I recently rescued some hives from a commercial beekeeper. He had obviously stopped caring for the bees so it's been a bit of work to get than back to full health.
The real issue is the amount of mites! Nearly all the hives are two deep with LOTS of bees... But also lots of DWV, and who knows what else. (LOTS of bees crawling around in front of the hives)
I started with OAV treatments as soon as they settled in. (Using Johnos Easy Vap) I did a few treatments 7 days apart and kept getting MASSIVE drop on the mite board (thousands). After another mite check I could tell the mite count was still climbing so decided to go nuclear.
I've now done 8 treatments, 3 days apart. Some would say that's excessive but the bee numbers are still very high and still plenty of brood, etc. Also, 24 hours after each treatment I've still noticed a TON of mites on the boards of a few of the colonies.
I did stop treating the hives that only showed a few mites after the 6th treatment, but after 8 treatments some still have a huge amount of mites dropping.
As such, should I use a different method on these hives? Apivar or other? The OAV is obviously killing a lot of mites, are there really so many emerging, and heading back into cells between treatments, to keep these kinds of numbers up?
My main hives have nearly zero mites as I've treated them during low brood months, I'd just like to knock these numbers down in these new hives to get them through spring, where I can treat in the summer when they have far less brood.
I also plan on requeening the really problematic hives with daughters of my best stock. Always low mites and resistant to local issues.
Anyone else had similar issued with OAV? What did you do to resolve it?
Hive #5, 24 hours after 8th treatment: