warm syrup. Dissolve 35 g of oxalic acid dihydrate in 1 litre of syrup made from a 1:1, (weight:volume) mixture of sugar and water.
    With a syringe or an applicator (1 gallon sprayer) , trickle 5 mL of this solution directly onto the bees in each occupied bee space in each brood box. The maximum dose is 50 mL per colony whether bees are in nucs, single, or multiple brood chambers. Do a test to determine a rate vs time when using a sprayer.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Larimer, Colorado
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Winter Mite Problem (First year beek)

    If I do the syrup method as opposed to the vapor one won't I have to wait until the weather increases before I can apply it to the bees? Also someone mentioned a Honey Bee Healthy drench what are your guys thoughts on that?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    706

    Default Re: Winter Mite Problem (First year beek)

    The outside temperature needs to be above freezing, and your OA syrup should be room temperature. The bees can still be in cluster when you apply this treatment.

    I think a HBH drench in this situation would be unwise. Keep any treatment as simple as possible.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,070

    Default Re: Winter Mite Problem (First year beek)

    If it is approved for use in your state you may also want to try Hopguard. It is not temperature specific. If you go with oxalic I would vaporize this time of year only because I don't think bees like being wetted with syrup in cool weather. IMHO.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Larimer, Colorado
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Winter Mite Problem (First year beek)

    I honestly don't have the money to buy a vaporizer. I do have a propane blow torch how do I go about vaporizing with the blow torch. I currently have 2 large hive bodies.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,432

    Default Re: Winter Mite Problem (First year beek)

    A simple oxalic vaporiser can be made from a piece of pipe plugged at one end, and a blowtorch. That's it.

    Michael was correct about the need for temperature control. However if you use something simple, you may be more likely to actually do it. Long term though if you are serious, build a good vaporiser.

    I wouldn't recommend using a liquid form of oxalic at this point.

    Also to the guy who can't open his hive, just go ahead and do the oxalic treatment anyway. There is little / nothing to lose, much to potentially gain, and oxalic does not permanently accumulate in the combs, unlike some other treatments.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,863

    Default Re: Winter Mite Problem (First year beek)

    I would not use the drizzle method... it really isn't safe and can only be done once without killing the bees, vaporization can be repeated if needed.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Cupertino, CA, USA
    Posts
    278

    Default Re: Winter Mite Problem (First year beek)

    You guys got me thinking how to make a simpler sublimator that can be slid under a SBB but doesn't have so much uncontrollable heat as a propane torch. I hard soldered a 3/4" copper end cap to a short length of copper pipe and stuck a soldering iron in it. Drill a 1" hole in thin plywood that can slide in under SBB, wire the OA cup into it as shown. I tested it and it works but takes longer to evaporate the OA. The little 23W soldering iron is barely able to overheat it.
    100_0972SM.jpg
    Last edited by MichaelShantz; 12-12-2011 at 05:12 PM.

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