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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Kaysville, Utah, USA
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    Question Mite count went up -- treat?

    A cold snap gave me the opportunity to do another mite count (I had the insert in my SBB), and my count came out at 20/day. A little over a month ago I got 8/day. Most of them this time around were light brown in color, which was interesting.

    I have a couple of questions:

    1. Is this count a concern going into winter?
    2. Do I have time to take action?



    I'm brand new, so any advice is appreciated.
    Don't provoke a hive full of angry bees.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Ojai, California
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    Default Re: Mite count went up -- treat?

    Yes, they don't stand a chance. 20 mites per square inch overnight it's amazing they are alive. Whack them with a harsh treatment this late in the year and feed them a patty, essential oils, fumagilin-B, and a fondant board.

    If you go treatment-free right now, you sentenced them to death. You can go to light intervention, mild treatment, IPM next year. If they do well and hive strength comes way up, you could try "treatment-free" later. It appears that mites should be dealt a severe blow earlier in the season, like before mid-August.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Skagit, WA, USA
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    239

    Default Re: Mite count went up -- treat?

    As a newbie myself, I'm wondering, 20 mites TOTAL per day, or 20 per square inch. I'm guessing the former. Regardless, you should treat. Might have to use something that is not temperature sensitive, depending on the conditions at your location.

  4. #4
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    Jul 2012
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    Default Re: Mite count went up -- treat?

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    Yes, they don't stand a chance. 20 mites per square inch overnight it's amazing they are alive.
    Sorry, I should have been more specific. It was 20 per day total, not per square inch, up from 8 per day total.
    Last edited by Splatt; 10-10-2012 at 04:40 PM.
    Don't provoke a hive full of angry bees.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Concord, CA
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    Default Re: Mite count went up -- treat?

    Personally I don't get concerned until the number is over 50. A lot of people say my number is too high, but its worked well for us.
    Dan

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Belews Creek, NC, USA
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    Default Re: Mite count went up -- treat?

    You should use the IPM sticky boards for three days. Count the mites and divide the total by 3 to give you the 24 hour count. 50 or more for the 24 hour total requires treatment. I tried the sugar roll on 4 hives and had a low mite count. Used the IPM boards and 2 of my hives had over 100 for the 24 hour count. Here is some info on IPM boards. http://www.njbeekeepers.org/Site_Doc...m%20Boards.pdf

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    DFW area, TX, USA
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    Default Re: Mite count went up -- treat?

    The count is relative to the size of the colony. How big is your hive? I recommend reading here to see what some use as a threshold for treatment. You can decide for yourself. Mites per 100 bees is a bit more specific than mites per day. Read here.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  8. #8
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    Jul 2012
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    Kaysville, Utah, USA
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    Default Re: Mite count went up -- treat?

    Quote Originally Posted by KQ6AR View Post
    Personally I don't get concerned until the number is over 50. A lot of people say my number is too high, but its worked well for us.
    That's kind of what I was thinking. Part of the problem is that I look at some of the possible side effects of the treatments and I'm reluctant to use them right before winter.
    Don't provoke a hive full of angry bees.

  9. #9
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    Jul 2012
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    Kaysville, Utah, USA
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    Default Re: Mite count went up -- treat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Belewsboy View Post
    You should use the IPM sticky boards for three days.
    Thanks. That's what I did. I see that my original post was a little vague.
    Don't provoke a hive full of angry bees.

  10. #10
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    Jul 2012
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    Default Re: Mite count went up -- treat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lburou View Post
    The count is relative to the size of the colony. How big is your hive?
    At it's peak, about 50-60,000. Those links are cool! Thanks!
    Don't provoke a hive full of angry bees.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Default Re: Mite count went up -- treat?

    LBurou - BIG THANK YOU for putting a link to Randy Oliver's www.scientificbeekeeping.com ! If the link had been any other, that would have been my post! Look for the article that has the video about the varroa life cycle, but read the entire site, and read it again! And make donations to Randy's site!!! We love this guy, so let's keep his site on-line!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Manitoba Canada
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    Default Re: Mite count went up -- treat?

    mite counts will increase during the fall as brood disappears from the hive. Make sure your thresholds account for that.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    Default Re: Mite count went up -- treat?

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    LBurou - BIG THANK YOU for putting a link to Randy Oliver's www.scientificbeekeeping.com ! If the link had been any other, that would have been my post! Look for the article that has the video about the varroa life cycle, but read the entire site, and read it again! And make donations to Randy's site!!! We love this guy, so let's keep his site on-line!
    It's been my number 1 resource for common sense advice for years. Randy's is a rare blend of scientific thought and practical application in the real world. There needs to be more "roll up your sleeves and see what works" and fewer theoretical arguments.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Mite count went up -- treat?

    I think that getting info from cooperative extensions is a better idea. That's where the information originates anyways.

    When someone rolls up their sleeves, and feeds transgenic agents (and IAPV from CCD colonies), in field trials, and does so for Monsanto, you're getting way too experimental.

    Stick with major universities and cooperative extensions folks. The information is all there online.

    http://beelab.umn.edu/Resources/Free-bees/index.htm
    Last edited by WLC; 10-13-2012 at 10:26 AM.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Mite count went up -- treat?

    I think the best idea is to keep an open mind and listen all the information coming in, in an un biased manner
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
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    Default Re: Mite count went up -- treat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    mite counts will increase during the fall as brood disappears from the hive. Make sure your thresholds account for that.
    Actually according to the writing of Randy. You need to take a longer sampling during bloodless periods to get an accurate count if you do not use an accelerant to cause mites to drop. This actually indicates the natural mite drop falls during broodless periods. At one point he refers to a recommendation of a 3 week sample. HE also addresses the impracticality of that for the average beekeeper.

    Part of the reason I see for this is that during brood rearing periods 2/3 of the mite population is assumed to be in the comb with brood. At one point Randy mentions that you need to multiply the mites count by 30 or 40 to have an idea of just how many mites are in a hive. And that is during brood rearing periods when 2/3 of the mites cannot drop.

    During bloodless periods the mite count will go up. but each mite represents a much lower number of mites in the hive. Because 100% of the mites are now on adult bees and subject to falling.

    So if you must treat threshold is 50 mites drop in 24 hours during brood rearing. then it would be the same as if you allowed 150 mites to drop in 24 hours in none brood rearing periods.

    In the end Randy suggests that some of the roll or shake methods of testing are more accurate during none brood periods.

    This is copied from the writing.

    Use natural mite drop on stickies when there’s brood emerging

    Use jar samples or accelerated stickies when colonies are broodless
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  17. #17
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Mite count went up -- treat?

    I use a simpler mite sampling technique. An alcohol wash, sampling a number of hives within a yard, working on a spring time and fall time threshold.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Mite count went up -- treat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Splatt View Post
    Sorry, I should have been more specific. It was 20 per day total, not per square inch, up from 8 per day total.
    This might be normal attrition for this time of year, since the mite load should have peaked about two weeks to a month ago. So, I don't know if that really is a lot this time of year. I would like to know what kind of count you would get were you to do an ether roll from the middle of the brood nest area. I don't know what mite drops per day say, except that mites are dying. whereas an ether roll tells how many live mites are on the bees.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  19. #19
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    Default Re: Mite count went up -- treat?

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    I think that getting info from cooperative extensions is a better idea. That's where the information originates anyways.
    Have you ever gone to Cornell Cooperative Extension for answers to bee related questions? That's the last place I would send anyone.

    Whereas the site you link to looks pretty good. Thanks.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    DFW area, TX, USA
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    Default Re: Mite count went up -- treat?

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    ...snip...When someone rolls up their sleeves, and feeds transgenic agents (and IAPV from CCD colonies), in field trials, and does so for Monsanto, you're getting way too experimental...snip...
    That is how you test a hypothesis, and how the scientific method works.

    I too, like the site you recommend, thanks. Note: I see the same names on the research at your site as in the references at the end of Randy Oliver's writings.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

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