Need to treat for Varroa in a Warre
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  1. #1
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    Default Need to treat for Varroa in a Warre

    Hey All,

    I have a 4-box tall Warre hive. Still a strong colony. Got about 90 mites on the sticky board during a 24-hour period.
    Does anyone here have any advice on treating a Warre hive? I've read about the powdered sugar and heard mixed results.

    Anything else?

    Thanks!

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  3. #2
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    Sep 2013
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    Renton, washington
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    Default Re: Need to treat for Varroa in a Warre

    Hello, I'm a 3 rd year and I have the same problem right now, my bee mentor gave me formic acid. it works really well. I'm going to retreat this week. and hope my girls goe into winter strong.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Need to treat for Varroa in a Warre

    How did you apply it?

  5. #4
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    mississippu
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    Default Re: Need to treat for Varroa in a Warre


  6. #5
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    Ludlow MA.
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    Default Re: Need to treat for Varroa in a Warre

    I treated with oxalic acid using a vaporizer, 3 times 7 days apart, supposed to do the trick, at least that's what I was told from local beeks. I didn't check my mite count before or after but saw dead mites on a piece of plastic board I slipped into the hive bottom after the treatments. I put a plastic separator between one of the top boxes to prevent the vapor getting to the honey in there that I'm thinking about harvesting. The president of the Hampden county beekeepers lives close by, he said, you got bees, you got mites treat or else risk losing them, so this was the method I thought was best for me. I treated two warres, one ktbh and one lang.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Need to treat for Varroa in a Warre

    Ultimately I've made a conscious decision not to treat. Having a Warre hive is essentially just housing a wild hive with the benefit of harvesting occasionally. I highly respect the efforts of the TF community and accept the consequences of letting the weak fail and the strong survive and thrive.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Need to treat for Varroa in a Warre

    Quote Originally Posted by grantsbees View Post
    Ultimately I've made a conscious decision not to treat. Having a Warre hive is essentially just housing a wild hive with the benefit of harvesting occasionally. I highly respect the efforts of the TF community and accept the consequences of letting the weak fail and the strong survive and thrive.
    Exactly my thoughts. Those colonies that survive exhibit beneficial grooming techniques that will be passed on to future generations, instead of having a colony that is dependent on the intervention of pesticides/treatments to survive.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Need to treat for Varroa in a Warre

    I tried the only having a few hives TF thing ..complete losses, repeatedly, this year its OAD
    Its not like you have a bunch of hives and genetic diversity that your are trying to select from (that's a completely different story). Either your hive has the genetics to survive untreated, or they don't, not treating them won't magically cause them to become resistant to mites.
    You don't leave a chihuahua on chain outside in the far north and expect it to grow a thick coat and survive, that would be abusive

    You have a 2nd choice, treat and see what the mite drop is on the sticky board, if you have a huge mite drop you know they won't make it with out treatment, re queen them in the spring. if you don't have a huge mite drop you know your on the right tract.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Need to treat for Varroa in a Warre

    Well said msl. Though to what benefit are you providing by allowing genetics to continue that require treatment, except for the immediate benefits that the beekeeper receives of not loosing the hive. If your going to play in the far north don't bring a chihuahua, bring a husky. Same applies here. Start your hives with stock from a breeder that has the genetics in play to prevent the need for excessive or repetitive intervention. If that hive that requires constant attention swarms to become feral, how long will it last? That's all I was getting at. Just my two cents. You make good points msl I am not arguing with you, just adding to the conversation.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Need to treat for Varroa in a Warre

    Update: The untreated colony (started from package bees) is currently in cluster mode for the winter. A good volleyball size. I have no doubt that the mites had some negative effect on them, but they made it to the brood break of late fall. I have not "yet" seen any signs of PMS or DWV. As long as they have enough to eat to get them to spring, they SHOULD be ok.

    That being said, my knowledgeable inspector says that most TF hives that he has seen fail in the second year. I have no reason to doubt him. I know there are tricks to keeping mite levels down such as allowing swarming. I have also heard that the Warre nadiring method every year keeps mite levels from getting out of control as well. I mean, who knows for sure but the concept is that you are annually removing old comb and letting the bees draw new comb and that somehow affects the mites' life cycles.

    But hey, I'm a newbee and still learning. From now on, though, I will only get stock from treatment free, locally overwintered supplies. I've considered getting Russians.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Need to treat for Varroa in a Warre

    Quote Originally Posted by Bee14me View Post
    to what benefit are you providing by allowing genetics to continue that require treatment, except for the immediate benefits that the beekeeper receives of not loosing the hive.
    When you have one or 2 hives what is the benefit to letting them die? Itís not like letting them die is going to provide a service to bee genetics, you not providing any sort of drone saturation compared to all the other hives in your area that are likely being treated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bee14me View Post
    If your going to play in the far north don't bring a chihuahua, bring a husky. Same applies here. Start your hives with stock from a breeder that has the genetics in play to prevent the need for excessive or repetitive intervention
    Spot on!
    But the point is ďmostĒ hive or 2 backyard beeks who go TF have a Chihuahua, aka mass produced generic package bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by grantsbees View Post
    From now on, though, I will only get stock from treatment free, locally overwintered supplies.
    bingo! All I was suggesting was that spending $7 now to OAD the hive and getting a TF queen in the spring will be much cheaper than a new package of bees in the spring.

    My ferals went about 2 years, my packages didnít make a year

    I think the long and short of it, (and this is comeing from some one who total drank a lot of the TF/natural cell/top bar/warre/ferrel stock/only the strong shale live koolade) is if your hive needs treatment, it needs treatment, its not TF stock, treat it. If you donít like treatments, requeen it with known TF stock. But letting it die makes no sense from an animal husbandry or financial standpoint. Itís just too cheap and easy not to at least OAD treatment. Now this is from a 1 or 2 hive perspective a big outfit working a TF breeding program is different, they can lose a bunch of hives, split/graft and bounce back, the small back yard beek cant
    Last edited by msl; 12-02-2016 at 10:01 AM.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Need to treat for Varroa in a Warre

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    I think the long and short of it is If your hive needs treatment, it needs treatment, treat it.
    I somewhat disagree with this as a rule. To paraphrase Michael Bush from an email to me: Do not assume that the bees (packaged or otherwise) will be overhwelmed by mites.

    This will be my last package of bees. I've learned a lesson there. That being said, I don't see a reason not to give this colony (and their queen) a fighting chance. Maybe I'm too attached to this queen who produced a massive and productive colony this past season.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Need to treat for Varroa in a Warre

    The 2 not exclusive of each other
    I am saying if it needs treatment, it needs treatment, so treat it. MB is saying don't automatically assume it needs treatment.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Need to treat for Varroa in a Warre

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    The 2 not exclusive of each other
    I am saying if it needs treatment, it needs treatment, so treat it. MB is saying don't automatically assume it needs treatment.
    I should clarify. He said that in response to my identifying a high mite drop in September.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Need to treat for Varroa in a Warre

    "When you have one or 2 hives what is the benefit to letting them die? It’s not like letting them die is going to provide a service to bee genetics, you not providing any sort of drone saturation compared to all the other hives in your area that are likely being treated."

    You are right for the short gain. We, as a bee keeping community, should all strive to keep only genetics that benefit the species not the immediate short lived colony that requires assistance to survive. Again my two cents as a novice beek whose probably read to much, and experienced too little

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Need to treat for Varroa in a Warre

    agreed, but its hard to do if your bees are dead
    The point was there is no harm to the species by keeping a hive alive long enuf to re-queen it, or have them try again and raize a new queen in the spring and hope for the local gene pool to improve what you have. Or to just keep treating them

    Going Hard bond on a few hives of package bees doesn't help any one, what happens in your (or my) little apiary isn't going to change the world or help the bees, its the idea that it will that sucks in so many new beeks (my self among them)

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Need to treat for Varroa in a Warre

    Grants...
    I am new with my first hives and am basically doing the same. The only differrance is I have did no mite counts and am not in a warre yet. I figure ignorance is bliss (for me not you) and if I don't know the mite counts I won't worry till the hives die on me. I would not be against treatments but am lazy and figure I won't know if I don't try even if bees die. The guy I got one hive from said he doesn't treat and just has enough hives that he replaces dead outs with splits.

    My only hope if my bees die is to catch more swarms cause I don't plan on buying more bees. I figure the swarms I caught this year could be from bought bees just as easily as from wild ones.

    I am not against treatment but just lazy untill I know for sure I will need to treat. This is not to dissagree with those who know they have better success with treating.

    If I already knew for sure that I was going to lose all my bees each year cause I didn't treat, I would treat.

    I only know one way to try and find out and it might cause the death of bees that didn't have to die. That is to just try it. The one hope is that I do know someone who says he doesn't treat and he still has bees. He is also lots smarter on bees then me and may have counter measures that he uses that I don't. I am like most new bee keepers and am from the show me state and so will wait for the bees to show me even if it hurts. (and it will hurt if they all die this winter and spring).

    I admit that I know nothing and the learning is going to come in only one way, by trying and doing and as I learn adjusting. If I shot them up with mite killing juice, it would probly work but then I wouldn't know if it might of worked with out it. This is not to discount the years of experiance that others have gained but more my way of getting my own experiance.
    Good luck
    gww
    zone 5b

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Need to treat for Varroa in a Warre

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    agreed, but its hard to do if your bees are dead
    The point was there is no harm to the species by keeping a hive alive long enuf to re-queen it, or have them try again and raize a new queen in the spring and hope for the local gene pool to improve what you have. Or to just keep treating them

    Going Hard bond on a few hives of package bees doesn't help any one, what happens in your (or my) little apiary isn't going to change the world or help the bees, its the idea that it will that sucks in so many new beeks (my self among them)
    I don't think I am going to save the bees or change the world. But it's a fascinating hobby that I am not giving up on being TF regardless of what happens.
    Not to mention I enjoy honey

    I will post an update here in May and let you know where things stand. Thanks for all the great comments

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Need to treat for Varroa in a Warre

    It is indeed a great hobby/ passion. Honey bees are so fascinating in every aspect! Man do I love bees

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Need to treat for Varroa in a Warre

    Hey Grant. regarding your comment about Russians, check out warm color apiaries, RHBA certified bees in Ma. I've read a couple newspaper articles this summer about beeks who have is bees and are doing great.

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