Bottom Board Mite Counts - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Sisters, Oregon
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Bottom Board Mite Counts

    Quote Originally Posted by BecunaBees View Post
    I think one of the data points I want to track next year is weekly sticky board counts, with treatments and when not treating.

    Might be an interesting trend. Built a spreadsheet to do it.
    I track weekly or daily (fall) throughout the year. Enjambres reads sticky boards as often as I do (or at last report). Besides trend spotting there is a lot of interesting info to be learned. Right now I can pull a board and see whether the hive is alive or not and how big the cluster size is and where it is. They may be exceptionally quiet, but usually you see debris on the bottom that matches the cluster size. I can also tell if the queen is still hatching brood or if they are mostly bloodless (capping debris). You can also tell if they are bringing in pollen and what type by color. Or if there is robbing (body parts). Or producing wax which usually indicates a flow. I keep a 3 ring binder with sections for each hive. My daily DDC in October is now every 3-4 days since I'm only seeing 1 or 0. I'm waiting to see when all are broodless for the final OAV.

    One of my hives had a late July supercedure and had brood hatching a week or so ago (sticky board reveal). We had a warm fall and I'm not about to question their wisdom. That box is now full of bees judging from the board and seeing the feeder rim packed out with bees eating bricks and winter patties. I had wondered in the fall whether I was going to have to combine this one with another. The bees took care of it as they so often do. I just left them alone and kept a close eye.
    I'm smart but at the end of the day I'm still the help.

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Lake Forest Park, WA
    Posts
    608

    Default Re: Bottom Board Mite Counts

    One thing to remember is a mite drop count can be very inaccurate during winter if dead bees pile up on the screen bottom (and during summer if ants carry away dead mites). During late fall - winter, I insert the board (not sticky, just a corrugated plastic board) directly from the bottom entrance, above the screen. This morning I saw a fresh-looking white pupa ditched there so they still have capped brood. Usually pupae-ditching stops by early December but once I saw a colony doing it until mid December.
    Zone 8, elevation 70 ft, North Seattle area.
    Bee plants and their pollen. https://chabol.wixsite.com/mysite

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Wakefield, Rhode Island, USA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Bottom Board Mite Counts

    I assume you mean alcohol wash for " mite counts". I'll take a factual post treatment Dead Drop Counts (DDC) and interpret over lagging, highly sensitive statistical analysis methods any day. This is especially true for me during the Varroa Bomb season. A simple interpretation of 300 dead mites post treatment is to treat again. Efficacy of OAV for phoretic mites is well known and does not need to be proven again and again. What is not know, generally, is the quantity of capped brood, larva close to capping and rate of horizontal migration and how long does it take a migrating foundress mite to enter a cell? Has she been feeding before hand?

    I plot a curve based on DDC for each hive. It is clear when the "invasion" starts and stops and emerging Varroa from emergent brood falls off, to zero or near zero in most cases.

    One "Con" is the amount of work it takes to assure a clean hive for winter bees. I have no desire to leave a few hundred Varroa or more infecting my winter bees all winter and into Spring. One significant "Pro" is I do not have to intrude into a colony's brood nest in the cold Fall and Winter weather to get a dubious statistical count.

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    1,464

    Default Re: Bottom Board Mite Counts

    There are two different types of sticky board mite counts.

    First one, and one thread started with is daily dead mite drop. Our Apiarist advises to total dead mite drop over a three day period. If total drop over three days is 30 or more, then mite reduction is in order.

    Second sticky board count is dead mite count after a treatment. Treatment is often OAV or Apivar. With OAV, do a three day dead mite drop total. I like to see the three day dead mite drop below 30 before I stop doing treatments 4-7 days apart. ????My understanding is that dead mite drop occurs over a longer period of time with Apivar so one would need to do a total over a week or two.

    I do not do an all season long sticky board mite count. I choose to do an early spring, 42 plus day Apivar treatment, a late August-early September OAV and a dead mite count to determine follow up OAV, and then do a late October/no brood, one or two treatment with OAV. My three day dead mite count after OAV in early September was less than 10.
    Zone 3b. If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Cumberland County, NC
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Bottom Board Mite Counts

    Quote Originally Posted by GreenBeehives View Post
    We used DDC on 24 hours to verify the effectiveness of thermal treatment with The Victor, which heats the brood super to 106F for three hours. We counted each 24 hour period for 15 days after treatment. Typically, we would get a count in low 100's the day of treatment which was the phoretic mites, and thirties for each day for 14 days after which were the mites killed in the capped brood. And, after 14 days the count would drop to single digits when all the capped brood that were treated had hatched. We like the fact that our data had two significant digits rather than one, which is all you get with a wash or sugar roll. Therefor more precise, if not perfect.
    I'd forgotten about the thermal treatment as this isn't available to me at this point. Thanks for that reminder. Will have to look into this to add the the arsenal of tools.

    Cheers!

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Cumberland County, NC
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Bottom Board Mite Counts

    WOW! This is the first time I find as much information on how to look at hive debris to glean knowledge from the hive. I'd been figuring it all out on my own since I can't seem to find anyone to help with that. I had wondered about the body parts. . .

    It seems that a hive can be "inspected" without even opening it by two methods: entrance observation and bottom board debris. I think that you can limit disrupting the hive with those means, though I know we have to count mites from time to time.

    Thanks so much for this post!

    To "BecunaBees" who wishes to keep spreadsheets. I thinks it's the way to go. Spreadsheets are endless and will store a ton. I keep expenses, treatment trends, a casual log for when I don't open, and a more formal one for when I do for each hive. Color tabs are a wonderful thing to stay organized!

    Trending is a great way to see what's happening with or without treatment. My objective was to not only learn but also because I really hoped for a turn around. I count every 3 days and remove the parchment paper each time to make counting easier. Seeing it trend down was encouraging. Then you can consolidate that data with your count from a wash or a sugar roll.

    Grant you, you couldn't do this if you had 100 hives. But you could still do it for a select few for a pulse.

    P.S. Yes, I know this hive is not doing well. Hence the urgency to track.
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