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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a second year beek with one hive... last year I made the mistake of thinking my bees would survive varroa with no interference from me... We'll they died and varroa was ruled the cause after an free inspection from the state Dept of Agriculture. My count was 12 per 100.
I just learned about oav last month and since read everything I could find. I decided I would try to avoid the errors of my rookie year. So I bought a varrox oxyvap and started with the treatments on Sunday October 2 in the early morning. I still thought that my bees were in good shape this year without much varroa. They looked like a strong hive, loads of bees and my queen was still laying strong and still is.

Well I am shocked with the #s I am getting.

I thought I would share my data so maybe someone else can benefit from it. At this point I hope I'm not too late with my treatment.

Sunday Oct 2 first vape at 7am
I checked the bb 38 hours later at 430 on Monday Oct 3 and every 24 hours after that. This is because I get home from work at 4:30 give or take 30 minutes.
Oct. 2nd first vap 7am
3rd 198 mites. = 5.2 per hour average fall after 38 hours. The rest of my # are 24hrs)
4th 182 mites. =7.6 per hour (24 hrs)
5th 150 mites. =6.25 per hour fall
6th 134 mites. =5.58 per hour fall
7th 115 mites. =4.8 per hour average fall
Oct 8th at 7am I vaped for the second time.
8th at 4:30 pm I checked the bb
8th 173 mites. =7.2 per hour fall
9th 475 mites. =19.8 per hour fall
10th 252 mites = 10.5 per hour fall
11th 153 mites = 6.3 per hour fall
12th 106 mites = 4.4 per hour fall
On Oct 13th I vaped for the third time at 7am
13th at 4:30 I checked the bb
13th 216 mites = 9.0 per hour fall
14th 549 mites = 22.9 per hour fall
15th 261 mites = 10.8 per hour fall
16th 99 mites = 4.1 per hour fall
17th 67 mite = 2.8 per hour fall
On Oct 17th at 7 pm NOT AM... I vaped for the 4th time. This would be the first vap that would cover the 14 day caped drone cycle and 11 day worker caped cycle.
18th at 4:30 pm I checked the bb
18th 519 mites...

Total mites to date 3639
I have 2 deeps with lots of honey and bees

I have to admit I am a little shocked at my counts I didn't think my hive was that infested... I will keep you updated. I assume tomorrow will be high as second day after oav is generally the highest count and then the numbers will drop very quick because with each vap they drop quicker in my data. I wasn't planing to do another vap because I was only intending to cover a 14 day caped drone cycle... Since I haven't seen signs of the drones being kicked out yet. However, now I am a little worried that the numbers keep going up with each vap and would like to see what happens if I do another vap after a couple of days? If I did the numbers in theory should drop off a cliff. But will they?

Any thoughts.
 

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I love checking after the OAV treatments and seeing the mite drop... I swear sometimes I think the bees are smiling at me after OAV.
 

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I'm of the opinion that it almost doesn't matter. I don't count mites. There is too much of a gab between what we see and should be happening according to research. Now I have jumped on the oav band wagon and did my three treatments in September. These high counts are mind blowing. It's making my head hurt!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes... I have not seen any negative impact at all on the bees... hope oav is what I have been looking for. I have really enjoyed having a hive in the backyard and studying it.
 

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Looks like you were on a repeat of last year's mistake. Good thing you found out about oxalic acid. At this point you still need to treat. Ideally you need to get those numbers down to single digit daily drops after treaments. Hopefully sooner rather than later, those numbers should drop rapidly.

On a slightly different topic, it seems you did not know about oxalic, but you knew about mites because you were told post mortem? You were told you lost your colony because of a high mite load, 12%. So I presume the State inspection fellow or gal told you about varroa. Then they would have said something to the effect of the different treatment options. I would like to understand how come you waited so long to take action?

Jean-Marc
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes... all the chemical options scared me a bit, and everything sounded so intrusive and scary. This year I decided I was going to at least wait until I took off my honey but that didn't happen till early September. Because I decided to wait until the supers came off I kicked the can down the road in learning about all my options. As of right now I have read enough about the options that I feel I am now on the right track and done with the snake oil options. I am fully on board with keeping the girls clean year round. It really came down to knowledge and time spent in seeking to expand it on this subject. P.S a good friend that started this with me was informing me on this topic and he is stuck on essential oils and bb... He lost his last winter as well... I decided to look in a different direction myself. After hearing about the results he is now vaping as well.
 

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Michael Bush has a simple math-based explanation that suggests that treating when there is capped brood simply keeps mite populations from growing much, but does not reduce them much. It seems to hinge on the idea that when brood hatch, mites are released that then enter to-be-capped brood fairly quickly (in a timeframe that is shorter than the 7 day treatment cycle) after a phoretic phase, let's say 4 days. If this is correct, then you will not see much of a reduction in counts until you stop having brood/have much reduced brood for the mites to enter. It seems from the experience of many who are using OAV here that holding the mite population down without completely obliterating it (assuming this is what is happening per MBs explanation) is beneficial, and a treatment when the colony is broodless is really beneficial. Treating somewhat earlier in the year might knock out enough mites to prevent an overwhelming population later.
 

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I've been battling mites in my colonies since the middle of Sept., and have been religiously counting the bottom boards. I find your counts to be very similar to what I've been seeing. I started adding up the 5 day counts between treatments, and that number has grown every treatment. Yesterday, I did my 8th treatment. Between the seventh and 8th treatment, I killed 1901 mites in one hive. I have killed 9253 mites in that one hive since I started. Last week, I found a mess of capped drone brood that was full of mites. I cut it out and discarded it. I have a lot of capped worker brood in there, too, and is seems there are mites in that, also. I increased the dosage a bit yesterday and will go count in a couple hours. I've been considering making some changes to my treatment techinque. I think treating every 3 days may be better, rather than every 5.

Please continue updating your daily counts here. I've found there is not much data on this. Evidently most people just do 3 treatments and call it good, without knowing if it was really effective or not.

craig
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Agreed, I am wondering when varroa emerge and detect OA if some return to be capped as quick as possible? Have you noticed the daily drop off in mite count after each treatment is more rapid . If you look at my numbers the drop off is more rapid after each treatment (after the 2nd day). No sign of viruses. Been in there a couple times over the last 17 days.
At this point I think a broodless vap is a must in December.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I think I will do a no ther vap on Thursday or Friday night... I switched from the morning to night because the temperature is much higher and worry that they are balling in the morning.
 

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Looks like you were on a repeat of last year's mistake. Good thing you found out about oxalic acid. At this point you still need to treat. Ideally you need to get those numbers down to single digit daily drops after treatments. Hopefully sooner rather than later, those numbers should drop rapidly.
Totally agree.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Between the seventh and 8th treatment, I killed 1901 mites in one hive. I have killed 9253 mites in that one hive since I started.

craig[/QUOTE]

Yikes...
 

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I'm of the opinion that it almost doesn't matter. I don't count mites.
Bingo! :applause:

If you have mites, treat. It's pretty simple.

I've never seen someone make their dog stand over a grid to "count" fleas to determine if they should help the dog out or not either. Makes about as much sense as conducting a big scientific study to determine exactly how many mites your hive has.
 

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Bingo! :applause:

If you have mites, treat. It's pretty simple.

I've never seen someone make their dog stand over a grid to "count" fleas to determine if they should help the dog out or not either. Makes about as much sense as conducting a big scientific study to determine exactly how many mites your hive has.

From what I've read and seen, every hive has mites. There's no getting around them.

So are you of the opinion you should just routinely place chemicals into the hive, with no idea what you are dealing with. It seems that a lot of beekeepers are doing just that. Prophylacticly. That's kind of what caused the first two or three mite treatments to become ineffective on mites. Over use. Mites built up resistance to them very quickly.

I think it's important to know what you are up against in order to make an informed decision on when to treat, what to use, and how much.
 

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From what I've read and seen, every hive has mites. There's no getting around them.

So are you of the opinion you should just routinely place chemicals into the hive, with no idea what you are dealing with. It seems that a lot of beekeepers are doing just that. Prophylacticly. That's kind of what caused the first two or three mite treatments to become ineffective on mites. Over use. Mites built up resistance to them very quickly.

I think it's important to know what you are up against in order to make an informed decision on when to treat, what to use, and how much.
How do you suppose someone with 10,000 hives handles that? They don't. If they have mites, they treat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I am counting because I have 1 hive and if I am going to use OAV in the future I want to know how it generally works and what the general results I can expect in differing situations without always counting. I wanted to provide something to this forum because I have gained much from other peoples observations.
In the future I hope to maybe just look at the bb to see if I am getting standard results based on my and other beekeepers posted data. By some keeping track we can find best practices for different times of year and what results to expect if not counting every time. Trust me the counting is tedious, but I am too far into this to stop.
 

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How do you suppose someone with 10,000 hives handles that? They don't. If they have mites, they treat.
I don't have 10000 hives. Most people on this board don't have 10000 hives. But even if you do, if you don't know how effective your treatments are, why bother to treat at all?

The conventional OAV wisdom is the do 3 treatments every 5 to 7 days and then wait two weeks and do a sugar roll or alcohol wash.

A sugar roll is not necessarily accurate, and waiting 2 weeks to find out if you were successful will possibly just allow the mites to recover.

If I had stopped treating at 3 treatments, my hives would be dead. I've killed more than 8500 mites in the subsequent treatments, and the numbers keep rising.

After 8 treatments, I had 612 mites on the board this morning. I'm over 9800 total on this hive, so far.
 

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I kept tallies like this when I first used MAQS. Amazing. When the bees tell you that they have a mite problem it is almost too late. I only treat once a year but try to get the #s knocked down before winter bee production kicks in. The goal is to have fat and healthy winter bees. I didn't have a temp window for MAQS this year so I tried the Apivar strips. Seems good so far. Not sure I would want to use these if I had heavy agricultural activity around me though due to possible synergistic effects (see info on the scientific beekeeping site).

By the way, since you started late I'd make sure to have dry sugar on top of the frames in case the cluster becomes too small to move to the side capped honey stores this winter.
 
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