I have five hive all first year 2, 3lb packages 2, nucs and 1 a split from a hive I have at my fathers 40 plus miles away. 3 of the hives all seem to be doing well all 2 deep supers and added 1 med to one hive and a deep on each of the others after my fav treatment that I applied today. Just some added background I also had 2 swarms this year one from one of the package hives about a month ago and the other from the split which by far is the most populated hive. No apparent hive beetle issues some ants but other than that seem to be pest free. I am also running robbing screens on 4 of the five hives since the inception of the hive.
I have a few questions.
1 Might population before first treat meant was low less than 5 per 100 after doing a sugar roll in 4 of the five hives the hive that was a split and also is the largest had 15 per 100 I was advised to treat all three hives , is this correct?. I was told better to treat all then risk a later infestation.
2 since I just added 2 deeps to two of the larger stronger hives do I need to remove them before I give my 21 3 rd final treatment for the summer. I had figured since it is likely there will not be time for the bees to draw out the Frames I could treat with them on just to give the entire hive body a blast before is tart feeding in September for the dearth.
3. Since this year has been different for me regarding available feed for the bees I am actually not sure if I will experience a dearth this year I still have three fields of clover and other wild flowers that are just beginning to come back into bloom after being harvested for hay 3 weeks ago? I am in Hudson valley part of NY so anyone who is local please let me know what you think of the foraging situation this year.
Any constructive views comments and information is greatly appreciated
First of all, you mentioned that you are treating and also that you have supers on? Do you mean supers for honey collection or are you just referring to boxes generically as "supers?" You know that you can't OAV with honey supers on, right?
Also OAV, does not penetrate the cappings of brood cells, so it is much less effective than, say, formic acid, which does. Whenever you have a lot of brood in the hive (several whole frames worth of capped brood) then the majority of all of the mites in the hive are probably protected from exposure to the OAV crystals. This means that while you will have good kill on the much-smaller number of mites that are not under the cappings, you won't be controlling the overall population all that well as new ones will hatch out with the emerging brood all the time. OAV is a a great treatment, if you understand and work around its limitations, especially regarding its inability to kill mites under cappings. For that reason I rarely use it until after Labor Day when the bees are naturally brooding much less due to the season and there fore most of the total mites in the hive are vulnerable to the chemical. Be sure to continue your sugar rolls to keep an idea on your post-treatment levels.
As to your specific questions:
1) It 's generally better to treat all the colonies in a yard at the same time, despite differing mite numbers because bees spread around between hives pretty liberally, so the mite numbers are sort of homogenized among them. There are a few times, with certain chemicals when I would not treat all the hives, but generally not OAV. Just titrate the dose based on the number of brood boxes, with nucs (and also their second stories if you go in for tall nucs) as being a half-box dose per story. Dose for other boxes is 1/4 tsp per box (8- or 10-frame, medium or deep).
2)Iif a box is on the stack during the treatment, that box counts, as long as the bees have access to it (i.e I don;t count a quilt box above the top of the frame because the bees don't go in it.) I would not remove newly-added boxes.
3) We are not having a dearth up here this year, despite this very welcome stretch of a week or so of very nice weather. The rains earlier in the year have made the late season flowers very tall and lush: goldenrod, knotweed, knappweed, joe pye and boneset, jewel weed and presumably asters, too, so the late season nectar flow should be good.
I would not necessarily feed unless you are trying to get the bees to draw out more comb needed for winter. Bees are more-reluctant comb-builders in the late season than earlier on. And even on a good fall flow they may just stuff the brood area, rather make more pantry space. New hives have an urgent need to get to the right amount of comb for strong sufficient winter supplies, and sometimes that requires continuous feeding to get there.
I would not feed established hives that are already on sufficient numbers of drawn combs for good wintering in your area, even if those frames are not yet full . They will likely start to fill up, and you have plenty of time to also fill them up with syrup starting in mid-September when you'll have a better idea of the late season nectar production. Sometimes, great-looking flowers that are in bud now are smashed down by weather events - late season heavy storms like hurricanes, for instance - before they can give up their expected yield. You just need to get closer to the flow to know what's most likely to happen. Better to leave space right now available for "real" nectar than to fill it all up later and than to accidentally force them out when the natural sources kick in. Does that make sense?
yes everything you said makes sense to me thank you for your reply. I treated the hives for the third time today one a week for 21 days and was planning on monitoring and giving a treatment again in end of September (single) and possibly again in November before buttoning them up for the winter.
I also have another hive at my dads place which I will do a 56 day treatment of Apivar. That treatment will start on Labor Day Monday. I am not expecting to get any honey from any of my hives except possibly that one which has flow frames which I will remove before applying the apivar strips 2 per box.
I am not expecting to harvest any honey this year due to the fact that although I started most hives out on a combination of 10 drawn out frames and 10 new frames they have been slow to build out this year. I believe this is partially due to one a late start on getting the nucs and the nucs I bought were not very heavy about 1/3 less in poundage than my nuc purchase last year and the fact that I had one of those nucs swarm as well as one hive that was a 3 pound package swarm as well. I have 3 strong hives at this point one fairly strong hive which also had the highest mite population and a weak hive which was one of the nucs that swarmed. My goal is to get all five hives through winter possibly split the 3 strong hives in late April mid May, and hope for Honey in year three. * hives is the most I will be able to house within my fenced in bee yard. So hoping for 8 for next year if all goes well and some honey also.
As Enjambres notes OA is not the most effective treatment at this time when there is a lot of capped brood. If I had to use it to get the mite count down I would be treating on a tighter schedule like 4 or 5 days and expect to continue (no matter how many repetitions it took) until the counts do come down. The sugar shake mite count you observed is above what Canadian Agriculture considers tolerable. Actual percentage on total hive numbers would be much higher.
If you do treat with honey supers on which will be fed back that is no problem. For human consumption it is not generally acceptable practice. In any case if you do treat OA with them on you have to increase dosage accordingly to allow for the extra area and volume they present.
Your plans for next year expansion plus honey should be quite do able. Search Enjambres posts for her methods of winter hive preparations. They are belt and suspenders surety of getting colonies through winter if you do your part in getting their mite counts down in time for the bees to raise their winter survivor bees in mite and virus free conditions. Now is non too early to get a handle on that.
You will need to do a 3- or 4-treatment series if you do another round of OAV in September (and you should plan on that) because you will still have brood at that time. The one-shot only works when you have NO BROOD, which doesn't begin until very late November, and often not until mid- December in upstate NY.
And you really need to keep protecting your winter bees throughout the Fall. What you do by treating in summer is just the stage for keeping the numbers low during the critical time when winter bees are being born and raised, which is the fall. And also there may be a constant in-flow of mites to your previously-treated during the fall, so you have to keep up the pressure on them.
Five mites per 100 bees is a 5% infestation rate and that is nearly twice my "must-treat-immediately-limit", which is 2% or 3%.
Also, keep in mind that a 3-dose treatment program on 7-day intervals only spans 15 days, not 21 days. That's one of the reasons why I use a 4-dose regimen on 5-day intervals, to span 16 days which covers a full round of capped worker brood (but not drone brood, which takes even longer upper cappings). When you have drone brood in the hive, you need an additional treatment.