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I have been beekeeping for six weeks now and have not done a mite check. On the last two inspections, I had wanted to do a check but don't want to shake the queen into the container. I am not sure if I should keep trying to spot the queen or do a treatment. I really could use some advice. The hives were started with 5 frame nucs of local bees and was told they were "clean as a whistle" for varroa. However, that was six weeks ago.
 

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6a 4th yr 7 colonies inc. resource hive
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When I brought my nucs home last year I put Apivar strips on each colony. Did not do a mite check. Just did it. Highly recommended.

I use Apivar in spring and do a series of OAV in fall and one in December. My mite checks with OAV are called dead drop counts. Perform your OAV, then after 24 hours pull your inspection board and count. Then go to mitecalculator.com and it will convert to % of infestation.

PS- on spotting the queen. Two ideas- know where she will want to hang out (full brood frame-no, empty comb with space to lay-yes), so when you are pulling a frame to look at think to yourself "is this a frame the queen would be on". Second idea- look at pictures of queens. It will train your eye. I used pinterest to look for pictures and put a board together.
 

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6a 4th yr 7 colonies inc. resource hive
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I am not sure what you mean by OAV. oxalic acid vaporization?
Yes, that is what I mean. Strongly advise you to buy a wand and learn how to use it. It will increase the chance of having a surviving colony manifold. It was a game changer for me. Ideally you want to alternate treatment methods. That's why I do Apivar in spring and OAV series in fall (robbing season) and December when broodless. Getting serious about mites is priority #1.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ty for the help and advice. I am going to get an oav wand but think I may have left it too late as my bees are already capping honey. Each hive has at least one 3/4 full frame (full on one side half on the other) of capped honey as well as 2 or 3 frames nearly full of nectar on both sides. I will get a wand but was thinking formic strips might be the best bet for now. Or am I still ok for oav?
 

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6a 4th yr 7 colonies inc. resource hive
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Yes okay for OAV as long as honey is for bee use and not human consumption. The only temperature requirement is 40 Fahrenheit base temp.
 
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