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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
These are the results from yesterdays sugar roll. I expected that I would have seen a lower percentage of mites in the nucs that raised their own queen. Hive 2 was queenless from late May to July (they refused to accept a purchased queen). Hive 18 is a split from hive 1. Both show a high mite load. But 50+ for a 5 frame nuc is unreal. Hive 9 was also split from hive 1 but has a very low mite load? The rest I need to study more.



I would appreciate your observations/comments.

Steve
 

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I hope you have a plan to treat you're hives and nucs. I'm no expert, but with some of those levels they will not survive long. I had two nucs dwindle due to mites.
 

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Good for you to have done 18 sugar rolls! That's no small undertaking.

NY Beewellness thresholds that I use in the summer are: below 10% don't treat; 10-12% watch and recheck in a short time; over 12% treat at once.

In my practice if I hit 10% on a sugar roll, I treat. If in the low single digits, I don't. Between about 5-10%, I consider the watch and re-check area. I would consider any "roll" number above 15% practically an emergency. (I do more or less constant sticky-boarding and the numbers/thresholds are different for that method.)

If you're sure your sugar roll technique was good, math correct, etc., at least half of your hives need some action pronto, IMO. The little nuc (#18) is pretty small for chemicals; could you boost it with some frames from a low mite hive first? I always re-test in 24-48 hours any outlying results.

I just finished a round of MAQS; no absconding, hives seem fine. I will check on brood and queen next weekend or early the following week. I was underwhelmed by the visible numbers of dead mites. I expected to see more on my sticky boards during treatment, but company rep says I should continue to see fairly large mite fall as the killed-in-the-cell mites fall out when the new bees emerge. I did treat during a period when air temps never exceeeded 81 F, so on the low, safer, side of the recommended treatment temps. The treatment only takes a week, and the first three days are the most sensitive to temps, so you should probably be able to seize a window in the next week or two. I'm in northern NY and you get my weather first. I expect another cool period to begin here after mid-week.

I absolutely loathe treating, but I am flat-out determined not to lose any colonies to mites while I learn how to keep bees. The way I look at it is that mites, and the diseases they can vector, are known, discoverable and treatable risks to my bees, unlike some of the more elusive challenges (pesticides, CCD, and new-beekeeper cluelessness.) Maybe later when I've more experience I will find some ways to become TF, but not yet.

I am just studying using formic acid flash treatment. There's info about it on Randy Oliver's site and currently some chat about it on the Bee-L list. It's a bit more custom-sized and is an instant treatment rather than a one week thing. I had never used formic acid before the MAQS I used last week, so I opted for the commercial preparation as a first go.

Good luck!

Enj.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
MTN-bees Absolutely I will be treating where necessary.

enjambres- actually only 15 sugar rolls. #14 didn't get checked because of a lack of a queen and #4 is off site and 6 got combined with 10. Even at 16 it wouldn't have been much fun without the help of my wife. We had a good system going after the third roll.

I am on the fence on what treatment I should use. I think i have enough time left to use Apivar but I am leaning towards MAQS. I just don't know what dose to give the 5 frame nuc and the 5x5 nucs. I would hate to loose a queen from an OD.

Long term-I don't want to treat either but, until I have kept records and grow stock from mite resistant colonies I don't see that I have a choice. I have only bought bees for two years......and I hate it. I will do what it takes to keep them alive over the winter 1st. Then I'll start to try identifying colonies that I should grow stock from.

Thanks
Steve
 

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how was 18 made, was it the original queen or did they make a new one from the split? It's not surprising to me, I've had nucs, even with the brood break of making a new queen collapse come fall. When I look at your data, hive 1 has a fair mite population, you took a sub sample of that mite population and reduced it to a nuc where those mites were at a level for infesting a full size colony now have 5 frames to work with and much fewer bees to infest. Honestly, for a nuc, I'd toss in a single strip of apivar and call it a day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
how was 18 made, was it the original queen or did they make a new one from the split?
I let them raise their own queen.

>you took a sub sample of that mite population and reduced it to a nuc where those mites were at a level for infesting a full size colony now have 5 frames to work with and much fewer bees to infest.<

I agree. I took a full load of mites out of #1 and gave them a place to live.

From these results and it being a first for me. I cannot conclude that a brood break makes a huge difference in mite populations. Now...my timing could have been off, the frames of brood that I took may have been full of mite eggs. Either way I learned from it or at least have records to refer to. Also #2 was without a queen for almost 2 months. Now...I don't remember what hive I took eggs from to give them the resources to raise one. I may have took from #1 also because that was the "resource" hive this year.

As far as #9 (was also taken from #1) I wonder if the timing of the split and the purchased queen is the reason for the low mite count?

As far as Apivar...I thought about using it again but I was worried that it wouldn't do the job in time? I bought some MAQS and was thinking of a 1/3 strip

Your thoughts on this?

Thanks
Steve
 

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These are the results from yesterdays sugar roll. I expected that I would have seen a lower percentage of mites in the nucs that raised their own queen. Hive 2 was queenless from late May to July (they refused to accept a purchased queen). Hive 18 is a split from hive 1. Both show a high mite load. But 50+ for a 5 frame nuc is unreal. Hive 9 was also split from hive 1 but has a very low mite load? The rest I need to study more.



I would appreciate your observations/comments.

Steve
How did you figure your percentages? How can u have 1 mite and a 1%? 4 mites and a 3%?

The way I was taught was to sample about 300 bees and figure the percentage accordingly. How did you do that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
1/2 cup of bees from open brood divide mite count by 3 multiply that number by 2

I just put the formula in excel and plugged in the mite count.

Is the formula wrong? I thought it is what I read here somewhere

Thanks
Steve
 

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If you have a 1/2 cup of bees, that should be about 300 bees. So, dividing the mites found by 3 would give you mites per 100. Your percentage. I guess you must have heard to multiply by 2 to simulate an alcohol wash. So that's right, I believe.

4 mites divided by 3 equals 1.33 times 2 equals 2.66 or 3, like you noted. So that makes sense. Thanks for explaining.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Actually Mark,
Thank you for explaining the formula. I had no idea what the numbers were for. I am glad you did because I would have used the same formula with an alcohol wash.

With what you explained, there is quite a bit of room for an error with a sugar roll. All it would take is not shaking the bees enough to get "most" of the mites off, or to have a clump of sugar filled with mites stuck in the bottom of the jar.

I'm going to have to rethink my choice of testing methods.

Thanks
Steve
 

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I just learned how to do a powdered sugar roll this past weekend. When we at the NY Bee Wellness Workshop took the sample and ran the test we found that if you left the bees in the jar set a while longer after dumping the sugar out of the jar onto the paper plate more mites fell off of the bees in the jar.

I'm not sure where the idea to double sugar roll numbers to equal alcohol numbers. If one took the same sample size of bees from the same place in a hive, why does on technique result in two different numbers, all things being equal? Seems like they aught to be the same, unless the powdered sugar roll doesn't dislodge all of the mites.

What if one did a powdered sugar roll and then, when finished, if you did an alcohol wash, would you find the other half of the mites?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
>What if one did a powdered sugar roll and then, when finished, if you did an alcohol wash, would you find the other half of the mites?<

I don't know, but a few checks with this technique would confirm if multiplying by 2 is necessary. Or at least it would help me improve my sugar roll technique.

How accurate is an alcohol wash? Do you know if all of the mites are washed to the bottom jar?

Thanks
Steve
 

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>unless the powdered sugar roll doesn't dislodge all of the mites.

It doesn't. But it dislodges most of them.

> What if one did a powdered sugar roll and then, when finished, if you did an alcohol wash, would you find the other half of the mites?

If you did it enough times and did some statistics, then you could assess the accuracy (and the conversion constant) for the sugar roll.
 

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NY Beewellness thresholds that I use in the summer are: below 10% don't treat; 10-12% watch and recheck in a short time; over 12% treat at once.

In my practice if I hit 10% on a sugar roll, I treat. If in the low single digits, I don't. Between about 5-10%, I consider the watch and re-check area. I would consider any "roll" number above 15% practically an emergency. (I do more or less constant sticky-boarding and the numbers/thresholds are different for that method.)

Enj.
Seems like your first sentence and what you wrote later somewhat contradict each other. I believe that the Bee Wellness Thresholds are more like 5% of lower don't treat. Five to 10% monitor. 10% and above treat. I could be wrong. That's from memory.
 

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Actually Mark, that's a grammatical error, not treatment range contradiction. I think I must have missed a comma in the first sentence.

I use the thresholds, but I modify them by treating at 10%, not waiting and watching at 10-12%. I've moved my watch and re-check range to 5-10%.

I've wondered about Randy Oliver's lower thresholds, too.

I'm pretty sure those are the correct NYBW published thresholds - at least that's what I copied off last time I struggled through their extremely hard-to-navigate page.

Enj.
 
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