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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2lftDvZzfg&t=4s

( see video link above)

Using the ProVap 110, you can see the initial burst of Oxalic Acid, a slight delay as the unit drops in temp, then a secondary blast of OA when it resumes temp. Vapor cloud remains suspended for a surprising length of time, around 10 minutes obscuring visual of the comb - about 18 minutes for it to totally dissipate.. Top and bottom entrances are totally open. This OB hive has been occupied for 2 seasons, overwintering successfully with only OAV treatments in late fall & winter when likely broodless for mite control. Western Washington State, AG zone 7.

Temp is mild, about 55-60 degrees F, cluster is naturally loose. Some bees are lightly flying. When it's colder, you won't see any bees on the outer and lower comb.
Thought you might like to see the unit as it dissipates OA within the hive.

I also had another hive I treated where some bees, as they typically do, are temporarily pushed outside the entrances while the treatment is in progress.
I saw a bee with an odd very light spot on it and took a quick snapshot to look later on the computer screen. I was surprised to see a very old, dead mature apparently decomposed mite on it's thorax. This hive had no treatment or management all year. The strain is vigorous and tolerated mites well, but has little natural tenancies to control mite populations on it's own, as many of my other lines will do. (Mite populations will eventually flourish without some management) Why this mite is dead and still attached is really beyond me. Unless they are biting the mites or are doing something I am not aware of.
This was not the only dead mite I saw on the bees, there were a few more just like it. I'd love to dig into this hive to see what's up, but can't do it this time of year. It is full of good looking young bees though, I know that much.

PB270271.jpg


PB27027122.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Must not trigger any grooming instinct.
I agree, they seem to suck at grooming and don't see the dead mite as a threat. I'd like to snatch one up (thorax & attached mite) and put it under my microscope. I'd like to see why it's still attached after all this time and I'd like to know just why it died, other than old age and no grooming.

I feel like I am pretty observant, and have never seen this before in several years of having a large number of hives. It's a bit of a mystery to me.

I have a flippin' excluder still right in the middle of the hive and I'd sure like to get it off, but it's too cool and there are far too many bees to attempt that right now.
Hate to break the propolis seal this time of year too.

Unless I see with my Flir heat imaging, that the cluster is close to straddling the excluder, I'll leave it alone. Can't let the queen get caught below, ya know :)
I actually have around 20 hives like this ( still with excluders on) and will just have to keep my eye on them the best I can with the Flir)

This is an older image of a few hives mid winter 2016 I believe.
No need to open the buggers to see aprox where and how large the colony is.

flir_20170223T084228.jpg

FLIR_ONE_170206T071640.jpg

Last spring I had an unexpected family issue and overnight had to totally abandon the bees. They are sorely neglected, but surprisingly, still in pretty good shape. Lost some to swarms, lost some with old queens but what I have out there seems to have held there own very well. No treatments, no feeding, no management. You couldn't do that with any other type of livestock. ( totally neglect them)
 

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Great video Lauri. Are you vapeing at the only hive entrance? Been doing a lot of this recently and am always left wondering when dealing with a tight hive and lid with a sole lower entrance if it isn’t a bit like trying to blow in a pop bottle. I find myself wanting to see some vapors exiting somewhere around the lid so that I know there is proper dispersion in the hive. This video makes me think, perhaps, a tight hive is better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Great video Lauri. Are you vapeing at the only hive entrance? Been doing a lot of this recently and am always left wondering when dealing with a tight hive and lid with a sole lower entrance if it isn’t a bit like trying to blow in a pop bottle. I find myself wanting to see some vapors exiting somewhere around the lid so that I know there is proper dispersion in the hive. This video makes me think, perhaps, a tight hive is better.
I drilled a 3/8 hole on the side for the ProVap. Entrances are around the front side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
how many grams did you use? thanks
For the large hives I don't measure, I fill the cap with as much as it can hold and leave it in place until I see a satisfactory vapor escapement from the entrances and cracks. That allows for screened bottom boards where the slide in allows too much vapor to escape with a measured dose. Also allows for irregularities in the boxes, cracks, openings, etc. I do not close entrances because in winter they are usually quite reduced already. I'd rather pull off the unit while it is still going than under dose.
Temp while treating matters too, my dosing depends somewhat on how tight the cluster is. I try to treat when temps are moderate and the cluster is loose, but there are sometimes it is cooler. I am wintering with extremely large hives, triple or better this year so dispersal to the right location is important. I have found the vapor settles far better than rises within a taller hive so I generally do not treat from the bottom, unless it is a single.

PB290203.jpg

I mentioned I lost hives to swarming and old queens, many of them were going into their 4th or 5th winter and were old breeding stock. Had I had younger queens in there & treated in spring , I'd have come out way better. Those older queens leave the colony venerable to mites as they slow down so ultimately mites were partially the cause of their demise.
I lost a few lids too, and didn't catch it..:( a shame.

Here's a frame from a large hive that has overwintered mulitple times with an older queen. Ether she became a drone layer or they failed to requeen, it's hard to tell, but the residual comb tells the story. No mystery why this old hive was lost.

View attachment 44569
 
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