This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment) - Page 3
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  1. #41
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    The paper itself states that a mite can survive on a flower for as long as 6 days. I had always believed a mite would not be able to live for near that long without its host.

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  3. #42
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    The mite leaving the bee to wait is not demonstrated directly as far as I know. Indirectly in the 2nd link is discussion of a mite being found on a shipment of cut flowers and discussion of the mite surviving 6 days on a flower. It can be argued the video of the mite mounting the bee is only what happens in the hive applied to the flower. Not a normal transmission. On the other hand waiting for a bee to dismount on a flower is a long shot in timing.
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  4. #43
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    The mite leaving the bee to wait is not demonstrated directly as far as I know. Indirectly in the 2nd link is discussion of a mite being found on a shipment of cut flowers and discussion of the mite surviving 6 days on a flower. It can be argued the video of the mite mounting the bee is only what happens in the hive applied to the flower. Not a normal transmission. On the other hand waiting for a bee to dismount on a flower is a long shot in timing.
    what about when a bee with a mite on it dies? ever have a colony abscond due to mite load? those mites are not gone forever.

  5. #44
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    Quote Originally Posted by COAL REAPER View Post
    what about when a bee with a mite on it dies? ever have a colony abscond due to mite load? those mites are not gone forever.
    Certainly would fit the mite bomb situation and some mites certainly would be available to hop on the next robber ride. Most, not under cap, would depart with the abscond.

    Wonder how many capped brood hatch after abscond?

    The only abscond I actually watched happen (so I know the actual timing, no just an empty hive) had field bees returning and a few brood still hatching along with minor amount of young brood and even a few eggs. Combined immediately so no follow up on how long the untended brood/mites would survive. That was in August and due to the hive knocked over in the rain, not mites.
    Last edited by Saltybee; 10-11-2019 at 10:54 AM.
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  6. #45
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    Quote Originally Posted by COAL REAPER View Post
    Thanks for the link - appreciated.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  7. #46
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    Quote Originally Posted by COAL REAPER View Post
    what about when a bee with a mite on it dies? ever have a colony abscond due to mite load? those mites are not gone forever.
    I have always believed that they were in fact gone forever. If they did not hitch a ride on an outgoing bee of that colony, or they did not hitch a ride on the subsequent robbers, I believed they would quickly die without another honey bee host.

    With a PMS dead out, I usually have observed only a few dead bees on the bottom boards (as opposed to a starvation). I assume most mites hop on the last bees as they abandon ship.

    I am surprised by the 6 day survival stat. But they have no mode of mobility unless another live bee visits the hive.

  8. #47
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    Well, since I treated on Tuesday, the mite drop has improved. Still not where I want it to be, but about half of what I had on the previous shot. I'm going to treat again tomorrow (Saturday).

  9. #48
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    Interesting discussion. Clearly we still have a lot to find out about mites....
    So conjecturing here based on a few assumptions (worst case scenario?) about mite bombs.
    1. Mites live for 6 days without a host.
    2. Bees emerge for 3 days after colony dies.
    3. A weak colony succumbs to robbers after 3 days of pressure.
    4. A booming colony that is crashing because of mites has 20000 "phoretic" and 10000 under cappings, only 50% of which will emerge because not all capped brood will....
    5. Robbing takes 6 days (3 days slow robbing while colony is still fighting and 3 days after). I think a colony would get robbed out more quickly but this gives the emerging bees more time....
    So about 24000 mites available to be transfered in 6 days, 4000 mites per day (it probably is not evenly distributed), going to the strongest colonies in the area, say the 4 strongest as they will be most effective robbers. This is a potential mite load of .5% returning to your hive every day.
    If an apiary in your area has 1 mite bomb per week for 4 weeks (and of they have more than 4 colonies and they have mite bombs, they probably have more than 4 more bombs....!) your strongest hives could see an increase in mite load of 14%.
    People: don't let your bees succumb to mites before winter. (If they succumb after flying and robbing has stopped for the year that's on you. If they succumb during robbing season that's on your neighbors....)
    Last assumption: mites transfer effectively this way.
    Does anyone have better numbers on this? Has anyone done a sizeable scientific study of how mite bombs work?
    Happy beekeeping everyone!

  10. #49
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    I agree with the process you have outlined, but you may want to look over your numbers in item 4.
    Mite bombs can and do happen. There are also a fair number of beekeepers who do not recognize how quickly a low mite count hive can become reinfested. These are often the ones who say they treated their hives but the treatment didn't work.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  11. #50
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    5. Not all bees are loyal to their hive in my personal subjective opinion. When the home hive's fait is set, there are those bees that join up with the victors. That is the method of transfer that is most probable. The pile of dead bees is just not big enough to make sense otherwise.
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  12. #51
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    I agree jw there may well be more under cappings. I figured since there is less brood in fall maybe there would be fewer under callings as I do not know what the maximum number of mites per cell is. I certainly don't think any of my colonies have 10k capped brood now, most have well less than a frame, some are maybe getting close to 10000. And not sure if a crashing colony that is strong in bees is also strong in capped brood. Also a crashing colony may have a high rate of infestation (100%?) but does such a colony still have 60k bees? I.e. does anyone know how many mites a normal (single queen) colony can max out at?

  13. #52
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    So glad you seeing a reduction. I’m betting on your persistence and determination. These drifting mites sneak in late. My biggest block of mites came after the second round.

    People here aren’t that fond of using sticky boards for assessing but it does help to spot trends. It saved my bacon this time when I thought my treatments were mostly on track and wrapping up. Nope.

  14. #53
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    Remember that a capped cell contains at least two female mites, the mother and a daughter, as well as one male that is of no concern. A little over half of a deep frame of capped brood would just about do it. I don't think an average fall "mite bomb" colony would have 20K phoretic mites, but I know they can have several thousand if heavily infested. I am sure I was dropping over a thousand on one hive post OAV for several treatments
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  15. #54
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    Quote Originally Posted by LAlldredge View Post
    So glad you seeing a reduction. I’m betting on your persistence and determination. These drifting mites sneak in late. My biggest block of mites came after the second round.
    We'll see, I just today did my 10th treatment since the beginning of August.

    Quote Originally Posted by LAlldredge View Post
    People here aren’t that fond of using sticky boards for assessing but it does help to spot trends. It saved my bacon this time when I thought my treatments were mostly on track and wrapping up. Nope.
    Without the boards, I probably would have assumed that one or two treatments did the trick, as I certainly would not be doing 10 alcohol washes on each of the 11 colonies! The boards are not perfect, but using them is quick, efficient, and often adequate.

  16. #55
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    Quote Originally Posted by COAL REAPER View Post
    So what does this say about "Darwinian Beekeeping"?

  17. #56
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    Quote Originally Posted by psm1212 View Post
    The paper itself states that a mite can survive on a flower for as long as 6 days. I had always believed a mite would not be able to live for near that long without its host.
    A mite by the name Vic lived in this container, in my kitchen for about a week.
    Several of them, actually. I just collectively call them all - Vic.

    Unsure what she ate, if anything.
    Maybe sucked on the open drone larvae until they went spoiled.
    I don't know.

    It also jumped onto the metal needle and ran up and down on it like a monkey on a tree.
    As well as crawling on a finger.
    Not a problem.
    The darn "bug" is amazingly mobile and sensitive (for a blind person) and sticks to anything that moves nearby.
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  18. #57
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    A mite by the name Vic lived in this container, in my kitchen for about a week.
    Several of them, actually. I just collectively call them all - Vic.

    Unsure what she ate, if anything.
    Maybe sucked on the open drone larvae until they went spoiled.
    I don't know.

    It also jumped onto the metal needle and ran up and down on it like a monkey on a tree.
    As well as crawling on a finger.
    Not a problem.
    The darn "bug" is amazingly mobile and sensitive (for a blind person) and sticks to anything that moves nearby.
    Interesting. Were you doing an experiment or something?
    Beekeeping 6 Years - 12 production hives and about 12 nucs - Treatment OAV Only

  19. #58
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    I think Greg was looking for a low maintenance pet. I mean, good Lord, he NAMED them.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  20. #59
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    I performed a brood break on a large hive with a New World Carniolan Queen per Jennifer Berry's article. The queen and all larval brood were removed but some capped brood remained. I waited a week until essentially all brood were emerged. I OAV'ed and got a total dead varroa drop of 291 varroa. Seven other treated hives with brood showed low dead drops, 50 to 60 in September. A second queen was installed, first queen "disappeared" after release. When laying started up I OAV'ed , ~ 500 dead varroa. They were foraging with nothing else to do, likely robbing too. Fall horizontal spreading and Varroa Bombs seem to be the only logical answer as it has been a repetitious pattern 3 years in a row. In my area, southern Rhode Island, I see a huge rising dead drop counts from my own brood ( low?) and migration( high) about mid October, annually. I will not use synthetics like APIVAR, a philosophical thing on my little farm, but I do use drone removal and OAV for defense in the Fall; winter OAV treatment is the best prevention.

  21. #60
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    Default Re: This is getting ridiculous (Varroa and OAV treatment)

    Quote Originally Posted by bushpilot View Post
    Well, since I treated on Tuesday, the mite drop has improved. Still not where I want it to be, but about half of what I had on the previous shot. I'm going to treat again tomorrow (Saturday).
    Since the above post, I treated all hives (on Saturday). I then selectively treated 5 of them again on Tuesday. I think Tuesday's was treatment #12 for most of those colonies, if I am not mistaken.

    Interestingly, I have some dry Ultrabee out, and when it is not raining, the bees are all over it. The colony that shows the worst mite infestation (per the mite drop trend after OAV) is also apparently very busy getting the pollen sub (substantially more evidence of it on the bottom board). It seems reasonable that there is a connection, that they are more active in the cooler weather, pulling in more sub, and possibly looting a neighbor's hive as well. If it matters, that is my only known Saskatraz queen, most of my queens are unknowns.

    Overall, the mites seem to be under control for most or all of my colonies. I haven't pulled the boards since the Tuesday treatment (raining a lot and busy), but I am expecting that they will show continued improvement, and that the infestation is currently below the threshhold for overwintering. But if I see mites, I will do it again (all hives if I have time, 4-5 worst if not) when I have a window of opportunity.

    My hives are closed up for winter, and I have no intention of opening them again, which rules out alcohol wash. But I think the treat and count method works well enough for now.

    This experience has reaffirmed to me the value of keeping most of my hives on screened bottom boards, even if I intend to keep them closed. I like to be able to do a quick check by pulling the board. A few with solids don't bother me, I just assume (yeah, I know...) that they mirror the trend seen on the others.

    It has been a great discussion, thanks everyone for the input and participation!

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