Varroa Easy Check- Do you use it?
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  1. #1
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    Default Varroa Easy Check- Do you use it?

    Anyone use these?

    Seems most use alcohol?

    Does it work as well with a sugar roll?

    Is it just another gimmick as compared to the pint jar and 1/8 screen lid for mite checking?

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Varroa Easy Check- Do you use it?

    I use it and love it. It is $20 and you can make something that would work much cheaper, but this is an all-in-one kit designed for the purpose.

    I only use alcohol and have never tried powdered sugar. I would not thing powdered sugar would work very well in that unit.

    It is one of those things that I bought on a whim, but now find irreplaceable.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Varroa Easy Check- Do you use it?

    So you do a check ...

    Those kinds of checks won't tell you how many Varroa mites are presently tucked-up out of harms way in the cells of capped brood, and they won't tell you what your Varroa status will be in a week's time from now.

    That's why I don't bother - never have - I just hit 'em with VOA. If there was a better/ cheaper/ more convenient way of keeping mites under control, then I'd be the first in line to use it.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Varroa Easy Check- Do you use it?

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    So you do a check ...

    Those kinds of checks won't tell you how many Varroa mites are presently tucked-up out of harms way in the cells of capped brood, and they won't tell you what your Varroa status will be in a week's time from now.

    That's why I don't bother - never have - I just hit 'em with VOA. If there was a better/ cheaper/ more convenient way of keeping mites under control, then I'd be the first in line to use it.
    LJ

    I have no doubt that you have figured it all out for England. If we could only all live there.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Varroa Easy Check- Do you use it?

    Hey psm1212, It works for me in Virginia, ay any time I want to do a mite check all it takes is a treatment of OAV and check the sticky board 24 hours later. I used to try the mite checks with a 1/2 cup of bees from around open brood but lost hives through robbing frenzies started when I had to open the hives to get to the brood boxes in a yard of about 25 colonies so soon gave that up as a lost cause. Consider your alcohol wash you kill 300 bees to count a few dead mites, my check kills no bees and kills many many mites.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Varroa Easy Check- Do you use it?

    Anyone use these?
    yes.

    Seems most use alcohol?
    yes.

    Does it work as well with a sugar roll?
    No.

    Is it just another gimmick as compared to the pint jar and 1/8 screen lid for mite checking?
    Does the same thing. But more convenient. Pint jars break. If I had less then 10 hives I probably wouldn't have bought one. I wouldn't call it a gimmick though it does what its supposed to do.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Varroa Easy Check- Do you use it?

    Johno: But doesn't little_john's statement apply exactly the same to your method? Your OAV will only drop phoretic mites, not those that are "tucked up in the cells of capped brood." So why monitor?

    I took little_john's statement to mean that he does not check, he only treats. And he only treats with OAV. If that worked for me, I would do it in a minute. I have no doubt it works for little_john. But it does not work for me in the deep south with brood cycling all 12 months of the year. I suspect it will not work in Texas (home of the OP) either.

    I just spent over $500 for Apivar strips to place into 50 hives. I promise you I didn't want to. But I have gone the "exclusive OAV" route from 2014 to 2017. It was not a horrible result. But it was not what I wanted it to be either. OAV works well for me through the spring until I get my supers on. But when my supers come off in July, the mite load is just too much, and my Italian queens are not slowing down enough for repetitive OAV treatments to catch up. And since they go right on brooding into the following spring, there is never an opportunity for OAV to do the job.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Varroa Easy Check- Do you use it?

    Psm1212, tell me how your alcohol mite washes tell you how many mites you have in your brood, all it is telling you is the amount of phoretic mites there are in a half cup of bees and rather hit or miss at that. One OAV treatment will tell you how many phoretic mites you have in the whole colony or around 90 to95% of phoretic mites in the colony I have been using only OAV on my 40 plus colonies for the last 7 years or so and state inspections in June come up with zero mites in an alcohol wash. I do not even start treating until after my honey comes off in late June or July but then treat often until no further mites fall then at least 2 treatments when all colonies should be broodless as result I do not have any problems in the spring. But at any time that I feel a colony needs to be checked that single OAV treatment in my opinion is far better than a mite wash to get an idea of mite infestation.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Varroa Easy Check- Do you use it?

    Psm1212, Johno's and Little John's methods work for me too. My apiary is maybe 50 some miles from Johno's. My state inspection alcohol washes also come up zero mites in the Spring. While it is true that we do have a broodless period, about four weeks worth, the mites are long dead before we get to mid Nov. The Thanksgiving and Christmas treatments are mostly insurance as almost zero mites fall. The last of my supers came off this past weekend and OAV treatments commence this weekend. The mite drop I see will tell me if I can wait until August before applying another treatment, or if I need to continue treating. Since I have seen some dead mites on the boards already, I suspect I will need to do a full round.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Varroa Easy Check- Do you use it?

    One of the best tools we have. Sure we could make a cheaper model but Laurel and I both use a varroa easy check. If it wasn't for our alcohol washes we would never had figured out how ineffective 5 rounds of OAV in 21 days is at reducing mites. OAV gave 70% reduction averages for us and that is way to labor intensive doing hundreds of hives. It has its place but I would never trust OAV or any treatment blindly.

    Great Queens, Dead mites, and Good Nutrition gave me bee yards like this that in a poor year will still make 3 barrels. You control the mites or they control you.
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  12. #11
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    Default Re: Varroa Easy Check- Do you use it?

    It is a nifty tool, and when I do a wash, I use it. I generally use windshield washer fluid rather than alcohol, simply because it is in the garage.

    All that said, I find the OAV test (described above) very convenient, and generally use it instead.
    So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Varroa Easy Check- Do you use it?

    Being this far south we are pretty much have no real winter and the subdivisions around me always have things blooming. My bees may have been closed up in the hive with cold weather arround 12 days last year. Our northers are not much most of the time and if cold in the morning then 50 to 60 in the afternoons.

    I usually put my suppers back on till fall so I worry about having to put a divider between the deeps and the supers but then you do not get the bees in the suppers treated.

    I need to treat this week. I had very little eggs and larva but 5 and 8 frames of capped brood so they should hatch in the next few days and ready to treat with few capped cells.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Varroa Easy Check- Do you use it?

    Just to point out a definition....

    Phoresis - Wikipedia
    [Search domain en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoresis] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoresis
    Phoresis or phoresy is a non-permanent, commensalistic interaction in which one organism (a phoront or phoretic) attaches itself to another (the host) solely for the purpose of travel. Phoresis has been observed directly in ticks and mites since the 1700s and indirectly in fossils 320 million years old, but is not restricted to arthropods or animals. .

    Mites not under cappings are either phoretic (seeking to move to more prey) or more likely feeding on bees.

    That being said, I am considering the point that an OAV treatment as soon as supers are pulled to see mite drop could be a worthy practice. Thanks for the information.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Varroa Easy Check- Do you use it?

    Yes we use it to try and stay ahead of the little pests.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Varroa Easy Check- Do you use it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trin View Post
    Just to point out a definition....

    Phoresis - Wikipedia
    [Search domain en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoresis] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoresis
    Phoresis or phoresy is a non-permanent, commensalistic interaction in which one organism (a phoront or phoretic) attaches itself to another (the host) solely for the purpose of travel. Phoresis has been observed directly in ticks and mites since the 1700s and indirectly in fossils 320 million years old, but is not restricted to arthropods or animals. .

    Mites not under cappings are either phoretic (seeking to move to more prey) or more likely feeding on bees.

    That being said, I am considering the point that an OAV treatment as soon as supers are pulled to see mite drop could be a worthy practice. Thanks for the information.
    Trin: There was a lot of discussion about the term phoretic in the aftermath of Samuel Ramsey's research. But with decades of research papers inundated with the term, and it being a large part of beekeeping vernacular, I believe we are stuck with it.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Varroa Easy Check- Do you use it?

    Varroa mites are phoretic. This is how they move from hive to hive. They are also phoretic inside the hive as they feed on more than one bee.

    I appreciate Samuel Ramsey's work. I think he discovered very important behaviors and attributes of the varroa mites. Just pointing out that probably most of the mites not under cappings are feeding on and wrecking bees in the hive.
    Sort of like how many of us travel to work and spend most of a day working, not traveling.

    I was surprised at how fast they can move. I picked one up on my finger and it moved rather quickly given its size and short legs. Makes me think I might go back to vegetable oil trays under the screen board. At least those that fall off will be in trouble. Sure, it won't be a practical beekeeping tool when the number of hives in the apiary grow, but my goal now is to get as many hives as possible surviving year to year.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Varroa Easy Check- Do you use it?

    Quote Originally Posted by psm1212 View Post
    Trin: There was a lot of discussion about the term phoretic in the aftermath of Samuel Ramsey's research. But with decades of research papers inundated with the term, and it being a large part of beekeeping vernacular, I believe we are stuck with it.
    Same issue with the term 'vapourisation' (English spelling) in another thread. An absolute pedantic adherence to a particular meaning of a word really does need to give way to an alternative meaning as and when that word conveys a slightly different but generally accepted understanding.

    I know that approach offends some people, but words are often assigned different meanings over time - especially when the context of their use changes.

    Perhaps we could focus more on whether a word with an alternative meaning remains useful, rather than whether it is being used 'correctly' or not ?
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Varroa Easy Check- Do you use it?

    Kamon I do not know what your mite load was when you treated 5 times over 21 days and only reduced your mites by 70% but I take it that you then went to Apivar which then went on for 42 days, maybe if you took the Apivar out after 21 days you would still end up with 70% efficacy.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Varroa Easy Check- Do you use it?

    Quote Originally Posted by johno View Post
    Kamon I do not know what your mite load was when you treated 5 times over 21 days and only reduced your mites by 70% but I take it that you then went to Apivar which then went on for 42 days, maybe if you took the Apivar out after 21 days you would still end up with 70% efficacy.
    I did it on 48 colonies in 2018. Only did 1 last year for youtube purposes. The point I am making is that it was not as effective as we have often been told. It was definitely not what I was hoping to find but here in the south we need to use OAV WAY to much.
    You are likely right. There probably wouldn't be a higher rate of kill on a hive with alot of brood and Apivar strips in 21 days. The fact remains I don't have time to hit my hives 18-22 times each a year.
    Feeding early patties. https://youtu.be/bUDd3vk7bgY

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Varroa Easy Check- Do you use it?

    A lot of varoa management will depend on whether you are treating your mites or someone elses. I am fairly well isolated so mostly treat my own and get by with 10 treatments in late summer through fall and then 2 treatments or possibly 3 over winter which has resulted in zero mites in random samples over the last 2 years by my States inspectors. The time taken is around 4 hours to treat more than 50 colonies in 3 yards multiplied by 12 or 13 times a year at a very reasonable cost. No time taken to do mite checks as you can do your mite check on the stickies the next morning, no opening up those 50 colonies to get to the brood for your 300 bee sample that you are going to kill with alcohol which I guess would take me about 6 hours. Then there would be the robbing frenzies started by opening so many hives, come to think about it much the same would happen if I was trying to insert Apivar stripsIMG_1524.jpg OAV has certainly worked for me.

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