Re: Calculating Mite Load Using Post-Treatment Drop
In my way of thinking, all that a mite drop really tells you is exactly how many mites are no longer a threat to your bees. Yes a very literal perspective but that is where I tend to start my assessments. To then estimate what that may mean in regards to mites that remain a threat requires more than just a mite drop count. This estimate falls directly in what I call Assertion. Assertion is an assumption based upon at least some evidence. Now we all know about assumptions and assertions are only slightly better. So at the very best you can expect to get a poor result. Even if you do a thorough job of collecting the evidences you are at best making a guess. The best evidence in my opinion is that evidence based upon past experiences. Since most of the actual results are local and even colony related. Is there a lot of capped brood or little? what time of year? what mode or period are your bees in. Honey production, brood production in a pause between brood production and honey production. winter prep build up etc. A low mite drop during periods of high capped cell counts could be devastating news. while a higher drop count during broodless or near broodless periods may mean all is fine. What I would like to see set down is a brood cell factor. Such as a multiplier based upon every frame of capped cells into eh hive. So you get a mite drop of 5 mites in a 24 hour period you then multiply that number by some factor based upon number of frames of capped brood. say double it for every frame of capped brood so if you have 10 frames of capped brood it would represent a comparable drop of 55 mites if there where no capped brood at all. Now those numbers are purely made up and have no actual mite count history behind them. This would allow beekeepers to arrive at an adjusted mite drop based upon a set value. the importance of this is that reported mite drops from various beekeepers would become more consistent rather than estimates based upon various random guessing and estimating. Maybe even end up with a daily mite count index. sort of like looking up the air quality in your area. look up the maximum acceptable mite drop for you area for that day.
Everything gets darker, as it goes to where there is less light. Darrel Tank (5PM drawing instructor)