This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment) - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Lake Forest Park, WA
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    I’m in my 5th year and still experimenting on mite treatment. Since I only carry a few hives, my goal has always been 100% winter survival. If I had a dozen hives like the OP, I might cull a few which did not respond treatment.

    I had a similar experience as the OP in 2016. I stubbornly continued OAV until December (until mite drop became zero), and ended up with one dead and two weak hives. Looking back, I should have switched to apivar instead (too cold for formic by then).

    My most successful treatment was done in 2017, when I used formic when mite loads were still quite low in early August. The treatment worked well but one of the 2 hives showed sudden surge in mite drop in October (probably went robbing and got mites as well), so I treated both with Apivar which worked well, then finally OAV during winter brood break.

    2015, 2 hives from packages, formic in September-October, OAV in winter, saw K-wings, 2/2 survival.
    2016, 2 hives and 1 nuc, OAV series in August, continuous OAV from October - December, no K-wings, 2/3 survival.
    2017, 2 hives, formic on Aug, apivar mid Oct - early Dec, no K-wings, OAV in January, 2/2 survival.
    2018, 2 hives and 1 nuc, all got OAV after swarming in July, apivar Sep - Oct, no K-wings, OAV in December-January, 3/3 survival.
    2019, 2 hives and 1 nuc, all got OAV during brood break in May or July, the nuc got apivar mid Aug - early Oct, two hives got formic (half dose x 2 times) in September and apivar starting in October. Seeing K-wings in the hives.

    Zone 8, elevation 70 ft, North Seattle area.
    Bee plants and their pollen. https://chabol.wixsite.com/mysite

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Covington County, Alabama, USA
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    Let's also not forget in this discussion that this is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. I could see where a region that has maybe only 7 to 8 months of active brood rearing, could respond much better to OAV series treatments than a region like mine that has 11 1/2 months. Mine are bursting the boxes and starting to swarm by the last week of February. By August, I am just helplessly behind the curve when it comes to mite control and OAV in series does not seem to do the trick.

    Contrast that with a region that does not start brooding in earnest until late March or early April, and you have far less cycles of mite rearing and may be able to get out ahead of them with OAV in series.

    I can see how all of us could be having different experiences. As always, we all need to do what works for us in our bee yards.

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Pennsylvania/Florida
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    482

    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    Have you done any counts via alcohol wash? that will give you your best actual ratio.
    the 5-7 days is a bit on the outside edge for timing, we used this method too in the beginning of our use of ox vaporizing 2 years ago and had some inconsistent results.

    We narrowed it down to 3-5 treatments 3-4 days apart Mon and Friday rotations. We do mite rolls after 24 hours after the 3rd treatment and continue if results deem it necessary. Consistency is key, with oa vapor when brood is present.
    We treat thousands of hives this way, and we rotate between OA, Formic, and amitraz to keep them all viable for as long as possible.

    Aaron

  5. #24
    Join Date
    May 2017
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    Spokane County, Washington, USA
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    360

    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    Thanks for all the input everyone. I think next year I will try starting a little earlier. It is my practice as well to do a mid-winter "one shot" OAV treatment, and I will do that this year as well.

    I was wondering when someone would ask if I took counts. No, I didn't, though I have done alcohol rolls in the past. Anyway, I knew I had mites, and knew I was going to treat repeatedly until drops decreased, so why bother counting? That was my logic, right or wrong.

  6. #25
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    Feb 2012
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    Colorado Springs, CO United States
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    1,468

    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    Quote Originally Posted by bushpilot View Post
    Anyway, I knew I had mites, and knew I was going to treat repeatedly until drops decreased, so why bother counting?
    Because the count will never go down without a starting point So you know how many mites are actually dropping pre & post (if the treatment was effective)? So no one can blame someone else, drift, robbing a “mite bomb”, or a flower for their mites So you are not prophylactic treating on a schedule? However, I can appreciate you not counting
    Please excuse me, I am now free to go manage & treat ;)
    my ladies the best way I know how.

  7. #26
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    Apr 2019
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    Northeast PA
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    474

    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    Quote Originally Posted by fieldsofnaturalhoney View Post
    Because the count will never go down without a starting point So you know how many mites are actually dropping pre & post (if the treatment was effective)? So no one can blame someone else, drift, robbing a “mite bomb”, or a flower for their mites So you are not prophylactic treating on a schedule? However, I can appreciate you not counting
    1. One thing I've been doing, especially now that we're in fall, is using the screened bottom board white sticky board as a "rough" mite count. What I mean by this, is that I do OAV on EVERY hive with a white sticky board, and examine the resulting mite count. Generally speaking, if I see 50+ mites drop after an OAV treatment, I know it's time to apply another round of treatments.

    Using Johno's Easy Vap, each hive takes 30 seconds.

    After several treatments, the mite drop to the stick board tends to steadily drop down to around 25 or less. Sometimes it'll drop down into negligible levels, which is an obvious sign that OAV has worked. I've managed to eradicate mites in a number of colonies using OAV. They always come back though.

  8. #27
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    Feb 2016
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    Covington County, Alabama, USA
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    I have stopped pre-treatment washes and counts for my major fall treatments (Apivar) that I put on immediately after my supers come off. I know they are going to be over 3% by the end of July, so I am not going to waste my time.

    Once the Apivar strips come out, I do alcohol washes on all of my hives. My goal is to get below 1% infestation prior to October 31. What my mite count was in July/August and whether they robbed out a varroa infested hive or not does not matter to me. If they are above 1% by October 31, I still have work to do. Fortunately with my weather, I can still do it.

  9. #28
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    May 2017
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    Spokane County, Washington, USA
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    Quote Originally Posted by username00101 View Post
    1. One thing I've been doing, especially now that we're in fall, is using the screened bottom board white sticky board as a "rough" mite count. What I mean by this, is that I do OAV on EVERY hive with a white sticky board, and examine the resulting mite count. Generally speaking, if I see 50+ mites drop after an OAV treatment, I know it's time to apply another round of treatments.

    Using Johno's Easy Vap, each hive takes 30 seconds.

    After several treatments, the mite drop to the stick board tends to steadily drop down to around 25 or less. Sometimes it'll drop down into negligible levels, which is an obvious sign that OAV has worked. I've managed to eradicate mites in a number of colonies using OAV. They always come back though.
    Yep, this is where I am as well. Except I don't have the Easy Vap.

  10. #29
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    Apr 2017
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    Quote Originally Posted by bushpilot View Post
    Yep, this is where I am as well. Except I don't have the Easy Vap.
    I am thinking it is time for you to get one, at least once JohnO starts offering them again. My personal opinion is that the band heater style vaporizer, like the EasyVap and the ProVap110, which I own, are far superior in application and coverage than the pan style. Think of it like trying to put out a fire with a garden hose vs a fire hose. You can use the same amount of water but the fire hose is going to do the job better, faster, and be more effective.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  11. #30
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    Spokane County, Washington, USA
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    I am thinking it is time for you to get one, at least once JohnO starts offering them again. My personal opinion is that the band heater style vaporizer, like the EasyVap and the ProVap110, which I own, are far superior in application and coverage than the pan style. Think of it like trying to put out a fire with a garden hose vs a fire hose. You can use the same amount of water but the fire hose is going to do the job better, faster, and be more effective.
    Oh, I am simply waiting for him to open the gate again, and I will leap through!

  12. #31
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    Pell City,Alabama,USA
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    Quote Originally Posted by psm1212 View Post
    bushpilot: You are experiencing exactly what I went through in 2015 and 2016. I switched to Apivar for my late summer/early fall treatment. Trials at Auburn University and the University of Georgia have shown inferior results with OAV series treatments with brood present. Jennifer Berry of UGA maintains that OAV is merely a "flash" treatment and does not have lasting mite kill effects beyond the initial sublimation.

    I love OAV and I use it in spring and late fall and winter. I wanted very badly to avoid all synthetic miteicides, but OAV in series treatments just does not give me a high enough percentage kill at this time of year. No doubt it kills mites. Just not enough of them.
    Bingo! Amitraz is a dirty word to many beekeepers, but it's deadly to mites. It is advertised to kill 99% of mites in one treatment. Put them in, take them out in 6 weeks. I'll take that all day long.

  13. #32
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    Apr 2019
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    Northeast PA
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    474

    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    Quote Originally Posted by wdcrkapry205 View Post
    Bingo! Amitraz is a dirty word to many beekeepers, but it's deadly to mites. It is advertised to kill 99% of mites in one treatment. Put them in, take them out in 6 weeks. I'll take that all day long.
    I can confirm, at least when I used Apivar, that it didn't even get close to killing 99% of mites.

    It was effective, but certainly not as advertised.

  14. #33
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    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    Quote Originally Posted by username00101 View Post
    I can confirm, at least when I used Apivar, that it didn't even get close to killing 99% of mites.

    It was effective, but certainly not as advertised.
    That figure may be technically correct with a captive bunch of bees, but if you have in drift of mite ridden bees near the end of the 7 or 8 week duration you would find living mites that had not been exposed long enough to the full strength strip. Still, I think it is hard to beat their effectiveness.

    The same apparent contradiction can occur with any treatment.

    Trust, but verify is the order of the day!
    Frank

  15. #34
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    Quote Originally Posted by username00101 View Post
    I can confirm, at least when I used Apivar, that it didn't even get close to killing 99% of mites.

    It was effective, but certainly not as advertised.
    My experience with Apivar, which I have used for 3 years now on between 20 to 30 hives, has been excellent. I have not yet completed my mite washes for year 3, but so far i have <1% infestations showing up. In the past 2 seasons (roughly 45 hives) I have had only one hive test >1% infestation after post-Apivar alcohol washes and that one tested over 3%. Not certain what happened there, but I have chalked it up to an aberration. I have read some less-than-satisfied accounts of Apivar results on this board.

    3 years of experience with Apivar on a limited number of hives is not evidence of much, but I am a believer. Until I am not.

  16. #35
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    May 2016
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    Hot Springs, AR, USA
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    61

    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    Is there any evidence - however slight - to support that idea ? I would have thought it far more likely that mites would transfer directly from one bee to another, as the bees brush up hard against each other.

    I've nothing to offer in support of this, other than whatever the attractant is - it's far more likely to be present on the bees themselves, rather than on flowers.
    LJ
    There is some video evidence showing a mite on a flower and when the bee lands the mite runs ( amazingly fast) onto the bee. I'm not sure how I interpret that video, but it is there, and it's kind of neat, or spooky, to watch.

  17. #36
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    knowing your true saturation rate of mites is much better than just treating. Doing the alcohol washes give you a better insight on if and when you need to treat. If you have an extremely low mite count you could skip a treatment cycle, or if it is extremely hight, you may want to think about using something that has a better kill ratio. The more info you have the more likely to make a better overall decision. Treating blindly can have it's own side effects as well, just like using the same treatment over and over with no rotation.

  18. #37
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    Quote Originally Posted by unstunghero View Post
    There is some video evidence showing a mite on a flower and when the bee lands the mite runs ( amazingly fast) onto the bee. I'm not sure how I interpret that video, but it is there, and it's kind of neat, or spooky, to watch.
    Where is "there" ?
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  19. #38
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    No doubt that you are correct about mite washes and knowing where you are Astro. It would be better if I did alcohol washes prior to my major treatments once supers come off. But I am a one-man band and I cut where I can. I know most if not all of my hives will be over thresholds when I pull supers for the final time in July or August. I also would treat an entire yard if I found more than a couple over those thresholds. My limited experience is that virtually all are over thresholds at that time.

    So I just do post-treatment washes to confirm that I am under thresholds. All other treatments at any time of the year are not done unless pre-treatment washes are performed and confirm the need, with the exception of a broodless hive. If broodless, I am going to do a single shot OAV without a pre-wash.

    All that being said, I agree with your statement above.

  20. #39
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    Where is "there" ?
    LJ
    "there" is "here":
    https://news.cornell.edu/stories/201...wers-honeybees

  21. #40
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    That figure may be technically correct with a captive bunch of bees, but if you have in drift of mite ridden bees near the end of the 7 or 8 week duration you would find living mites that had not been exposed long enough to the full strength strip. Still, I think it is hard to beat their effectiveness.

    The same apparent contradiction can occur with any treatment.

    Trust, but verify is the order of the day!
    TRUTH

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