Varroa Mitigation Entrance using Nail Brushes
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  1. #1
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    Mar 2020
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    Default Varroa Mitigation Entrance using Nail Brushes

    Hello.

    I have seen some beeks using toothbrushes to scrub the back of bees as they enter the hive. Some have suggested using fingernail brushes for this purpose.

    I plan to build a Varroa Mitigation Entrance using 2 fingernail brushes arranged facing each other so that it will scrub both the back and belly of the bees as it goes into or comes out of the hive. It will be 2 brushes facing each other with a small gap in the middle.

    The brushes are about 7cm long, 3.5cm wide and about 1.7cm in thickness from the brush frame to the tip of the brush bristles. I will then arrange them face to face with a middle gap of 5mm. I will then glue them onto a slot onto a shim arrangement similar to an Imirie shim. The shim will be approx. 5cm thick. This shim can be placed in-between hive boxes to act as an additional top or middle entrance.

    My question is, what is the proper middle gap that would work for this arrangement? I know that Queen Excluders have a gap of 4.1-4.4mm. This allow workers to pass and blocks queens and drones.

    In your opinion, what should be the proper gap for such a brush arrangement. Is 5mm sufficient for allowing the bees to walk in and out without hurting them too much? If the gap is too wide, it may not brush off the varroa mites. If it is too narrow, it might hurt the bees or maybe screen off its pollen payload like a pollen trap. Is 5mm a good gap distance to allow the bees a comfortable entrance while brushing off the varroa mites without brushing off the pollen load? Once the mites are brushed off, they will fall harmlessly to the ground where hopefully, they will be eaten by chickens. LOL....

    What is your opinion?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Varroa Mitigation Entrance using Nail Brushes

    My opinion is that you must be trolling the forum. This suggestion even outdoes your previous one!
    Frank

  4. #3
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    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
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    Default Re: Varroa Mitigation Entrance using Nail Brushes

    I think you have some competition with very deep pockets. I believe Bayer has a device called "Varroa Gate", which has nothing to do with G. Gordon Liddy.
    This device coupled with your inner bee brush shim would be great as you could then see if it works. If so you could see what the mite does after it is brushed off. Be warned though, they are fast.

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  5. #4
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    Jun 2014
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    Fargo, North Dakota
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    291

    Default Re: Varroa Mitigation Entrance using Nail Brushes

    crofter has accurately described the situation. Until JojoJaro establishes he is not making fun of beekeepers, I will keep my social distance from his form of sickness.

  6. #5
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    May 2009
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    Grand Rapids MI USA
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    Default Re: Varroa Mitigation Entrance using Nail Brushes

    Several yrs ago there was a brush setup at the entrance aimed at getting the same results. Quite pricy and I’m sure quite useless as it never got past the “ooo has anybody tried this“? stage.
    Rod

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
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    53

    Default Re: Varroa Mitigation Entrance using Nail Brushes

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    My opinion is that you must be trolling the forum. This suggestion even outdoes your previous one!
    What is wrong with you? You can't seem to tolerate new ideas. Would I not be justified in calling you an old fart set in your old outdated ways. Why would I be trolling this forum? What benefit does it give me? Who are you that you should be worthy of being trolled. Open up your mind to new ideas, dude.

    I try not to be confrontational but this is over the top.

    Here's the link of a guy trying out the toothbrush entrance. There is also the suggestion to use fingernail brushes.

    https://forum.honeyflow.com/t/anti-v...g-tunnel/21444


    I deserve an apology now.

  8. #7
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    Mar 2020
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    Default Re: Varroa Mitigation Entrance using Nail Brushes

    Quote Originally Posted by JTGaraas View Post
    crofter has accurately described the situation. Until JojoJaro establishes he is not making fun of beekeepers, I will keep my social distance from his form of sickness.
    You and crofter go stick your mouth up your ***. Check out this link.

    https://forum.honeyflow.com/t/anti-v...g-tunnel/21444

    Have I now established that I am not making fun of beekeepers.

    The idea is not a troll and I deserve an apology now. If you won't give it, then screw you.
    Last edited by JWPalmer; 03-19-2020 at 05:03 PM.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Varroa Mitigation Entrance using Nail Brushes

    Quote Originally Posted by AHudd View Post
    I think you have some competition with very deep pockets. I believe Bayer has a device called "Varroa Gate", which has nothing to do with G. Gordon Liddy.
    This device coupled with your inner bee brush shim would be great as you could then see if it works. If so you could see what the mite does after it is brushed off. Be warned though, they are fast.

    Alex
    Here's the link to an experiment done by one guy. He seems to have success.

    https://forum.honeyflow.com/t/anti-v...g-tunnel/21444

    I could let the mite drop down to the ground or simply rig something like this guy - a bucket to catch the mites.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Varroa Mitigation Entrance using Nail Brushes

    Quote Originally Posted by AHudd View Post
    I think you have some competition with very deep pockets. I believe Bayer has a device called "Varroa Gate", which has nothing to do with G. Gordon Liddy.
    This device coupled with your inner bee brush shim would be great as you could then see if it works. If so you could see what the mite does after it is brushed off. Be warned though, they are fast.

    Alex
    I got so worked up with the 2 idiots insulting me, that I forgot to respond about the Varroa Gate.

    Yes, I've seen the Varroa gate. The problem with it though is that it uses a chemical to kill the mites. I would like a chemical free solution that simply relies on mechanical action to dislodge the mites. That way, the mites will never develop a tolerance for it.

    There is a chance of course that the mites will modify their behaviour and simply voluntarily get off the bees and crawl inside on their own, but I don't think mites would be that smart or that adaptable.

  11. #10
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    Powhatan, Virginia, USA
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    Default Re: Varroa Mitigation Entrance using Nail Brushes

    You missed what AHudd said and knowing about mite life cycle is important. Mites do crawl from bee to bee as well as across comb and other surfaces and are remarkablely quick. If you brush them off they will not just fall to the ground to be eaten by the chickens.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Varroa Mitigation Entrance using Nail Brushes

    Where is the moderator of this forum when you need him?

    I asked a simple and honest question presenting a genuine idea and I get insulted.

    Is this how the moderator wants to run this forum?

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Varroa Mitigation Entrance using Nail Brushes

    Quote Originally Posted by John Davis View Post
    You missed what AHudd said and knowing about mite life cycle is important. Mites do crawl from bee to bee as well as across comb and other surfaces and are remarkablely quick. If you brush them off they will not just fall to the ground to be eaten by the chickens.
    OK good point, I did miss that.

    What do you suggest?

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Varroa Mitigation Entrance using Nail Brushes

    Also, this Varroa Mitigation Entrance will not be the end-all be-all solution. It will be part of a pest mitigation management system which would include Sugar dusting as well as weekly drone cell culling.

    I am already trying to design a hive extension attached to the side of the brood hive where I can put a medium frame with drone cell foundation. This frame will be removable without openning the entire hive. I could put this frame in and wait for the drone cells to be capped and then remove it while it is still capped and feed the whole frame to my chickens.

    Someone suggested removing and culling this drone frame weekly to avoid the mites maturing to become a problem. I forgot where I heard it. I believe its in one of the Youtube videos by the National Honey show.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Varroa Mitigation Entrance using Nail Brushes

    Quote Originally Posted by rwlaw View Post
    Several yrs ago there was a brush setup at the entrance aimed at getting the same results. Quite pricy and I’m sure quite useless as it never got past the “ooo has anybody tried this“? stage.
    If my shim idea works well and is effective, I don't think it would be that pricey. It is just 2 brushes on a shim of wood or PVC. How pricey can that be?

    The guy in the link I provided seems to have good success with it. He did dislodge quite a few mites. There was discussion though on what the proper gap of the brushes should be - hence my post.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Varroa Mitigation Entrance using Nail Brushes

    Does this forum have a "Report Abuse" feature? I could certainly use one now but I can't find it.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Varroa Mitigation Entrance using Nail Brushes

    Here's the link to Kim Flottum talking about Drone trapping as a means of Varroa Control. Starting at about 24:50

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_rH...5wLYQ&index=10


    The idea appears to be simply Drone Cell culling.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Varroa Mitigation Entrance using Nail Brushes

    Quote Originally Posted by JojoJaro View Post
    I got so worked up with the 2 idiots insulting me, that I forgot to respond about the Varroa Gate.

    Yes, I've seen the Varroa gate. The problem with it though is that it uses a chemical to kill the mites. I would like a chemical free solution that simply relies on mechanical action to dislodge the mites. That way, the mites will never develop a tolerance for it.

    There is a chance of course that the mites will modify their behaviour and simply voluntarily get off the bees and crawl inside on their own, but I don't think mites would be that smart or that adaptable.
    Maybe it wasn't Varroa Gate, but there was something that used mechanical removal. Maybe, the name was "Bee Gym", or something similar.
    If mites are smart enough to migrate to Drone comb, I think they are smart enough to crawl into a hive once deposited on the BB, but I don't really know.

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Varroa Mitigation Entrance using Nail Brushes

    Quote Originally Posted by AHudd View Post
    Maybe it wasn't Varroa Gate, but there was something that used mechanical removal. Maybe, the name was "Bee Gym", or something similar.
    If mites are smart enough to migrate to Drone comb, I think they are smart enough to crawl into a hive once deposited on the BB, but I don't really know.

    Alex
    Yes, I'm familiar with the Bee Gym also. That, and the link, is where I got the idea of brushing off the mites.

    My idea is not unique or original thinking. It is simply a synthesis of the Bee Gym, Pollen Trap and Screen Bottom board ideas. Together with other mitigation strategies like sugar dusting and Drone cell culling, it might be enough to keep mites at bay.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Varroa Mitigation Entrance using Nail Brushes

    Perhaps I am missing something here, but drone bees are substantially bigger than workers, so if the size is perfect for a worker, then drones will probably get trapped by the small opening. And, the same setup will be needed up top too, if there is an upper entrance. Queens seem roughly the same size as a worker when you are looking at them head-on, but it still seems like they'll not be happy with such an arrangement, sort of like a super stiff loofa every time they enter or exit...

    Finally though, I'm not sure how "tough" the stupid mites are hanging on. If you've ever had the unpleasant experience of getting stuck with either a tick or a leech, those things hang on like gangbusters when they want to stick. If the brush were aggressive enough to remove the mites, it may also be aggressive enough to remove wings or legs... If such were the situation, I'm confident that several thousand pairs of mandibles would make short work of the offensive blocking bristles in no time.

    Regardless, I personally welcome any ideas that might help rid us of these lousy pests, especially if they don't contain chemicals. If the mites are indeed like squirrels, and eventually they're going to keep trying until they make it inside the hive, at least ALL of them might not make it in, and the bees can fend off the rest more easily. Unless we can learn to think "outside the box", we'll be trapped inside forever, with all the old ideas that didn't work, and the hungry disease infested mites

  21. #20
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    washington, vermont, USA
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    Default Re: Varroa Mitigation Entrance using Nail Brushes

    This idea as with the Bee Gym and others are ignoring several things about the mites and how they act that make these methods worthless. Mites aren't just riding along on top or even the bottom of the bee all exposed. They wedge themselves into the gaps between their segments (can't think of the proper name for them) of exoskeleton. They won't be simply "brushed off" and even if the random one were it wouldn't stop them from just jumping on the next bee or crawling back into the hive. Second I would like to address what you said about putting in a medium frame so they can build drone comb on the bottom. Its a good idea. However not worth designing some special thing on the side to put it in. For one the outer most comb rarely gets laid on for 2 it's not at the center of the brood nest where the majority of varroa is so it wouldn't work well. You need to get comfortable enough to get into the center of the brood nest when you need to. But I feel like I would be lying to you if I said I thought your "mite control" methods were going to be enough to keep your hive alive. Sugar dusting is at best very minorly effective at even knocking the mites off forget that most of the mites are in the brood. You need to use an actual treatment. Use organic acids if you want (that's what I use mostly). But without something else you won't be successful. Lastly I can't keep my mouth shut about YOUR ATTITUDE. You are screeching about how a moderator needs to come in here and "do something" but you had no problem insulting some people who have been here and contributed for a long time. If you had done even the basic sorts of research about Varroa you would quickly have understood all the reasons why your idea won't work. Yet you posted up, took immediate offense (whether offense was given or not), and used it as an excuse to show your ASS to the whole forum. Seems to me that the simplest solution for the moderator would be to delete this abortion of thread or maybe better you in general. It's the internet you need to toughen up cupcake...

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