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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Madisonville,TN
    Posts
    197

    Default How many mites is too many mites?

    I have two strong frame hives, full of bees and brood. While replacing old bottom boards with screened ones last week, I observed a few mites in the hive, and some on the old bottom board. My question: Do I treat now or wait until after the honey flow? I know I won't be able to use my honey if I treat, but I don't want to lose the hives either. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    East Liverpool, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: How many mites is too many mites?

    There are treatments for mites that can be used with honey supers on. Mite away quick strips for example is one. As far as how many mites are too many you should do a sample to get the actual percentage that is present. If you do a google search for powdered sugar roll for varroa mites you should come up with some instructions on how to perform it. If you visually see mites in a hive, say on the backs of nurse bees, the count may be high. The majority of mites are usually in capped brood cells.
    JMTC
    Joe
    Last edited by jhs494; 04-15-2013 at 05:28 AM.
    Joe and Heidi S.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: How many mites is too many mites?

    Just a thought:

    I read that varroa mites, for whatever reason, are repelled by the nectar from the cilantro/coriander (same plant, just diff. names for if you're after the leaves, or the seeds) plant. Now I just plant a nice, bigger than I'll ever eat, section of that herb in my garden & let my bees treat themselves...no worries about spoiling the honey when nectar is the treatment

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Madisonville,TN
    Posts
    197

    Default Re: How many mites is too many mites?

    Joe,

    Thanks I am going to try the powdered sugar treatment.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Wausau, WI, USA
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: How many mites is too many mites?

    Matt903, if you are going to be using the powdered sugar method for mite control there are a few things you should know.

    It only knocks off about 30-40% of the phoretic mites. It does nothing to control the mites multiplying under the cap.
    It must be repeated every week to have a prayer of a chance of working.
    Most scientific research shows that powdered sugar is not an effective method of mite control and is very labor and time intensive.

    You state you saw some mites. What is your infestation level? What is your mite load? If you don't know the answers to these questions, you don't know if you should treat or hold off. Check out this post on how to do a sugar roll test. http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...test-for-mites You can also check out the University of Minnesota Bee Lab for additional information on mite testing and mite loads.http://beelab.umn.edu/

    FYI, Hopguard can be used while the honey supers are on the hive, has a very fast knockdown (about 3 days) and is pretty cheap to use. (4 strips to treat a double cost about $2.40)

    Wisnewbee
    Honey Luv Farm

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    East Liverpool, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: How many mites is too many mites?

    Matt903,
    I wouldn't recommend any treatment until you get a mite count.
    This shows the powdered sugar roll:
    http://www.beelab.umn.edu/prod/group...set_317466.pdf

    My experience with using powdered sugar as a "treatment" was not good. It does just as Wisnewbee suggest and only affects mites that aren't inside of cells.

    I would suggest that you try the powdered sugar roll or ether roll, alcohol wash to get get a mite count before you try any treatments.

    Again this is just my two cents.

    Good luck.
    Joe
    Joe and Heidi S.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Madisonville,TN
    Posts
    197

    Default Re: How many mites is too many mites?

    Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I am going to get a mite count and decide what to do from there.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,382

    Default Re: How many mites is too many mites?

    So when you do a sugar drench what happens to the brood when the sugar gets into the cells.? Do they clean it out just fine. I have been feeding a lot of dri-vert lately so I dump it over them so basically sugar treatment just wondering if it is harming brood production.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Wausau, WI, USA
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: How many mites is too many mites?

    they just clean it up. No worries.

    Wisnewbee

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,382

    Default Re: How many mites is too many mites?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wisnewbee View Post
    they just clean it up. No worries. Wisnewbee
    I was hoping someone would say that.

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