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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a newbie and trying to treat varroa without chemicals. A experienced and very good beekeeper who is also anti chemical mentioned an instrument that kills varroa by heat.
If anyone has used this could you tell me about it and what you think and just for kicks. Does it work. Pleeeeaase
 

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Our beekeepers association and community college went in together and bought one to test out. They tried it multiple times on double deep hives. They found live varroa inside the capped drone brood after using it. They spoke with the owner of the company that makes them and he said he uses it on single deeps with good results. Most beekeepers here run doubles. Multiple studies over the years have also shown that exposing a queen to high temperatures like those used by this device drastically reduce the number of viable sperm a queen has (by about 50%). Queens typically release around 4 to 6 sperm for each egg. So, even if half her sperm are killed, the effects would not be immediately noticeable unless the queen had a low viable sperm count to begin with. However, I suspect that repeated use would shorten the amount of time the queen would be able to lay well before being superseded.
 

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I am a newbie and trying to treat varroa without chemicals. A experienced and very good beekeeper who is also anti chemical mentioned an instrument that kills varroa by heat.
If anyone has used this could you tell me about it and what you think and just for kicks. Does it work. Pleeeeaase
It DOES work if you follow the directions. If you have question and want to talk to other beekeepers who are using the Mighty Might Killer try this place:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/275791919813444/
 

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Our beekeepers association and community college went in together and bought one to test out. They tried it multiple times on double deep hives. They found live varroa inside the capped drone brood after using it. They spoke with the owner of the company that makes them and he said he uses it on single deeps with good results. Most beekeepers here run doubles. Multiple studies over the years have also shown that exposing a queen to high temperatures like those used by this device drastically reduce the number of viable sperm a queen has (by about 50%). Queens typically release around 4 to 6 sperm for each egg. So, even if half her sperm are killed, the effects would not be immediately noticeable unless the queen had a low viable sperm count to begin with. However, I suspect that repeated use would shorten the amount of time the queen would be able to lay well before being superseded.
What particular unit did your association and community college test out? Who was it exactly that they spoke with? I use them on my doubles with very good results. Single deeps are obviously much easier to manage, work on, and set up for treatment and reach treatment temperature faster but the Mighty Mite Killer works on both. To be clear, and to my knowledge there is NO treatment method that will kill 100% of the varroa mites in a hive. There will always be a small number that survive. This is a prime factor in the increasing resistance varroa mites are build toward chemical treatments.

With respect to studies showing queens exposed to high temperatures like the MMK drastically reduce the number of sperm a queen has, the bees are NOT trapped inside the hive box. On the contrary, the entrance is wide open and the bees come and go as the choose. When they get too warm, they crawl out of the hive and typically beard up on the front of the hive. It is the the brood that are primarily being targeted and treated as that is where the varroa mite reproductive process takes place. A high percentage, some studies show as much as 97%, some show less of the reproductive varroa mites are killed off. This is also a significant but varying degree of phoretic varroa mite drop from the thermal treatment. Any time one can disrupt the reproductive process of any parasite to a significant degree, that will have a big impact on the mite load in a hive. Even if the thermal treatment killed only 50% of the reproductive varroa mites, that would have a very significant impact on lowering varroa mite numbers in a hive. It keeps the varroa mites from reaching the economic tolerable threshold of mite numbers that a hive can survive with at the very least for a much longer time and with regular treatments keeps them very low.

Most of the chemicals have a negative impact on the queen is one form or another.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Could not find your source you mentioned Could you help. I clicked on it didnt get anything. Would like to read it
 

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I am curious, if there is risk to the queen, would it not be worthwhile to catch her and move her to a safe space, say a nuc with a few close friends while doing the treatment? It is like 2 or so hours or something like that isn't it? I get that they could beard and stuff, but I really wouldn't want my queen hanging out there with the riff-raff on the front of the hive or even the landing board. I don't know anything about the process, but it sounds like it could be one more part of an effective overall treatment plan.
 

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So any mites on bees that go out to beard aren't necessarily killed? Seems to be a potential flaw in the concept. The question is; at what temperature do bees begin to beard, and how long until they do so.
 
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