Suddenly High Varoa Count - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    5,463

    Default Re: Suddenly High Varoa Count

    Eyeshooter, I think you will find once you get the levels down low it does not take much to keep them there. Depends on what the feral bees and kept bees levels are I guess. I am isolated and no ferals and would not have had to treat this fall (but I did)
    Frank

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Keene, NH, USA
    Posts
    254

    Default Re: Suddenly High Varoa Count

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    Eyeshooter, I think you will find once you get the levels down low it does not take much to keep them there. Depends on what the feral bees and kept bees levels are I guess. I am isolated and no ferals and would not have had to treat this fall (but I did)
    Thanks, Frank. This is very good news!

    John
    11 yrs, TF 6 yrs, moved to OAV in 2014, MAQS 2016. 6 hives and 5 nucs Zone 4B
    www.nhbees.wordpress.com

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,942

    Default Re: Suddenly High Varoa Count

    >Say 85 mites / 7 Days = aprox. 12 mites in a 24hr period

    Phil Craft's recommendations:
    Maximum acceptable natural drop in 24 hours with 30,000 bees in the hive:
    3-10 Spring
    30-60 Fall
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  5. #24
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    5,463

    Default Re: Suddenly High Varoa Count

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >Say 85 mites / 7 Days = aprox. 12 mites in a 24hr period

    Phil Craft's recommendations:
    Maximum acceptable natural drop in 24 hours with 30,000 bees in the hive:
    3-10 Spring
    30-60 Fall

    You have referred to this figure before but I question that perhaps it is out of date advice generally to run with this. It seems that Phil Craft may have changed his perspective in recent times; here is a clip from his site that I believe is current.

    "Later we later became concerned about over use of the toxic miticides which were the only treatments available at that time, so we advised beekeepers to monitor for varroa, and to treat only when numbers were above a certain limit which we call the economic threshold. In the last few years, I have become concerned that this recommendation of treating only when necessary has become a practice, among many beekeepers, of not being concerned about varroa at all and not monitoring their levels. We now have several newer and less toxic varroa control products available – some produced from natural materials. My suggestion, unless you are confident that varroa is not a problem based on regular monitoring and testing, is to treat to control varroa in the fall, using one of the less toxic products now on the market."

    Unless a beekeeper knows that his bees in his climate can live with the higher mite levels it would seem prudent to target lower levels rather that to go with levels that compromise the probable survival and perhaps affect the productivity in the following summer season. It certainly flys in the face of Canadian Food and Agriculture recommendations below for2014.

    NOTE: TREATMENT LEVELS HAVE BEEN LOWERED FROM PREVIOUS RECOMMENDATIONS.
    Treat when varroa levels are equal or greater than the following:
    Monitoring Method Number of Varroa Mites in May Number of Varroa Mites in August

    Ether Roll

    1 mite/100 bees

    2 mites/100 bees

    Alcohol Wash

    2 mites/100 bees

    3 mites/100 bees

    Sticky Board

    9 mites/24 hr drop

    12 mites/24 hr drop

    Worldwide varroa is still considered to be the major cause of winter colony loss.
    Last edited by crofter; 10-21-2014 at 03:22 PM.
    Frank

  6. #25
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    York, ME
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Suddenly High Varoa Count

    UPDATE:

    Checked Sticky Board tonight and averaging 13 mites/24hrs. Also found 2 girls out in the wet and cold on the front porch that looked like this...

    2014-10-21 19.31.54.jpg

    She lacks a nice even black stripe pattern and instead has this black blotch, looks BAD to me. :-/

    I will not have time until this weekend to open up the brood nest for a roll, but at this point I'm pretty convinced treating for mites would be the prudent thing to do regardless. Can anyone inform me if this bee I found is sick, she doesn't have deformed wings but I've not seen this before and her being outside in the cool wet night concerns me.

  7. #26
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    York, ME
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Suddenly High Varoa Count

    Here's a typical of my bees...

    20140614_133613.jpg

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morro Bay, California, USA
    Posts
    2,272

    Default Re: Suddenly High Varoa Count

    Your bee in the pix is symptomatic for Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus. Hairless greasy appearance.

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    5,536

    Default Re: Suddenly High Varoa Count

    The atypical non-stripe pattern of your bee wouldn't worry me. But then my girls are such genetic mutts that hardly any of my bees look alike. (My bees are all from swarms, or in one case the open-mated daughter of a swarm queen.) And unless you saw that bee leave your hive, you don't know for sure it actually was one of yours (though it's likely to be.)

    My own experience on rainy, chilly days is that a few bees that otherwise would have flown away and disappeared wind up pathetically dead on their doorstep.

    I can't tell from your picture whether it has the greasy appearance of CBP, or is simply a dead, wet bee photographed by flash.

    And I don't think it makes any difference. I think it's likely that your fundamental problem is too-high a mite load and whether, and what, you're going to do about that.

    Since you're still getting over 12/day (the Ontario Tech Transfer Team August sticky board threshold that I use - and noted above by Crofter. the threshold listed of 9/mites day is for spring drop counts which need to be lower), I don't think you can rationlize this away as being just a one-time flush of mites due to a late round of brood emergence.

    It's a pretty sick feeling to process this fact. I felt really bad when I was in your shoes last year, so you have my complete sympathy. I felt that I had somehow failed my bees; was too-quickly deserting my ambition to manage them without needing to treat; had perhaps already allowed irreparable damage to them; dreaded any further harm I might do by treating and was utterly frustrated by the situation (and the sometimes conflicting advice.)

    Having to deal with mites really sucks, to be blunt about it. But I look at it as something the bees need from me that they cannot do for themselves (marvelous creatures that they undeniably are.) You can look up the thresholds and treatment options; you can organize a plan to deal with the blasted mites; you can give them the help they need with this. And I'm prettty sure that taking good care of your bees is important to you. How do I know that? Because you already were checking mite levels throughout the summer, which is way more attentive than many first-year beeks manage to do. So, in my book, you're already ahead of the game as far as dealing with the mites. Now it's just a matter of figuring out what you want to do with the info you already have.

    Enj.

  10. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,942

    Default Re: Suddenly High Varoa Count

    >You have referred to this figure before but I question that perhaps it is out of date advice generally to run with this. It seems that Phil Craft may have changed his perspective in recent times; here is a clip from his site that I believe is current.

    Not sure how current that is or not, but I heard him say it at the the Ohio State Beekeepers meeting on the 2nd of November 2013... He is certainly entitled to change his mind, if indeed, he did.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  11. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    2,674

    Default Re: Suddenly High Varoa Count

    " . . . and this forum seems to be very quick to say Oxalic Acid is the answer."

    That's because if you have a serious mite problem and you want to save the hive, OAV is the best answer.
    --shinbone
    (1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')

  12. #31
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    1,306

    Default Re: Suddenly High Varoa Count

    Quote Originally Posted by Eyeshooter View Post
    Ask your local club if anyone has a vaporizer your may borrow or if they will teach you the technique. It is not hard or time consuming unless you have lots of hives. My 3rd treatment took 35 minutes to treat 4 hives. If cost is an issue, there are also threads on BS that describe using candles etc instead of a vaporizer to treat. Just remember to use proper protection if you use OA.
    I have never used the OA, because in Portugal is not approved by the veterinary authorities.
    I concluded from these data about the time costs that beekeepers with a larger number of hives do not use this technique OAV?

  13. #32
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    5,463

    Default Re: Suddenly High Varoa Count

    There are some commercial OA vapor dispensers that blow the fume into the hives and are very quick. The single dose pan vaporizers that must be pushed into the hives are slow. Some people use multiple vaporizers that can be worked in sequence and much shorter time per hive results. A big advantage is the hive does not have to be opened to place strips between boxes.
    Frank

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