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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    San Diego, CA, USA
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    159

    Exclamation Mite count? Using Mite Away quick strips - need advice

    Hi...I am posting here because not enough viewers are in the Pest and Treatment forum, and I really need some advice!

    About two weeks ago, I saw a few bees in front of my two hives with 'K' wings. They also seemed unable to fly. My first perception was tracheal mites. Someone said it could likely be due to Varroa, and that I should treat with Mite Away Quick Strips. I jumped on the bandwagon without first researching, and bought the chemical.

    After reading how to use this chemical, I am aware now that there is a mortality rate of bees that can occur with the use of this kind of treatment. The info states that when it is used, the hive must have 6 frames of bees or it could kill the entire hive. "Brood mortality may occur in the initial stage of treatment. Overall colony health is not expected to be affected, with brood rearing returning to normal by the end of treatment."

    Is early October in San Diego, CA too late? Would I have enough brood rearing after treatment? Could I destroy my hives? These hives are at least one full 10 frame deep with the second deep at least half full or more of honey.

    Am I making a wrong choice to treat with this chemical?

    After using grease patties and 'med dose level' of Pro Health in 2:1 (sugar to water) syrup for at least 1-2 weeks, I have not seen anymore 'k' winged bees or ones struggling to fly.

    Was my diagnoses likely correct? Should I use a Varroa mite count sticky board first to even see if I have a problem? I don't want to use this chemical and lose my whole hive. Anyone experienced with the MAQS?

    Thanks!

    Lori
    Last edited by TheRatLover; 10-07-2012 at 01:10 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Concord, CA
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    4,000

    Default Re: Mite count? Using Mite Away quick strips - need advice

    Hi Lori,
    In San Diego I don't think the weather ever gets cold enough to stop brood rearing, Lack of nectar might make a slow down in brood. Even though the quick strips can't legally advertise its effectiveness against tracheal mites I think it works for them as well as varroa. They can't advertise it because the product wasn't approved for that use. So you shouldn't need the grease patties.

    I don't have first hand experience with the product, but if I was going to use an approved mite product it would be the quick strips or hopguard.
    Dan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Manitoba Canada
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    5,486

    Default Re: Mite count? Using Mite Away quick strips - need advice

    whats your mite counts?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    San Diego, CA, USA
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    159

    Default Re: Mite count? Using Mite Away quick strips - need advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    whats your mite counts?
    I have not even checked. I have screened bottom boards. I bought one sticky board, but I don't know how to asses a count. Should I do this first before treating? Do I check after the board is placed for 24 hours or 3 days? There is lots of differing info out there...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
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    581

    Default Re: Mite count? Using Mite Away quick strips - need advice

    Quote Originally Posted by TheRatLover View Post
    I have not even checked. I have screened bottom boards. I bought one sticky board, but I don't know how to asses a count. Should I do this first before treating? Do I check after the board is placed for 24 hours or 3 days? There is lots of differing info out there...
    Check out the sampling power point -https://agdev.anr.udel.edu/maarec/educational-resources/powerpoints/

  6. #6
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    Jan 2003
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    Default Re: Mite count? Using Mite Away quick strips - need advice

    I take a small sample of the bees, 200 or so, and drop them into a alcohol. shake them up , screen out the bees, and count the mites. My treatment threshold is around 4-5% this time of year
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    San Diego, CA, USA
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    159

    Default Re: Mite count? Using Mite Away quick strips - need advice

    Now that I have seen pics of mites on bees. I have yet to see one of my bees with mites on it. From personal viewing of my bees, I haven't seen any mites. One hive is varroa resistant, and the other was re-queened at the end of July. This queen bee supposedly also has the VSH resistance too.

    Tell me...what is the likelihood that I need to treat? Should I do it just to be safe? The weather is turning perfect for treating with MAQS. I don't want to miss this window....

    I will use the sticky board. How long do I leave it in to be accurate? I was thinking just 24 hours. I still don't know how long I am suppose to leave in...can you tell me?

    -Lori

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
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    2,440

    Default Re: Mite count? Using Mite Away quick strips - need advice

    You really ought to assess the mite load of your hives before treating. If you need more resources in how to test for mites, look at Randy Oliver's web site http://scientificbeekeeping.com/

    I used MAQS this year on my colonies that I choose to treat and I had no queen mortality or other issues. And it seemed to kill mites. I did not do any after treatment mite counts which I should have done to test efficacy.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Mite count? Using Mite Away quick strips - need advice

    >>Tell me...what is the likelihood that I need to treat? Should I do it just to be safe? The weather is turning perfect for treating with MAQS. I don't want to miss this window....

    you have no idea if your needing treatment or not and your worried about missing the window?
    do not get the cart ahead of the horse, you need to know if you have a mite problem before you treat.
    you have to know whats going on in your hive before you do anything in it.
    Being a beekeeper isnt just following the directions on a back of cereal box.
    Being a beekeeper is keeping bees and manipulating them to bring out their potential.
    MAQS is not for rookies and its hard on the bees brood and queens. But if used correctly it can help with mite loads.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    San Diego, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Mite count? Using Mite Away quick strips - need advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Dewey View Post
    look at Randy Oliver's web site http://scientificbeekeeping.com/

    I used MAQS this year on my colonies that I choose to treat and I had no queen mortality or other issues. And it seemed to kill mites. I did not do any after treatment mite counts which I should have done to test efficacy.
    Thank you for directing me to Randy's site! This really helped me understand about MAQS! I am glad I purchased them.

    I found a great site for understanding the sticky board (I posted separately about this), so I will proceed to do a 24 hour check.

    -Lori

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Mite count? Using Mite Away quick strips - need advice

    You won't see a lot of mites just hanging around on your bees. You need to uncap some drone brood or look for DWV. On occasion, you may see a phoretic mite attached to a bee, but I rarely do even with moderate counts. A sticky board or alcohol wash to access mite loads on your nursebees are about the only ways of going about it in an efficient manner.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    San Diego, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Mite count? Using Mite Away quick strips - need advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    >>Tell me...what is the likelihood that I need to treat? Should I do it just to be safe? The weather is turning perfect for treating with MAQS. I don't want to miss this window....
    you need to know if you have a mite problem before you treat.

    you have to know whats going on in your hive before you do anything in it.
    Being a beekeeper isnt just following the directions on a back of cereal box.
    .
    After 24 hours, my mite count was 36. I counted only the dark red/brown ones (not all I counted were this dark). I did not count the immature beige-colored ones as instructed by an article because they are immature ones that the bees removed from the brood. The immature ones only amounted to less than 10 more.

    Should I treat? I've heard that when it's up to 50-60 in the Fall, then I treat. Is this true?

    See this article. It tells how to use the sticky board:
    http://www.njbeekeepers.org/Site_Doc...m%20Boards.pdf

    -Lori
    Last edited by TheRatLover; 10-09-2012 at 10:40 AM. Reason: to add website

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Chicago, Illinois, USA
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    20

    Default Re: Mite count? Using Mite Away quick strips - need advice

    I opted to use Apiguard trays instead of the strips. I just finished the treatment yesterday. It was incredibly easy to use and boy did it kill a ton of mites. We'll see how well the bees do this winter though.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    San Diego, CA, USA
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    159

    Default Re: Mite count? Using Mite Away quick strips - need advice

    I just did a count and added in all I saw...I came to around 80! I will be treating, and I purchased the MAQS already, so I will give it a try. We have optimal temps for the next 4 days, so harm to the bees should be minimal.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Chicago, Illinois, USA
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    Default Re: Mite count? Using Mite Away quick strips - need advice

    I'm also going to use grease patties this fall & winter. Here's the link to the info & recipe from the West Virginia University:

    http://www.wvu.edu/~agexten/varroa/2...ies%202010.pdf

    It's supposed to help with Varroa mites as well as Tracheal mites and sounds like pretty good stuff to use year-round. A similar recipe is also referenced in Beekeeping for Dummies.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
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    Default Re: Mite count? Using Mite Away quick strips - need advice

    I do not use sticky boards, mostly because I do not believe they give accurate mite loads. BUT many do use them and many use them very well.
    I use the alcohol wash method, as do most beekeepers up here where I beekeep as does our extensions office. And with their recommendations we hold a treatment threshold of 3-4% fall sample. Any higher we start to see signs of viral damages to the hives. I like to see around 1%, and thats what I have found in my hives this fall so I avoided treatments this year.

    Now that you have an idea of your mite levels, and if you follow the natural mite fall count system, then By the numbers you assessed, your well under the treatment threshold.
    So now that you have been able to determine your mite pressures, you can better assess your treatment options.
    If your levels were at or over thresholds, then you probably should consider a hard chem treatment to whack the mites down.
    But your levels are within a range that probably will not hurt your hives if you left them, but id say they are high enough that if you left them alone, they will become a problem next spring. So either you decide to treat with chemicals next spring when they become a problem, or you use less aggressive mode of action to knock them down.
    Im not going to vouch for Formic, I think its too hard on brood, bees and queens. Kind of defeats the whole purpose. Thymol perhaps, Oxalic,? Be sure your well advised on these products before using them,

    I didnt mean to be harsh in my previous post, I re read it and I didnt mean to sound so direct BUT these are decisions that have to be made with some kind of back ground knowledge.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: Mite count? Using Mite Away quick strips - need advice

    Yes, you came on strong, but I decided to look past it. I know you meant well!

    BTW, I made my choice and decided to move ahead with the treatment. One thing for my hives is that the temps are not going to go above 78 degrees for the next 5 days. It's even going to rain come Thursday and the temps will be in the 60's! This is unusual for us here in San Diego, CA so I am trusting that I have God on my side I am praying for my queens and the bee colonies...

    Thanks for giving your input. I do love to learn, and the more I know the better Beekeeper I can be!!!

    -Lori

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