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Thread: Freaking Mites!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Redwood City, CA
    Posts
    85

    Default Freaking Mites!

    Great weather here today in the SF Bay area. I went out to the coast to check 3 hives that have overwintered successfully thus far. All Carniolans with 4-5 frames of solid brood (mediums) with a dappling of the first round of drone brood for the year. I thought, "Well, let's see what's in here." I gave a good shake to clear off the bees and then opened up a few cells. Mites. In every single drone cell I opened. The pupae were still white with no purple eyes, but I definitely saw multiple mites in every cell. I'm doing a bottom board survey over the next three days to analyze the mite drop to see where I am at. Along with using formic acid, I am implementing a drone brood removal system this year. I suppose that will be helpful in managing these little bastards?... As a beek, it's frustrating. I know I've got them, but I don't often see them. This was just a cold but important reminder that the hive isn't what it used to be. Get ready for battle people, spring is around the corner!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Plantsville, Ct.
    Posts
    176

    Default Re: Freaking Mites!

    Wednesday weather was decent 50* over here in Connecticut. Did a quick inspection, Carniolans here too. Seem to be doing well no obvious damage from mites although easily saw 20-30 dead mites on the bottom when I scraped out the dead bees. I never treated in the fall as it was a strong hive and the counts were low. I am a little concerned that I may have made a mistake in not treating. I don't know, guess i'll find out...
    I have the Mite Away Quick Strips for treatment in the spring if needed. Also going to use the drone brood removal system.
    Hope all goes well for you.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Freaking Mites!

    Keep in mind that the first drone brood (and all first of season brood) will be especially heavily parasitized. Every phoretic, overwintering mite in the hive is chomping at the bit for some new brood….and those first ones really get it!
    By no means am I suggesting that you not do further testing or treating…just try to keep the pendulum from swinging too far in either direction.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,985

    Default Re: Freaking Mites!

    I was wondering about what beemandan has mentioned. seems to me the mites would be waiting for a place to occupy. You could have nearly every female mite in your colony in that drone brood right now. Or brood in general. Sacrifice a bit of early brood for the benefit of the entire colony?
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Redwood City, CA
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: Freaking Mites!

    I probably should have opened some worker brood as well, but didn't. Would have been interesting to see the infection rate. I've had brood all winter long. I was going to apply an oxalic acid treatment this past December, but there was a lot of capped brood. I guess it wouldn't have hurt. I treated all 2nd year colonies with MAQS this past fall and it did wonders. The first year colonies I let bee. Anybody in CA do springtime MAQS treatments, and if so, when? I am thinking (for those that need it) sometime in late February just before the nectar really starts to ramp up.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,392

    Default Re: Freaking Mites!

    I did an oxalic acid vapor treatment a week ago, no problems! Going to do another treatment either Sunday or Monday and check the status of brood.
    Coyote Creek Bees

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