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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    San Francisco, California
    Posts
    15

    Default first year hive mites concerns

    I have two hives that I started with swarms from traps last summer. Both consist of one deep and one medium. I inspected them both last Sunday and they looked good, with the mediums full of honey and the deeps with bees. I only removed the mediums and look at the deep from the top. For the strong hive I added a medium and for the other hive I replaced 5 frame of honey with empty frames to give them more room. I put the mediums back on and went home.

    Well, when I looked at the picture that I took at home, I saw a few mites on the broken broods that was built between the medium and deep of the stronger hive. I haven't use any chemical and would like to stay that way. Is these few mites a concern?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,377

    Default Re: first year hive mites concerns

    Quote Originally Posted by SFBee View Post
    I have two hives that I started with swarms from traps last summer. Both consist of one deep and one medium. I inspected them both last Sunday and they looked good, with the mediums full of honey and the deeps with bees. I only removed the mediums and look at the deep from the top. For the strong hive I added a medium and for the other hive I replaced 5 frame of honey with empty frames to give them more room. I put the mediums back on and went home.

    Well, when I looked at the picture that I took at home, I saw a few mites on the broken broods that was built between the medium and deep of the stronger hive. I haven't use any chemical and would like to stay that way. Is these few mites a concern?
    If you can see them they are a problem. Once they are "visible" the numbers are usually to high. Specially if you have more than one per broken drone cell like you mentioned. Right now more than 3 mites per hundred bees would be a bit much considering the queens just started laying in mass in the bay area about 2 1/2 weeks ago.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    San Francisco, California
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: first year hive mites concerns

    Thanks for all your replies. I will inspect the hive more throughtly and evaluate the options.

    Mite pic.jpg

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Redwood City, CA
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: first year hive mites concerns

    Throw in a sticky board and do a mite count drop over 3 days. That will give you the best overall picture of what's going on. The bummer/good thing about SF is that there are lots of new beeks with rooftop hives, etc. It's popular. The downside is that there are people who don't ever treat their hives, and when they abscond, they take all those mites and inject them into your hive. Look for big late fall bumps, even after you've done methodical testing. I used MAQS this past fall and saved 5 hives from certain death.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,016

    Default Re: first year hive mites concerns

    Some bees seem to be mite resistant and some are not. So which camp your bees are in will be a large part of the answer.

    If your combs are built using comb foundation, then the comb between frames will be drone, because that's the main place the bees can build it. A general rulle with drone comb is that because mites prefer drone brood, if you go through some drone larvae and find no mites, the hive is likely doing well. But if you do find mites, it's a matter of how many. The often touted threshold for drone cells is an infetion rate of 25%. At that level it is believed by some you need to trake urgent action before mites overun the hive.

    A way to elimnate a lot of mites from the hive, would be to clean up all the combs, scraping off any drone comb, This will remove a lot of mites. Do this several times per season. It requires no chemicals so is OK with the rulles that were made for this forum

    If a hive has a very high level of mites, just drone brood sacrifice alone will likely not save the hive.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  6. #6

    Default Re: first year hive mites concerns

    As this was posted on the treatment free board.....I find it surprising that all of the 'don't do anything' crowd haven't weighed in. Organic or not...formic acid is hardly treatment free.
    I suppose that drone brood removal, as Oldtimer suggests might be acceptable but if the infestation is already substantial, as he pointed out, it probably won't help.
    In my opinion, if your intention is to be treatment free...your options are pretty limited.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,924

    Default Re: first year hive mites concerns

    Seems like a lot of burr comb to me for some reason as well. If you want to be treatment free keep an eye on them. Do a brood break if you think the population is getting too high for comfort.

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