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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Wausau, WI, USA
    Posts
    212

    Default Economic threshold for treating Varroa mites, mite load

    It seems the infestation level (mite load) at which treatment should be applied has changed over the years. The information depends on the time of season, migratory or stationary operation and the county or country giving the recommendation. I've read in the past that if you have a 10% mite load (adjusted for mites under cappings, not just mites on bees) you should be treating. The information I've come across lately has a much lower threshold for treatment, in the 2-3% range (adjusted for brood mite load). In a perfect world we would endevor to always keep the mite load as low as possible, but in the real world at what mite load do you feel the need to take action? 1%, 2%, 5%? Spring, summer, fall treatments and loads.

    Wisnewbee

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Economic threshold for treating Varroa mites, mite load

    Well the number I like is 5% but I can tell you I had several hives last AUG hit 20% and were just starting to show signs of problems.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Wausau, WI, USA
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: Economic threshold for treating Varroa mites, mite load

    How are you testing? Are you just counting mites knocked off bees or are you adjusting your number for mites on brood?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,620

    Default Re: Economic threshold for treating Varroa mites, mite load

    I think its really hard to arrive at a definitive threshold number for treating for varroa. Here are the general rules that I go by. Using a 300 bee 1/2 cup sample size I think you want to see something in the 1% or under range in the late spring if you expect them to make it through a honey season untreated. Late summer numbers ideally are something under 4% and in my opinion getting much over 5% can be dangerous. Post treatment going into the winter you would like that number to be back under 1% and maybe even see a few negative readings. All I can really say for sure, though, is less is better than more. Another reason its difficult to be real definitive on numbers is that viruses are a variable that can compound the problem.
    Last edited by jim lyon; 02-27-2013 at 06:01 PM. Reason: additional info
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,902

    Default Re: Economic threshold for treating Varroa mites, mite load

    wis, how do you adjust the number for mites on brood?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,902

    Default Re: Economic threshold for treating Varroa mites, mite load

    never mind, saw it in the other thread.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    2,062

    Default Re: Economic threshold for treating Varroa mites, mite load

    Jim do you randomly sample hives in a yard or test them all ?
    Do you test before and after treatments?
    How many hive and how often do you test ?
    Example: x amount per 100 3x per year

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