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Thread: mites

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    utah
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    Default mites

    I have never had a high might count. yesterday I was doing surgery on my hives and looked into some drone cells and found that about ever 6 one I have a mite or 2 in them. I live in utah so my spring just began last week. what do I need to use so that I can slow them down. I read that most things you can only use for a few weeks before you can add you honey supers on. My hives did rely well most of the hives came out of winter only using 8 frames for winter so I have 10 to 12 still full of honey.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: mites

    JMHO, that is not as accurate as a bee sample. Mites prefer drones so it is not unusual to find them there. IMHO, it is not an automatic treatment sign. Others might disagree.
    Rick

  3. #3
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    Apr 2011
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    Pottstown, Pennyslvania, USA
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    Default Re: mites

    I agree with Rick. I would do an alcohol wash, or sugar shake if you don't want to kill any bees, and see if your mite level is over 3%. Randy Oliver's site " http://scientificbeekeeping.com/" can give you the details on how to test and how to treat. I just used a single Miteaway Quick Strip on my hives due to the mite levels. Due to you having significant brood, you are limited in your treatment options unless you want to do multiple treatments over about 3 weeks. MAQS is one of the few that treats mites on the brood.

    Dan

  4. #4
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    Dec 2008
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    Phoenixville, PA
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    581

    Default Re: mites

    Yea, mites and treatment always stir up this place.

    I suggest accurate measurement and prefer the sugar roll test.

    I like formic acid because it leaves no residuals. I counted 49 from a sugar roll, treated with formic acid and a subsequent sugar roll counted six (6).

    Yes, most advise and some require sufficient time between end of treatment and placing supers.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: mites

    I'll stir the pot,,,,LOL I did an alcohol wash on one of mine and quite counting at forty! Survived the winter and went on to swarm late that spring. To each their own
    Rick

  6. #6
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    May 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: mites

    1 out of 6 ain't bad imo. If you're finding them in every single drone then I would start worrying or if you see any DWV.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: mites

    A kind of rule of thumb, in my part of the world, is if mites are in 25% of drone larvae, then you treat.

    But there's no absolutes. For one thing, if it's early spring and not a lot of drone larvae yet, then you would naturally expect the mites to be focussing on just a few larvae.

    Other thing, no form of mite counting gives you the associated virus levels, and it can be those that do the damage.

    My opinion on your situation Kim, it's unlikely your mite levels are at a "need to treat" threshold yet. But, might, or might not, be getting up there.

    If the history of your bees is they are a non mite resistant strain, you could get that level of security, by treating now. If you are willing to take the risk, you could not treat, which would be a crapshoot, could go either way.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  8. #8
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    Default Re: mites

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick 1456 View Post
    I'll stir the pot,,,,LOL I did an alcohol wash on one of mine and quite counting at forty! Survived the winter and went on to swarm late that spring. To each their own
    Rick
    amazing rick. is this typical of your bees?
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  9. #9
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    Default Re: mites

    To the best of my knowledge,,,,no, it is not typical. It was a swarm, unknown origin, I picked up spring 2011. Looked like it was on the verge of total collapse by fall. DWV was some of the worst I'd seen. I considered putting a trash bag over it and giving the resources to some other needy hives I had that year. Decided to let nature take it's course. One of my best hives to this day and whatever went on for that to happen, is in the local gene pool now. I hope.
    Rick

  10. #10
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    Default Re: mites

    many thanks rick.

    can you share what is your typical or average infestation rate say for mid to late summer?
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  11. #11
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    Default Re: mites

    2011 was the last mite counts I did. Shame on me for 2012. Something always came up. DWV bees were few by late summer, so I went with that. 2011, all hives that were second year were less than 10 and done in mid August. I can not tell you if they swarmed or not. But I did nothing. I did the one I spoke of because of the high numbers of DWV in front of the hive every day. Hope this isn't thread "jacking". I thought it unusual that a swarm would have that high a count in just three months. My guess is they brought them with them.(none of my hives were robbed) You have to wonder how the parent hive was strong enough to toss a swarm. Maybe it wasn't a swarm but absconding. Never thought of that.
    Rick

  12. #12
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    Default Re: mites

    got it man. the other possibility is that they robbed a hive that wasn't yours.

    i be doing alcohol washes this summer. i'm curious to know (if it can be known) how many mites are too many with treatment free.

    the topic is mites, right?
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  13. #13
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    Default Re: mites

    I considered them robbing some one else hive. Usually that is a free for all so you would think my other hives would have had a higher count.
    how many mites are too many with treatment free. aaaahhh,,,,,the power ball question I had a lot of folks here tell me they( the 40 plus hive) were doomed. MB and a couple others advised that you will never know unless you allow them to try. Obviously I went with that. Now, I am a disciple. LOL I'm hedging on "Bond" beekeeping. I've gotten lucky/fortunate to get some good bees, swarms, and am in a position where if I lose some hives, I'm not out of beekeeping. Takes some time to get there. I've wondered if area plays a role in this. I have hives in four locations in two counties within 50 miles. Probably not a huge difference in this case.
    Rick

  14. #14
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    Default Re: mites

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick 1456 View Post
    I've wondered if area plays a role in this.
    Rick
    From the reading I've done it would seem likely, there are a number of examples on Beesource. One that springs to mind is Sol, who had a major loss event when he moved bees between States.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  15. #15
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    Default Re: mites

    Any theories as to what makes the change of location detrimental. Guess I'll do a search I'm my case, it would not make sense. (to me anyway) No significant natural change. Another plus, I believe, is there are few other hives near enough to mine. It might take the mite overload(robbing dead hive) possibilities out of my equation. Mile and a half is a big area
    Rick

  16. #16
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    Default Re: mites

    rick have you thought about what you would do if one of your hives dwindles from mites and becomes the target of a rob out by your other bees?

    and if that happens, would it be considered in the bond sense just another challenge that will only serve to make the survivors stronger, i.e. part of the plan?

    my memory's not what it used to be, but do i recall you mentioning that you mostly keep bees for fun and don't sell honey or bees?

    not that any of this matters, i'm just curious, thanks for the replies.
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  17. #17
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    Default Re: mites

    Just a hobby. Sell/give away extra honey when I have it. Sell nucs on a small scale from time to time.
    what you would do if one of your hives dwindles from mites and becomes the target of a rob out by your other bees?

    On the 40 count hive, once I realize it might totally collapse, I reduced the entrance down to where they could defend it, and put a robber screen on as well. It was always able to defend that. The hope was, if it died out, I would catch it and seal the hive, freeze the resources and distribute to he needy. Probably a pipe dream in retrospect in which case, the mites would have been absorbed by the others. I can only speculate as to why/how this hive survived.
    Rick

  18. #18
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    Default Re: mites

    understood rick.

    more of a sideline for me, spent about 10k so far. hope to get close to a break even this year.

    i may experiment by letting some of mine go on with high counts to see what happens, with replacement nucs at the ready, and preventing robbing like my bottom line depended on it.

    most of my losses and unproductive hives so far have been from queen failure.

    i like sol's idea about not requeening unless you have to. propagating bees that are successful at requeening themselves makes sense. (oops, that's not about mites, sorry... )
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  19. #19
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    Default Re: mites

    The idea of not requeening where it is not needed, and propagating from the best, is not new, nor is it Sol's idea.

    It's more part of the traditional beekeeping skills that's been practised for many years by the majority.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  20. #20
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    Default Re: mites

    [COLOR="#FF0000"]i may experiment by letting some of mine go on with high counts to see what happens,

    KIrk Webster has written about "Collapse and Recovery" if you have not read about it. Makes sense to me. I also "think" epigenetics plays a role in the bees adapting/dealing with mites as well as other pressures. Complicated stuff but it fascinates me. JMHO, chems ain't the way for me. It interferes and keeps the mite load too low for adaptation to occur. (I'm assuming it will ) I got a little lucky and picked up some bees with a little something going for them. (so far) Wish I new what it was
    Be interested in hearing how your high count hives experiment turns out.
    Rick

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