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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Destin, FL
    Posts
    24

    Default Did a mite count, got 8-9 in 1 cup of bees! HELP!

    I officially registered my hives and had the inspector out yesterday...I've got Varroa! We did a rubbing alcohol with about a cup or more of bees and strained the liquid to find about 8 varroa! We are in our honey flow here, what are some safe products to use? I have the quick strips although I'm hesitant to use them during honey flow...the inspector mentioned Hop guard treatment but I'm worried after doing some reading about bees absconding and brood loss...any suggestions?

    - Jared

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Posts
    303

    Default Re: Did a mite count, got 8-9 in 1 cup of bees! HELP!

    I've never heard of bees absconding from Hopguard. I say try that or Apivar ..or let them go bond (die)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Did a mite count, got 8-9 in 1 cup of bees! HELP!

    Sounds like there doing okay, even with a High count. let the flow pass, then MQS or apivar (I like MQS cause its fast) the ready for later flows.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: Did a mite count, got 8-9 in 1 cup of bees! HELP!

    I read that varroa are naturally repelled by the nectar from the Cilantro/Coriander flower. If you're concerned about using chemicals in your hive, then that might be an "organic" method you could try...give them plenty of cilantro/coriander (same plant, 2 names) to forage on, or maybe get a few drops of the essential oil, put on a cotton ball, and leave it in the hive?

    If you have bad varroa problems, though, then I'm not sure it's the best time to experiment with unproven organic treatments. I probably still would, but I have other hives I can pull nucs from to replace my losses if "the organic method" fails on me.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Did a mite count, got 8-9 in 1 cup of bees! HELP!

    From what I've read, powdered sugar doesn't affect mites in the cells, but might it not get some of the mites to drop off the bees and help get them through the flow?

    (just speculating and pondering here)
    Greg Whitehead, Ten Mile, TN
    Blog - http://gregsbees.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,397

    Default Re: Did a mite count, got 8-9 in 1 cup of bees! HELP!

    Best to wait until the flow is over. Randy Oliver recommends treatment before August 15th here in California.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Peace River, AB Canada
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Did a mite count, got 8-9 in 1 cup of bees! HELP!

    I don't think you need to panic. The alcohol wash normally is done with 1/3 cup of bees so with 1 cup of bees you only have 9 mites/900 bees or a 1% infestation.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: Did a mite count, got 8-9 in 1 cup of bees! HELP!

    I would recommend to remove any supers, do a flash treatment with the quick strips and then add supers. By leaving mites on the bees your hive will be full of viruses by the time its August.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Panama City, Florida, USA
    Posts
    591

    Default Re: Did a mite count, got 8-9 in 1 cup of bees! HELP!

    Spring titi is finished blooming. The main nectar flows in your area will continue through May. Then the Chinese tallow trees will bloom in June. Your best bet is to leave the supers on and not treat until then end of the Chinese tallow bloom (popcorn tree). You will have mites but your load is still below the treatment threshold. So your hives should be okay. The main issue is to not let them get weakend to the point that the SHBs overrun your hives. I would not treat with anything during the flow unless you do not intend to harvest any honey this year.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Johnson City, TN
    Posts
    380

    Default Re: Did a mite count, got 8-9 in 1 cup of bees! HELP!

    You say quick strips, might away quick strips? They are safe with a honey flow. Call the company they will verify that. I have used them during a flow with no problems.
    All beekeepers can agree on one thing, and that one thing is, that all beekeepers can't agree on one thing.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Did a mite count, got 8-9 in 1 cup of bees! HELP!

    yes, But given his conditions no need. He could wait. normal test is 1/2 cup bees no more than 6 so hes not in panic mode yet as long as hes not seeing DWV. That MQS is strong, I would be worried about flavor in the honey not a lot, but enough in this situation I would just wait until the flow is over. MQS and a new virgin queen to break the brood cycle and hes gloden into fall

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: Did a mite count, got 8-9 in 1 cup of bees! HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by jbeshearse View Post
    Spring titi is finished blooming. The main nectar flows in your area will continue through May. Then the Chinese tallow trees will bloom in June. Your best bet is to leave the supers on and not treat until then end of the Chinese tallow bloom (popcorn tree).
    When is the tallow tree flow over?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    3,051

    Default Re: Did a mite count, got 8-9 in 1 cup of bees! HELP!

    I wonder how large the cup was... was it really a cup volume? Either way, surely the inspector would recognize a high mite count. I would give them a MAQS treatment, it would at least knock down the phoretic mites.... and cause a brood break... I've used it with the honey supers on and got no flavoring....
    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: Did a mite count, got 8-9 in 1 cup of bees! HELP!

    hmmm, ACTUALLY, something you CAN do during flow that will have ABSOLUTELY no effect on the honey:

    Give them one foundationless frame in the middle of the brood nest; let them fill this frame with drone brood; once the drone brood's all capped off (but BEFORE any emerge) you take the comb & toss it in the deep freeze. After it's been frozen solid for a couple days you can feed it to the chickens, or simply cut the wax out and throw it out. The end result is you just lured most of your varroa into those nice, juicy, drone larvae & then froze 'em to death with 0 chemicals used

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    3,051

    Default Re: Did a mite count, got 8-9 in 1 cup of bees! HELP!

    That does sound like a good idea.... wonder how well it works?
    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,515

    Default Re: Did a mite count, got 8-9 in 1 cup of bees! HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by JD's Bees View Post
    I don't think you need to panic. The alcohol wash normally is done with 1/3 cup of bees so with 1 cup of bees you only have 9 mites/900 bees or a 1% infestation.
    Agree. The threshold for mites is 3%, 3 mites per 100 bees. JD right, you have mild infestation. Again, in my opinion, the absolute number is not telling much. You need to see a dynamic - are your numbers steady or growing or decline
    Also - do not panic, most of the bees in US have some mites. Am I right?

    Irresponsible treatment could just create mite-resistance.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Plymouth, WI
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Did a mite count, got 8-9 in 1 cup of bees! HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by hpm08161947 View Post
    That does sound like a good idea.... wonder how well it works?
    I bought some plastic drone frames for this purpose, but only because I was ordering a bunch of other stuff so shipping was covered already. I've been reading up on the effectiveness, and it really is only marginal during a strong hive/laying queen scenario...this is due to shear numbers of capped brood vs. bees vs. drone brood on a frame (max 1500 or so on a solid drone frame)....you will still have way more mites entering the brood cells vs. the drone cells because their is just way more brood cells to occupy in a strong hive.

    One theoretical method I found interesting, where drone comb trapping is almost 100% effective, if you incorporate it into a broodless scenario such as a split and trapping the queen on the drone comb for a set amount of days (can't remember) then culling the frame. Almost 100% of the mites will have entered the drone comb at that point, and removing the frame will remove the mites.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Wausau, WI, USA
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: Did a mite count, got 8-9 in 1 cup of bees! HELP!

    When determining the mite load on a colony, whether brood is present, or not, needs to be taken into the equation. Nobody has factored that into their recomendation. His mite load is actually twice as high as everybody is suggesting. 3 mites in a hundred bee sample equals 3% load right? I disagree. Brood is present. 3% is doubled to 6% since there is brood present. This takes into account the mites under the cap. Does he really have a 6% infestation level? Most likely. Should he consider treating? This early in the year, most likely. By fall the damage will have been done. I've read that the recommendation in Canada is to treat whenever the load reaches or exceeds 2 1/2%. By Canada standards he should treat.

    2 main products to choose from, MAQS, or Hopsguard. Both can be used with supers on the hive. Both will give you quick knockdown. MAQS says they'll get mites under the cap. Hopsguard does not. Hopsguard would give you a flash treatment only. No temperature consideration for Hopsguard like there is for MAQS. Check the University of Minnesota Bee Lab for the verification of the math equation.

    Wisnewbee
    Honey Luv Farm

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: Did a mite count, got 8-9 in 1 cup of bees! HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by cerezha View Post
    Irresponsible treatment could just create mite-resistance.
    Herein lies the key to pandora's box! Irresponsible use of chemical treatments for anything unavoidably leads to chemical resistance, followed by having to find new (usually more toxic & with more adverse side-effects) chemicals to use for the same problem...then the cycle repeats.......ad infinitum.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,452

    Default Re: Did a mite count, got 8-9 in 1 cup of bees! HELP!

    According to my understanding a full cup represents about 600 bees so 9 mites would be about a 1 1/2% infestation. That is a real low number with no brood present. However this early in the season and, presumably, with a lot of brood in the hives I would consider this a marginally high number that could well mean trouble a few months down the road. I would recommend either a hop guard or a thymol treatment to give the needed brood break and mite reduction.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

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