Clean your Bees, don't start a mite breeding hive.
New Project to Fight the Mite! : Treating Packages and Swarms
Summary: This Spring many beekeepers will be replenishing dead hives with packages. As all bees have some level of varroa mites, controlling mites in newly installed hives before brood is capped is key to ensure colony growth in the spring and summer. NY Bee Wellness, partnering with Beta-tec, maker of HopGuard II, will be conducting a program where beekeepers will treat their newly hived packages with either HopGuard II or oxalic acid, retreating in the Summer as needed, and in the Fall, and checked monthly for efficacy of treatments. This monitored trial is a first for the Northeast region. Similar trials have been done in the Southwest.
Beekeepers who are not directly involved in this program are also encouraged to treat their package bees, too, by doing the following:
- Products of your choosing should be used before brood is capped, about 1 week after hiving
- HopGuard II: Strips may be applied at the rate of one strip per five deep combs covered with bees in each brood super; see instructions HERE (page4).
- Oxalic Acid: 5ml of oxalic solution per seam of bees, per instructions
- Mite counts should be done about 2 days after treatment to determine mite levels, and monitored monthly for varroa levels.
- Retreat in the Summer if varroa counts are >2%, and in the Fall after honey supers are removed
- Beekeepers are also encouraged to treat newly hived swarms before brood is capped, hives that have swarmed and are requeening and splits- once the capped brood have emerged, or any time a brood break is initiated.
There will probably not be a better or easier time to treat than before the first brood is capped.
How to check for varroa mites: http://nybeewellness.org/diagnostics/mite-check/