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Discussion Starter #1
When’s a good time to check the mite drop after OAV treatments ?
I checked the next morning after the first treatment and noticed maybe 10.
Just did another treatment tonight. There was obviously more on the board when I checked tonight before treatment. But not sure when they dropped.
Just want to see how effective the treatments are compared to what the bees are shedding themselves.
 

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I check the bottom board daily and it seems that the most mites drop on the second day after treatment.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I’ve done 3 OAV treatments so far. Next one comming up on Wednesday. Been doing them every 4 days.
How many treatments should I do? I plan on doing a mite wash to check the levels. But last time I went in the hive it was impossible to find the queen. Was planning on doing the last hive inspection of the year this comming weekend and checking mite levels.
 

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Generally I will do 6 treatments over a period of 3 weeks and the last treatment should not have many mites fall, if you still have a heavy mite fall just continue 2 treatments a week until they go away.
 

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I'm done with inspections for the year- I leave them time to seal the boxes and arrange the nest/resources. I'm feeding via top feeder.
I have done 4 mite treatments for most hives so far and most of them stopped dropping mites on the bottom board, but 2 of them still have significant numbers after each treatment, so I will continue the treatments until morale improves :)
 

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Brandon O "When’s a good time to check the mite drop after OAV treatments ?" I check every 4-6 days - before treating again immediately thereafter. From what I have read OAV has a slower initial drop or delay for 24 about hours versus than "dribble". My memory says an 85% efficacy in about 7-8 days. I treat on a shorter scheduel to prevent Varroa, especially migrating Varroa, from entering the un-caped winter brood. I seemingly get a lot of horizontal Varroa spreading. THis is primarily based on very low counts all summer by checking capped drone brood (nor when I did alcohol washes which I have no faith in as a test mehtod.)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This was my 24 hour mite drop. Too many to even count. This was my 5th treatment.
Can I just keep treating till they are gone? Haven’t done a hive inspection lately. Was planning on just letting them seal the hive up and let them be. They are plenty heavy for the winter. Last feeding is on now and they are taking it pretty slowly.

4D37055C-5836-4431-A090-B225658D2B48.jpg
 

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That's a massive amount of mites still left in the hive, since OAV doesn't get into capped cells. Every 4 days is about right, continue until few or no mites. Your bees may be robbing weaker mite-bound hives but I wouldn't stop treatment with that many mites still dropping.
 

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This was my 24 hour mite drop. Too many to even count. This was my 5th treatment.
Can I just keep treating till they are gone? Haven’t done a hive inspection lately. Was planning on just letting them seal the hive up and let them be. They are plenty heavy for the winter. Last feeding is on now and they are taking it pretty slowly.

View attachment 58683
Brandon you have "some lousy bees indeed"! I did not get any worse than approx. 100 mite fall in 24 hours after a vaporization. Last nights fall was only 1 or 2 mites, but it took 9 reps to get there. I will do one more and be happy but if I get a warm day in Nov. or december will do one more when I am sure all capped brood has emerged. I would be safe as is but if I get them to virtually Zero I wont have to do further treating before August next year.

It works here in the north but I know it won't to the west of Ottawa. If you dont keep mite counts low you will start to see deformed wing crawlers and grass stem climbers.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That's a massive amount of mites still left in the hive, since OAV doesn't get into capped cells. Every 4 days is about right, continue until few or no mites. Your bees may be robbing weaker mite-bound hives but I wouldn't stop treatment with that many mites still dropping.
That’s kinda what I thought. And both my hives are the same.
I’ll just keep on laying the OAV to them and see what happens
 

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Did you treat with anything else this season before you started the OAV treatments? If you don't treat earlier with something that penetrates the cappings or works long term, I have found that I am behind the 8 ball just doing OA in the fall, so I do FA in late July, early August. I like my counts to be under 100 after 3 days. This is me and not based on any study, book, source, etc. Most will be killed by day 3 so day 3 or 4 is a good time to count. Whatever day you choose, you have to be consistent. I would keep treating if my 24 hr drop was like that, but if the hive is big, it's not an outrageous amount pictured. You can get it under control with a couple more OAV's. I would not do a wash this late in the season. The drop is telling you what you need to know. J
 

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I've seen similar drops in previos years. Keep hitting them every 3-5 days, or however often as you can. You will see an improvement over time.
 

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FiveJ "Did you treat with anything else" I do not Spring treat or all summer now for the third year. I do perform a winter treatment to verify my Fall "hammering to near nil varroa" in January when we have a couple 40F days.

THere is either no or very little brood at that time here. You may be earlier. I treat twice if I see one Varroa. I have seen 0 to 3 on first treatment and all 0's on the second treatment. I have read a European Spring test report that rated Apivar superior followed by Formic and then oxalic as being inferior. Apparently staying power has the best effect in the Spring. I will not use Apivar or Amitraz here.
 

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I've seen similar drops in previos years. Keep hitting them every 3-5 days, or however often as you can. You will see an improvement over time.
I agree with this approach.
 

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Robert, I also do an oav around xmas. I started doing another one in jan after the paper was published showing it was worthwhile doing a second during the "broodless" period in the north.
Despite coming into the spring nearly mite -free, I cannot get the mites to an acceptable level for making winter bees with just OAV in the late summer so I added formic. That knocks them down low enough to make good winter bees and now are at a level where I can clean them up without difficulty even though this is when mite population explodes. Everything is local for sure. J
 

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Robert, I also do an oav around xmas. I started doing another one in jan after the paper was published showing it was worthwhile doing a second during the "broodless" period in the north.
Despite coming into the spring nearly mite -free, I cannot get the mites to an acceptable level for making winter bees with just OAV in the late summer so I added formic. That knocks them down low enough to make good winter bees and now are at a level where I can clean them up without difficulty even though this is when mite population explodes. Everything is local for sure. J
What sort of mite loads do you have by mid summer ?
 

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username 0010 "What sort of mite loads do you have by mid summer ?" The last two years I culled drones via drone cell frames and looked for Varroa. It was very difficult to find any until latter part of August. I t started with about six Varroa for 800 drones I did not even look this year. My plotting of data convinced me that the horizontal migration and robbing were the bigger issue. But it is no prooof as brood rearing drops off around the same time. It is hard to figur eout hte dominant mode so I selected one and continue to watch. We typically have a lot of newbies here and apparently a lot of swarming. I had zero swarms this year, one last year.

My treatments this year and dead drops are similar to last year's schedule except I seem to be past peak invasions/ robbing as numbers are dropping already. Last year was horrendous. I also seem to believe I have nine healthy hives as I see no obvious signs and have strong hive populations - best I have seen. All this with the extreme drought that we are just beginning to get rid of slowly. I know "inspection, inspections" but there is also Darwinian beekeeping by Seeley also saying "leave them alone". I only invade with a reason now, like a drone laying queen. My temperature and RH monitoring give me pretty good indications of issues along with entrance observations.
 

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FiveJ "Everything is local for sure." How many hives would you guess are in range around you, especially newbies? I seem to have a lot but with the Pandemic, no meetings and quitting FB communications I am not getting much feed back. I know of one newbie, this year, a 1/4 mile a away. I also have a neighbor who no-treats. I can tell what's going on by the number of packages sold in the Spring.
 

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FWIW- Mites were worse this year (my guess because of drought). Hammered them with OAV series in August and late series in mid Sept through early October. I do dead drop counts (pull out inspection board) after OAV to check mite levels, then go to mitecalculator.com to get the percent of infestation. This is easier on the bees who want to propolize and close up the hive for winter. From here on out I only work the very top of the stack.

I’m responding to what I see rather then a schedule of what’s supposed to happen.
 

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I am aware of two beekeepers within flying distance who are experienced, but do not treat. A week ago, I observed foragers coming and going in their direction for three days. While there may have been something to forage in that direction, it was unusual. They normally only fly in that direction on the dandelion flow. I always am close to treatment threshold by July and again by October. Only in my fourth year, and have needed the fall treatment for two of those. J
 
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