OAV=oxalic acid vaporizer
FGMO=Food Grade Mineral Oil
I applied Checkmite to 4 hives, and OAV treatment to 2 hives. The 2 OAV hives are between two Checkmite hives. All hives had been treated with plain FGMO fogging and a couple sugar dustings early in the summer. The OAV hives where treated 5 weeks in a row with the Checkmite was on the other hives.
I choose Checkmite because itís the first thing on saw on Amazon last spring when I started, but tried to go TF until my hives started to decline. So I had Checkmite on hand, so thatís what I used. I had enough Checkmite for 4 hives. I have 6 hives so 2 got the OAV treatment. I chose 2 of the double deeps for the OAV.
My 24 Hour drop count is: OAV hives 19 and 29 Checkmite 10, 47, 29. I have a 6th small hive, but not easy to drop count so I excluded it.
I have 3 double deeps, before my test the drop counts where 80 90 and over 150 on a very strong double deep, thou the numbers had been falling enough to catch my attention and that is what made me do the drop counts. It was at that point I decided I better do something or I was going to lose them all. The 80 was OAV down to 19, the 90 was OAV down to 29 the 150+ was Checkmited down to 47 The checkmite 10 had no previous count, was a small swarm, re-queened and is now a very strong single deep. The checkmite 29, also no previous count, is a very weak single deep with at least 3 full brood breaks over the summer (killing the queen I either added or marked and growing their own). I'm amazed that with those huge brood breaks, a very weak colony and treated with checkmite they still had a drop count of 29.
I've read some tests where drop counts weren't that accurate of a way to count mites, but even sugar and alcohol baths failed when compared to sacrificing the colony and doing an alcohol wash on the whole thing. I donít want to kill bees and I wasnít wild about the effort in the sugar roll, so itís drop counts for me. Iíve decided to wait a week in case my recent OAV treatment caused higher drops in the OAV hives and test again. All I did to the checkmite hives was remove the strips and I waited 24 hours to begin the drop count at the same time I did the OAV hives.
SHB: I lost a nuc early to SHB. Never had large numbers but could find them in any hive any day. But the only hives with lots where weak hives. I installed SBB with oil trays. Once a week Iíd remove the trays and sugar shake and put the trays right back on and catch SHB that were chased or fell through the SBB following the sugar shake. Despite the heat Iíve kept the trays in as they arenít air tight, and kill roaches and ants and SHB. I canít find a SHB in any of my hives now. I did finally learn to use much less oil. But you still have to change it or it gets rancid. Just enough oil so a SHB has to crawl thru it to get out is all it takes. They canít fly back out thru the SBB. Obviously and mite that falls into the trap is toast as well.
My current plan is to continue OAV on all hives thru Thanksgiving. Iíll do a finally drop count so Iíll have something to compare to at the start of next spring.
Next year I intend to do OAV treatments 4 weeks in a row during the primary build up. Again as the dirth really takes hold and again 4 weeks thru thanksgiving. I'll do counts before and after and adjust my plan accordingly. I intend to split my hives so I'll have about twice as many as I do now. Unlike other treatments the OAV must be done weekly to each hive. Mine takes about 4 min per hive with some cool off between. I'll start working on using the pre-warmed vaporizer to see if I can reduce the time. I've found the bees don't seem to mind it all. I don't put gloves on, I mounted the unit on a board that seals the entrance. Bees stack up weighting for the entrance to be open and they often bounce off me when I'm getting the unit out. But not headbutting angry, I'm just in the way. OAV doesn't seem to bother them at all.
Hope somebody finds this helpful.