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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi all,

I'm in E Pennsylvania, it's warming up some and my bees are more active. I checked on them today- saw a few mites on the sticky board. I plan to use formic acid strips as well as oxalic vaporizer again this season

Question: should I treat w oxalic now while there's little brood? wasn't sure if it's not a good idea to stress the colony as they're just coming out of winter, but then again the mites will likely stress them more..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
yep- I'm hoping we'll have a few days >50F soon. Just wondering if there's any reason not to hit them with OAV early spring before colony bulks back up, though they didn't seem stressed at all when I did it in fall. I'm guessing it's fine as long as temps ok

thanks
 

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I will be doing all of mine this week. Sunny and warm-ish days. When I get home from work it's close to dark and they are all in the hive. Spring/Fall I don't mind doing evening treatments.

Summertime or when it's warm, OAV after dark is a no-no. A full hive of angry bees boils out.
 

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I wouldn’t trust a sticky board but would do a alcohol wash and do a count on three hundred bees if over 9 might. I would be doing something. What type and when did you treat last?
 

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OAV can be done below 50 degrees as long as it it warm enough that they are not in tight cluster inside the box.
So Probably anything over 40 would be ok for OAV. Maybe even lower if the box is in direct sunlight to help with internal heat.


I would have been OAV every time we hit 50 Degrees back in Jan/Feb, the least likely time to have capped brood.

The fewer mites your colony starts with in the Spring the longer you can go without doing and invasive treatment during the year.

OAV is so low stress on the bees i would still do it once a month during non honey production times(although i'm pretty sure Europe already proved that you can)

Staying ahead of the mites is the single largest thing you can do to keep your bees healthy and ready to make honey and increase chances of making it through the winter.

Aaron
 

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You can do OAV now. But don't kid yourself, you likely have lots of brood by this point in the season. You are well into your spring build-up - they likely resumed brooding about two months ago. This means a one-shot treatment will not be very effective. OTOH, unlike in the summer when there also is brood, they are probably not going to be going out and constantly bringing new mites into the hive.

At best, you can give the mites a good whacking now, before you want to super up.

Look ahead to your longer-range weather forecast in order to pick the best period for the entire series. This will give you a chance to complete each treatment on time. A 3 by 7-day series needs 15 days; a 4 by 5-day series needs 16 days to accomplish.

I do OAV as low as 37 F during the winter, but the burns are not as good as I'd like to see in temps that cold. Smoke your bees well beforehand to loosen the cluster and get them fanning.

For your reference in the future. a well-timed, broodless-period, one-shot treatment in late December is the key. Follow that up by checking sticky boards in January to see if you need to repeat the one-shot on a warmish day before they begin brooding in early Feb. (And before they begin flying out of the apiary again.) This will usually leave them clean enough to avoid treating now when they have lots of brood again. I say usually because from time to time this doesn't work. But you can always check that with regular 72-hour sticky board counts all winter long. The other treatment option at this time of year is hanging strips of Apivar, if you have 54 days before you plan to super up. It's probably still too chilly for formic acid (MAQS).

Nancy
 
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