Mite Treatment....is it always necessary
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    SW CT
    Posts
    84

    Default Mite Treatment....is it always necessary

    So I one hive that is on its 3rd year, it overwintered each year and I just put on my honey super. My 2nd hive I installed a few weeks back and just added the 2nd deep. In the past I would get an idea of my mine count using my correx board and Vaseline but treat in the spring and fall regardless. I usually use Formic Pro above the 1st deep.

    If I do a mite count and its fairly low, should I always treat or am I sometimes better off just monitoring the mite level and treating if it needs it?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Covington County, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,638

    Default Re: Mite Treatment....is it always necessary

    If you are getting accurate mite counts and are not seeing a problem, then there is no reason to treat. However, if you are relying on a natural drop in mites onto a vaseline-coated board through a screened bottom board, my opinion is that you are not getting an accurate mite count and likely will not know whether you have a problem. Alcohol washes are simple and accurate if done correctly. If you just can't stand to sacrifice 300 bees, then do a sugar roll. No one makes good decisions with bad data.

    Here is a link to detailed instructions on a sugar roll by enjambres:

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...61#post1633261
    Last edited by psm1212; 05-18-2018 at 11:59 AM. Reason: now to know. added link to sugar roll.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Orange Grove, TX
    Posts
    272

    Default Re: Mite Treatment....is it always necessary

    Quote Originally Posted by psm1212 View Post
    If you are getting accurate mite counts and are not seeing a problem, then there is no reason to treat. However, if you are relying on a natural drop in mites onto a vaseline-coated board through a screened bottom board, my opinion is that you are not getting an accurate mite count and likely will not now whether you have a problem. Alcohol washes are simple and accurate if done correctly. If you just can't stand to sacrifice 300 bees, then do a sugar roll. No one makes good decisions with bad data.
    Solid advice.
    South Texas Apiaries, LLC
    www.Facebook.com/SouthTexasApiaries

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    5,536

    Default Re: Mite Treatment....is it always necessary

    Sticky boards done once a week, every week, for three days will give you enough information to make treatment decisions. I do them 52 weeks of the year on each colony, and I am in northern NY.

    Sugar rolls (done consistently and correctly) once a month on every colony (April through the end of October) will do the same. I do some colonies in my 15-hive apiary every week, on a rolling basis.

    I combine weekly mite boards and monthly sugar rolls, so I always have a very good idea of the current mite status in each colony on which to make my treatment decisions (both which product and when to use it) since I want to treat the least number of times and still have a effective, year-round control of the mites.

    I recently wrote out a detailed description of how to do sugar rolls, based on the Michigan State Ext Service Method. You can read it here on this thread, post #4: https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...61#post1633261

    Doing any test, mite boards, sugar rolls, or alcohol washes only occasionally yields much poorer-quality information and basically leaves you reeling from one crisis-point to another. A better way, IMO, is constant monitoring so you see a building problem well in advance and can make product and timing choices before you've got an emergency on your hands. It allows you to confidently skip treating when circumstances allow, and also know you need to double up on treatments when different circumstances occur.

    BTW, cooking oil works fine on the boards and it's far easier to apply and clean off.

    Nancy

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Alexandria, Virginia
    Posts
    810

    Default Re: Mite Treatment....is it always necessary

    every bee yard is different. Late spring, you have a few mites....meh......i dont bother doing a count until early september. I treat with apivar right after honey harvest around first week in july. Do an alcohol wash in sept. Oav at thanksgiving.

    Sugar roll can be problematic if humid. Sticky boards are inaccurate but give a good idea of what may be going on.

    July and august is prime time for mites and shb. I know that. The problem is there. It is not whether i have mites or if my mite count is low now, will it stay low....hahahahahaha....of course it wont....

    I have a low mite load in spring because i requeen with reverse splits from overwintered hives that went into winter with a very low mite load. Then i treat in middle of summer.

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