Sticky Board Varroa Drop Count
I recently put a sticky board in the screened bottom board of one of my colonies. It has a 2nd year queen and currently has three medium boxes at 9 frames each for a total of 27 medium frames. It is my best producer: I have already harvested this years honey and split the colony. It was queenright last time I inspected it on 5 June.
I removed the sticky board after 72 hours and counted 105 mites, for a daily average drop of 35 mites. I have never sampled this one before and have nothing to compare that to but it seems high.
Do I need to treat for varroa? What's the treatment threshold for drop count?
If I need to treat, is there anything safe to use this time of year? I live in North Alabama and daytime highs frequently exceed 90F. I have never treated for varroa before.
Thanks if advance for any advice!
Re: Sticky Board Varroa Drop Count
Yes. You need to treat for varroa. You have two options in Alabama in June. Both will require that you remove your honey supers.
One option is Oxalic Acid Vaporization. Since we still have a great deal of brood at this time of year, OAV is not ideal. You will have to do it in series (i.e. 3 treatments every 7 days; 4 treatments every 5 days, etc.) A lot of debate about the efficiency of series OAV treatments and the most ideal series protocol. Many, many threads already on that topic.
Second is Apivar strips. Must use EXACTLY according to directions on the packaging.
BTW: You should attend the North Alabama Beekeepers Symposium in Athens, Alabama on August 17. Here is a link: https://www.alabamabeekeepers.com/ They do a fantastic job with that symposium and there will be seminars about varroa control.