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  1. #221
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Cleveland, OH, USA
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    475

    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Indeed, very little is really "natural" about honey bees by now. We will never know how or under what circumstance the first human first got a taste of honey; but it was perhaps the most momentous encounter in honey bee evolution, which has been pretty much guided by humans since at least ancient Egyptian times; we're talking a few thousand years by this point.
    Beeless since 2012; coming back in 2014. Suffering from apicultural withdrawal!

  2. #222

    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by Spark View Post
    I can't see how anyone can't believe they don't have mites and then again I really can't see how anyone who does have heavy or even light mite loads can prove that is what killed them.
    I think seeing the actual, objective numbers helps to know if mites played a role in the hive failure. With a big infestation you can pretty much conclude that they were the cause. With a moderate load you should accept that they were one of the underlying causes. If the mite load is low you might be safe in thinking that they were, at most, a small factor.
    If you don’t do any objective testing….you don’t know doodly.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  3. #223

    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Thanks for the thoughtful post melliferal.
    Quote Originally Posted by melliferal View Post
    I've been chewing on this whole "why is it never mites?" question (for once),
    The purpose of the thread….getting folks to actually consider the issue. If I’m not careful, I might begin to feel vindicated for sticking with this thread throughout its various misdirections.
    Quote Originally Posted by melliferal View Post
    Basically, except for seeing mites on bees, I think people genuinely have no idea what the symptoms of a mite kill are.
    I think it really is a case of out-of-sight, out-of-mind.
    I know it's not them because there weren't any more this year than there were last year and last year the colony was just fine! Except it really wasn't.
    These could be part of the problem. But doesn’t explain the hardcore, sometimes resentful denial that some folks have.
    Quote Originally Posted by melliferal View Post
    Whether or not people decide to "treat", I think monitoring for mites should be something beekeepers are encouraged to accept as a routine summer chore.
    Or at least some regular chore.
    Quote Originally Posted by melliferal View Post
    Ironically enough, this whole discussion has something of an alter-ego in a complaint I've made a couple of times, which is people very quickly and easily misidentifying losses as "CCD" that are quite obviously other things, like winter starve-outs or pesticide kills.
    A good comparison and….a pet peeve of mine as well. I think some people want to believe that their hive failed as a result of some mysterious ailment that has no identifiable solution…..and that, to use your word, even baffles the experts. This removes any responsibility from the beekeeper. This could be part of the angry responses to the suggestion of mites.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  4. #224

    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    Until the relationship stabilizes, it is wise to keep ones head out of the sand.
    At the risk of taking this thread off topic….
    In my opinion, Apis mellifera and Apis cerana were probably a single species at one time. A c is the natural, evolutionary result of the relationship with varroa mites. Had there been no beekeepers and only feral colonies when varroa were distributed into the range of A m, then in the long haul the only honeybee would be something equivalent to A c.
    If survival is the only measure….then we should simply abandon A m and import A c.
    End of problem.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  5. #225
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    havana fl
    Posts
    1,352

    Big Grin Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    Some people will happily accept nosema, starvation, exposure, pesticides, wax moths, chalkbrood…..and practically anything else.
    But asking about mites seems off limits.
    Do you have any scientific data to back up this claim??? Sources please. THAT'S A JOKE
    I’m really not that serious

  6. #226

    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by mac View Post
    Do you have any scientific data to back up this claim???
    First we have to give it a descriptive term...such as mitaphobia...and then begin making counts.....
    And an extension of mitaphobia......countaphobia.
    Last edited by beemandan; 05-24-2013 at 08:25 AM.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  7. #227
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,277

    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    dan, when during the season do you recommend doing counts and what kind of numbers are you looking for?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  8. #228

    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    dan, when during the season do you recommend doing counts and what kind of numbers are you looking for?
    Late summer when the mite population is high but before they start making winter bees. About a half cup of bees from the brood frames...I use powdered sugar now...not as accurate as alcohol but good enough. Counts in double digits need treating.....which is usually all of them that have been queenright all season.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  9. #229
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Cleveland, OH, USA
    Posts
    475

    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    These could be part of the problem. But doesn’t explain the hardcore, sometimes resentful denial that some folks have.
    As I said, it might just be that, since they think they know what a mite kill should look like (but don't realize they're wrong), and they've determined for themselves that it wasn't mites, you telling them "sounds like a mite kill" might sound to them like you're questioning their competence as a beekeeper; like you'd asked them "You did check to make sure there was a queen, right?" They might be especially put off since they've actually looked at the hive and you haven't, so it doesn't make sense to them you that you should be so confident while they're scratching their heads.

    But as you say, they don't have the same reaction when it's suggested that it might be something equally as "obvious", so I really don't know.

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    At the risk of taking this thread off topic….
    In my opinion, Apis mellifera and Apis cerana were probably a single species at one time. A c is the natural, evolutionary result of the relationship with varroa mites. Had there been no beekeepers and only feral colonies when varroa were distributed into the range of A m, then in the long haul the only honeybee would be something equivalent to A c.
    If survival is the only measure….then we should simply abandon A m and import A c.
    End of problem.
    But no! How then could I justify using my nifty forum name? I spent so much time thinking it up!
    Beeless since 2012; coming back in 2014. Suffering from apicultural withdrawal!

  10. #230
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,277

    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    many thanks dan. when do they start raising winter bees in south ga? ne ga?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  11. #231

    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    many thanks dan. when do they start raising winter bees in south ga? ne ga?
    If I had to put a date range on it....I'd say between mid Sept through mid Nov....depends a number of variables.
    I don't keep year round beeyards in south GA but would guess it runs a couple of weeks later than ne GA.....as springtime buildup around Unadilla runs about two plus weeks ahead....and I expect if you went as far south as Tifton/Valdosta it'd be three to four weeks.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  12. #232

    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by melliferal View Post
    But no! How then could I justify using my nifty forum name? I spent so much time thinking it up!
    Yes....that would need to be taken into account. Ah well....back to the drawing board.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  13. #233
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    understood dan, i didn't realize you moved them up in the spring. i'm probably about on the same schedule as you here in jackson co.

    i still had brooding in late sept./early oct. last fall.

    i was going to try and do my counts sometime midsummer, during the dearth, when the brooding slows down.

    i've got one hive in particular that's had dwv crawlers all spring, i'm guessing i'll get a high count on them.

    thanks again.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  14. #234
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,244

    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    when during the season do you recommend doing counts and what kind of numbers are you looking for?
    This is where it gets kind of tricky. Assuming a 1/2 cup 300 bee sample. In the spring when hives are full of brood I would consider anything running 3 or more is trouble brewing and if your mite control going into the winter was good it isn't unrealistic to expect a lot of negatives or 1 mite readings. By mid August you are probably still in good shape if you are staying somewhere in the high single digits. In our area from mid August to mid September immediately upon removing the last honey supers is the real sweet spot for mite control with your product of choice. I prefer thymol but a case can certainly be made for Formic, Hopguard, or even an Amitraz product for those who choose that route. The thymol treatment has kept our numbers down in the single digits until they are broodless when an oxalic application will really hammer them. Coupled with a spring brood break that has been our program, simple, safe, and effective and the honey tests free of any residual contaminants. This spring I did ether rolls on 50 actively brooding prospective breeders and found a total of 3 mites. I am sure many more would have been found a month earlier when there was little brood in the hive. In short there are no absolute numbers in mite counting, the time of year, amount of brood and a little sample deviation must always be considered but by adding all your information together a broad picture should emerge of what your true varroa picture is.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  15. #235
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    great post, many thanks jim.

    sounds like you've come up with a great program there.

    did you have many losses last winter?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  16. #236
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,244

    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    We had about 5% attrition through the summer, most of those probably poorly mated queens and a little under 5% winter losses this past year.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  17. #237
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    pretty respectable jim.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  18. #238
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
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    1,245

    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    I got an Idea. lets treat the mites for bees that way the bees will become stronger, and the mites weaker. then we can zap them all with kosmose rays. oh wait that may disturb the vision of the mites, No, No, The bees! My way is best I would never do anything wrong! No it's mine, To do it any other way would mean I am not a good bee keeper and I am a great beekeeper thus My way is the only possible way.
    How about we all keep accurate non bias records and attempt to discern which method works best. while weighing the long term effects on bee health and mite resistance. As of today it is still ALL speculation with NO hard scientific research to document any of it. The fact is we do not know for sure that chemical treatments will make the mites more resistant, and the bees weaker. As exposure to compounds that do not kill the bees may very well offer them a genetic resistance to said Chemicals at a pace more rapid then the target species. a switch up system targeting mites could offer the bees dual resistance, and not afford the same resistance to the mites.
    although due to the rapid turn over of a bee population a genetic change within the bee species would occur within decades, as opposed to centuries for humans. I would think, that an approach in that direction aforesaid may offer an acceptable outcome in much faster time. In any event there is certainly no harm in pursuing as many avenues to resolve the mite problem as available.

  19. #239
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    edited after rereading post
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  20. #240
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Norfolk County, MA, USA
    Posts
    164

    Default Re: HITS method of mite control

    beemandan when you can prove a large mite infestation or a low mite infestation, and by all means count to your hearts desire, is the cause of anything disruptive to the hive by all means post all significant data for the forum scientists. What I'm saying is that no one has proven without a doubt that it is just mites that have killed a hive or any other factor. There are those that say Nosema is a factor by itself but really could it be just the nosema or maybe it was the additional equation of mites living in the hive.

    So prove me wrong and state for a fact with proven data it was just mites or one of the other hive problems that exist in the hives you mention. I don't really care if people bury their head in the sand as you call it because we are allowed to have our own opinions but we are also allowed to ask for proof of insinuation. The onus is now on you to prove with significant data that mites are the only conclusive evidence as to the one factor of bee decimation.

    I do believe mites are a huge factor of decimation but also think only when in conjunction with other hive pests, diseases or otherwise.
    Think about it....Buy American

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