Just did my last hive check of the year and low and behold varroa mites
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  1. #1
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    Default Just did my last hive check of the year and low and behold varroa mites

    Just as the title says. Last hive check of the year and first time I've noticed varroa mites. First noticed some of my larva looked like blobs and then noticed some of them had varroa mites and then noticed them on my bee's. Just check my hive a couple of weeks ago and saw no signs of this. So I just ordered some Apivar. Couple of questions for you.

    1) I'm in California, am I going to have a hard time getting Apivar? I just read something about Section 18 states and and maybe needing some kind of license for this stuff? Anyone from California have any experience with this?

    2) Am I to late to treat? Not so much as far as timing within the year but if I'm seeing mites on my larva, bee's and some larva is blobs, am I seeing this to late for treatment to work?

    Cheers!
    Brad

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Just did my last hive check of the year and low and behold varroa mites

    Yep, in California you only get 10 strips at a time without an applicator's license.
    It is late, but still good to try, would be better than not trying.
    It may turn out OK, Petaluma is pretty mild winters.
    Live real time bee chat, most evenings...
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Just did my last hive check of the year and low and behold varroa mites

    Would MAQS be a better option? The temps are in the right range, it's definitely not too hot. Unlike Apivar, MAQS will do the job in three days, which is definitely a plus for this level of infestation.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Just did my last hive check of the year and low and behold varroa mites

    Trying is better than doing nothing to avoid a hive crashed situation during the winter months. Some queens will not stop laying all winter long in small brood patched. So treating them will at least give them a chance to survive. Next season start doing mite check early in the Spring time. Then through out the summer months to get an idea of the mite load in your hives.

    I started my IPM at the end of June this season. Yes, it is a bit to treat but better than not doing anything to allow them to die. Once the mites are under control you will not see the blob and DWVs anymore. Because we are in a mild winter region it never hurt to try.

    I've read that MAQS might kill the queen so for an extended mild winter go with the apivar will do.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Just did my last hive check of the year and low and behold varroa mites

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    Trying is better than doing nothing to avoid a hive crashed situation during the winter months. Some queens will not stop laying all winter long in small brood patched. So treating them will at least give them a chance to survive. Next season start doing mite check early in the Spring time. Then through out the summer months to get an idea of the mite load in your hives.

    I started my IPM at the end of June this season. Yes, it is a bit to treat but better than not doing anything to allow them to die. Once the mites are under control you will not see the blob and DWVs anymore. Because we are in a mild winter region it never hurt to try.

    I've read that MAQS might kill the queen so for an extended mild winter go with the apivar will do.
    Thank you and thank you to everyone who replied. I ordered the Apivar tonight so fingers crossed I caught it in time.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Just did my last hive check of the year and low and behold varroa mites

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    ... I've read that MAQS might kill the queen so for an extended mild winter go with the apivar will do.
    After so many years of MAQS around some important statistics are still missing: How many queens die from the beekeeper's failure to read/follow the instructions (e.g., wrong temps, peeling the cover paper, no ventilation)? Vs. How many queens die from FA overdose? (supposedly quietly acknowledged by the manufacturer?)

    How fast does Apivar kill Varroa mites? Considering the infestation level, the question would be What is a greater risk: continued exposure to Varroa or the three-day FA-induced stress?

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Just did my last hive check of the year and low and behold varroa mites

    Would be fine to use it but not just before our winter sets in. Our temp is dipping into the low 60s this
    coming week. So any queen death will be detrimental to the colony unless you want to import queens from
    HI at this time of the year.

    I can see that you want to use it during the seasons when replacement queens are readily available. Just 2
    queens these days shipping through the mail will cost me $94 bucks. To me it is like gambling. Yes, apivar will
    work over time since we are not harvesting any honey now. It is better to leave it in until Spring time to kill off the
    mites when the brood nest is contracting now in small patches. It will continue to contract until next Spring again. Using
    apivar now for an extended time until early Spring will be very effective just for that purpose alone.

    Will the OP want to risk the chance of killing the queen or use apivar over time until Spring again?
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Just did my last hive check of the year and low and behold varroa mites

    I have been treating with powdered sugar every week for 3 years and have never had to treat in any other way since i started. I have noticed that there is a slight rise in mite population throughput summer but the population drops to almost nothing once they move to a broodless stage in december. I found this reading very interesting http://scientificbeekeeping.com/powd...y-work-part-3/.

    If you read this site scroll to the bottom and you will find a lady who decided to treat her hive every day with the following counts after each treatment...


    Oct 17 250 mites. I began leaving the white board in place to see the mite-fall over night. Temp 55
    Oct 18 before dusting there were greater than 250 mites from over night. After dusting, 112 mites only. Temp 58
    Oct 19 before dusting there were mites only under the center of the cluster. After dusting, 56 mites. Temp 60
    Oct 20 before dusting only 100 mites, after dusting, 33. Temp 60 but weather was damp.
    Oct 21 before dusting, 15 mites. I decided not to dust for only 15 mites.

    Most people will state that this method is a part of an integrated pest management or not effective at all. That said, it has proven to be quick and effective for me. I have placed screened bottom boards on my hives and use a cup of sugar over each brood box or super.

    That said if the drop rates are even close to 30 percent a week, daily treatments would cure any infestation. It sounds like you don't have many hives. It would be easy to accomplish.

    I might add that if i was that lady above i would have treated two more times. Since mites grow exponentially having the lowest possible mites levels in spring can result in a much smaller mite level by the end of summer.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Just did my last hive check of the year and low and behold varroa mites


  11. #10
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    Default Re: Just did my last hive check of the year and low and behold varroa mites

    ok...so how many and what type of hives do you work, and what's your harvest honey weight numbers?
    be honest now...



    Quote Originally Posted by gruntworker View Post
    I have been treating with powdered sugar every week for 3 years and have never had to treat in any other way since i started. I have noticed that there is a slight rise in mite population throughput summer but the population drops to almost nothing once they move to a broodless stage in december. I found this reading very interesting http://scientificbeekeeping.com/powd...y-work-part-3/.

    If you read this site scroll to the bottom and you will find a lady who decided to treat her hive every day with the following counts after each treatment...


    Oct 17 250 mites. I began leaving the white board in place to see the mite-fall over night. Temp 55
    Oct 18 before dusting there were greater than 250 mites from over night. After dusting, 112 mites only. Temp 58
    Oct 19 before dusting there were mites only under the center of the cluster. After dusting, 56 mites. Temp 60
    Oct 20 before dusting only 100 mites, after dusting, 33. Temp 60 but weather was damp.
    Oct 21 before dusting, 15 mites. I decided not to dust for only 15 mites.

    Most people will state that this method is a part of an integrated pest management or not effective at all. That said, it has proven to be quick and effective for me. I have placed screened bottom boards on my hives and use a cup of sugar over each brood box or super.

    That said if the drop rates are even close to 30 percent a week, daily treatments would cure any infestation. It sounds like you don't have many hives. It would be easy to accomplish.

    I might add that if i was that lady above i would have treated two more times. Since mites grow exponentially having the lowest possible mites levels in spring can result in a much smaller mite level by the end of summer.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Just did my last hive check of the year and low and behold varroa mites

    Hibs, mites are very difficult to see on bees. If you wait until you 'notice' mites on larvae and bees, you probably have an extreme infestation, quite possibly too late to save them. If you did not use an alcohol wash or sugar roll to get a mite count, you really have no idea how serious your infestation is. If you don't use a wash or roll to count mites after your treatment, you have no idea if it has been effective.

    Of course, now that you know you do have an infestation, trying to save them with a treatment regimen might be better than just crossing your fingers. But it's not too late to begin using some method to learn your mite counts before you treat and after.

    Good luck!

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Just did my last hive check of the year and low and behold varroa mites

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidZ View Post
    ok...so how many and what type of hives do you work, and what's your harvest honey weight numbers?
    be honest now...
    Just two langstroth hives. I am not an expert nor a professional. I am enthusiastic with my hobby and spend a lot of time reading and watching. I answered because he seems to be a hobby beekeeper as well.

    All that said, my mite count with sugar rolls is low. When I purchased them I had 13 ( i think) in 1/2 a cup going into fall. I used an apivar treatment and at the end of 6 weeks it was down to two. Since that one treatment just powdered sugar. I have had 7 mites during the summer once but they have never been out of control since the point I started regular treatments. In winter my drop rates go down. I do treat almost every week.

    If he only has a hive or two, a screened bottom board is less than an hours work, with 1/8 hardware cloth and some scrap wood. A dado would be a plus. If the muse hit, you could try powdered sugar treatments for a few days straight while you wait for your chemical treatment. You could then take another count and decide.

    I have read mostly poor reports on Powdered Sugar treatments. If these treatments cause any type of exponential decay approaching the level indicated by some reports i have read... They have to help. If the bees are broodless, even better.

    Your second question.

    MY established hive gave me a deep box of honey last year. I didn't feed going into February so when citrus came into bloom they were under populated. All things I may post on here later to gain some knowledge from this incredibly knowledgeable community.

    We should never speak from pride. If you approach interactions hiding the good and sharing your weakness you will go further (unless it is a job interview). So honesty is always a policy.


    I hope you save your hive!
    Last edited by gruntworker; 11-02-2017 at 02:14 PM.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Just did my last hive check of the year and low and behold varroa mites

    Quote Originally Posted by gruntworker View Post
    Just two langstroth hives. I am not an expert nor a professional. I am enthusiastic with my hobby and spend a lot of time reading and watching. I answered because he seems to be a hobby beekeeper as well.

    All that said, my mite count with sugar rolls is low. When I purchased them I had 13 ( i think) in 1/2 a cup going into fall. I used an apivar treatment and at the end of 6 weeks it was down to two. Since that one treatment just powdered sugar. I have had 7 mites during the summer once but they have never been out of control since the point I started regular treatments. In winter my drop rates go down. I do treat almost every week.

    If he only has a hive or two, a screened bottom board is less than an hours work, with 1/8 hardware cloth and some scrap wood. A dado would be a plus. If the muse hit, you could try powdered sugar treatments for a few days straight while you wait for your chemical treatment. You could then take another count and decide.

    I have read mostly poor reports on Powdered Sugar treatments. If these treatments cause any type of exponential decay approaching the level indicated by some reports i have read... They have to help. If the bees are broodless, even better.

    Your second question.

    MY established hive gave me a deep box of honey last year. I didn't feed going into February so when citrus came into bloom they were under populated. All things I may post on here later to gain some knowledge from this incredibly knowledgeable community.

    We should never speak from pride. If you approach interactions hiding the good and sharing your weakness you will go further (unless it is a job interview). So honesty is always a policy.


    I hope you save your hive!
    Kudos to you for putting this out there. I currently have 17 colonies going into winter and have used the powdered sugar dusting since I started a few years ago. I like the screened bottoms on the hive with the solid IPM board under that with diatomaceous earth on it. Once you do the powdered sugar, the bees groom, mites fall down into the dust and don't return to re-infect. I do it once a month through out the season, and if I happen to see a bee with DWV or have high counts in the sugar roll, I do it twice a month or weekly during that time.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Just did my last hive check of the year and low and behold varroa mites

    Crap, this is exactly what I saw. So if I read this correctly, even if I treat the mite issue this hive will die. Am I understanding this correctly?

    Quote Originally Posted by suburbanrancher View Post

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Just did my last hive check of the year and low and behold varroa mites

    No, the hive will still live as long as the bees can cover the eggs and larvae after the treatment. We can do a very
    late treatment because our climate is consider mild winter area unless you live high in the mountain elevation. I would say go ahead to treat while you still can. After that let nature take its course. That is all we can do as a responsible beekeeper.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Just did my last hive check of the year and low and behold varroa mites

    Quote Originally Posted by Hibs06 View Post
    Crap, this is exactly what I saw. So if I read this correctly, even if I treat the mite issue this hive will die. Am I understanding this correctly?
    I would still treat, mite bombs are a serious problem for surrounding beekeepers. I would use something like MAQS first and then if you wanted to go the APIVAR route, that is your choice. You need to do an alcohol wash before and AFTER treatment to see if the treatment was effective. In many places, 2-3 mite treatments are needed a year and I suspect with your mild climate, you may be one of them. Mites reproduce FAST.

    I used the Randy Oliver blue towels on my "bonus" hives. A few weeks BEFORE applying the towels, I did a sugar roll: 7 mites per 300 bees. Applied the towels, left them in place for one month. Rechecked the colony via an alcohol wash one month AFTER towel removal: 46 mites per 300. Needless to say, I threw some MAQS on them. If these colonies die, I don't want them to be a source of mite infestation for my main colonies or anyone else around me.

    I've used MAQS several times since becoming a beekeeper and I have never lost a queen to it--even when applying it during a period of time that was at or slightly above the recommended temperatures.

    If you strongly desire to limit your mite treatments then you need to purchase mite resistant queens and practice drone removal, brood breaks, etc.

    Good luck.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Just did my last hive check of the year and low and behold varroa mites

    Well I went in the hive today and put the Apivar strips in. I was surprised how plastic like the strips are. Will check in 42-56 days and see how it went.



    Quote Originally Posted by suburbanrancher View Post
    I would still treat, mite bombs are a serious problem for surrounding beekeepers. I would use something like MAQS first and then if you wanted to go the APIVAR route, that is your choice. You need to do an alcohol wash before and AFTER treatment to see if the treatment was effective. In many places, 2-3 mite treatments are needed a year and I suspect with your mild climate, you may be one of them. Mites reproduce FAST.

    I used the Randy Oliver blue towels on my "bonus" hives. A few weeks BEFORE applying the towels, I did a sugar roll: 7 mites per 300 bees. Applied the towels, left them in place for one month. Rechecked the colony via an alcohol wash one month AFTER towel removal: 46 mites per 300. Needless to say, I threw some MAQS on them. If these colonies die, I don't want them to be a source of mite infestation for my main colonies or anyone else around me.

    I've used MAQS several times since becoming a beekeeper and I have never lost a queen to it--even when applying it during a period of time that was at or slightly above the recommended temperatures.

    If you strongly desire to limit your mite treatments then you need to purchase mite resistant queens and practice drone removal, brood breaks, etc.

    Good luck.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Just did my last hive check of the year and low and behold varroa mites

    Did you do an alcohol or sugar roll? Good luck, hope they make it. My one test hive was down to a a cup and a half of bees. Added them to one doing well.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Just did my last hive check of the year and low and behold varroa mites

    Quote Originally Posted by suburbanrancher View Post
    Did you do an alcohol or sugar roll? Good luck, hope they make it. My one test hive was down to a a cup and a half of bees. Added them to one doing well.
    I didn't. I wanted to keep the give open as little as possible since it was a bit cold.

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