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Hi Everyone.

On June 27th I treated all my hives with Apivar and removed the strips after the proper amount of time. All my hives have been doing well since. Saturday I was going through my hives and I noticed that my strongest hive had mites that I could physically see. I also saw some deformed wings on some bees. This hive is one deep and two mediums (all are full of bees), the deep and first medium have brood and the second medium had two frames that had some drone brood and honey. So I took these two frames out and froze them, and replaced them with new frames. Because I was curious I removed some of the cap brood before freezing to see if there were mites in there....sure enough 3 that I checked had mites.

I talked to my mentor and he suggested I take action with OAV. I bought a Easy Vap about a month ago with intentions to use it late/fall or early winter. I did treatment on all my hives. This morning I checked the bottom boards inserts on all the hives. 3 of them had no visible mite drops, 1 had 1 mite and the main one I was concerned about had around 100 (need to take a pic and verify).

So with that said I am a concerned newbie. I plan to do 3 more treatments every 5 days. I am in North Texas so I am assuming brooding will start to slow down over the next few months. This particular hive is a Cordovan hive(they have been non stop since I got the NUC in mid April), my other 4 are (VSH Italians and one local wild colony). Does the hive in question have a good chance to survive? The fact that I have seen mites crawling around and on some bees along with deformed wings puts fear in my head that it's to late. If they do have a chance is this the correct route to go? Should I give them a few weeks after treating and hit them again? I am open to suggestions. I want to do a mite wash but am a little freaked out about accidentally killing my queen.
 

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How many Apivar strips did you place in the infested hive?

I know you said they were in the "proper amount of time" but the directions and Veto-Pharma's FAQS seem to have some float in that time period. Additionally, other countries have longer prescribed treatment periods than the US. How long were your strips in?

Learning to do mite washes is certainly nerve-racking when you do not have confidence in finding the queen. You could place a queen excluder between your brood boxes and see which box has eggs in 5 days to determine which frames you can pull your 300 bees from safely.

If you put Apivar strips in on June 27, I am guessing you pulled them out in mid-August. Your Apivar treatment might not have been effective, or your hive has since found a mite-infested neighboring colony that it robbed out and brought the nastiness back home after the strips were pulled.

I think you are on the right track with the OAV. Sounds like you need an immediate knock down. If you your temps are cool enough now in North Texas, I would try Formic Pro. OAV is not as effective if your colony is still brooding heavily.

My concern is that this one hive could spread infestation to your remaining apiary. If you see it faltering at all, I would close it up tight and euthanize. Make sure your other bees are not robbing from it.
 

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Hi psm1212

For this particular hive I put in 3 strips (at the time I had a 8 frame deep and a 8 frame medium)
I left the strips in for 49 days....I removed them in mid August.

Funny you mention the queen excluder, I actually did this in order to create a split off of this same hive earlier. This particular queen has a green dot that makes it really hard for me to see (red/green colorblind).

The temps right now are mid to high 80's and show this for the next week. But here in North Texas we are in what we call "Fake Fall". normally this time of year we will randomly get a week or 2 of 95+ degree weather in September.
 

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I just went through a similar situation. Had pulled the Apivar strips early May from two hives, double deeps that were new nuc's end of March to start supering. An alcohol wash in mid August showed no mites As we got towards the end of August, I saw a few DFW bees from one hive (they're 3 feet apart) and went to (what I thought then) a nuclear option of Formic Pro. First few days, I had massive mite drops and the bees were removing infected pupae and larvae along with any DFW bees. Two weeks later, the hives are back up and running well, new brood and as we start our fall flow, I'm seeing new comb, in flow of pollen and forager flying out from dawn to dusk. I have some concern on the more infected hive and will be pulling some frames on a deep inspection tomorrow to check the queen but right now it works for me. We seemed to0 have a flow of one type or another all spring and summer up here and our first day pof frost isn't until mid November. I want to make sure the queen is laying during the flow or replace her so I know I'll have winter bees. I too have a varrox wand but am waiting until we pull all the supers at the end of the month. From what I read, (at least up here) Aprivar should be used late winter, early spring due to the chemicals
 

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7 weeks is a pretty good treatment period. I leave them in for 8 weeks, moving the strips around week 5 or 6 to recenter them in the brood nest.

I think you are either looking at a subsequent infestation or an aberrant result with the Apivar. I treat roughly 40 hives and confirm with mite washes once I pull them out. There always seems to be one or two hives that still have a high mite count. Maybe I did not get them in the nest properly. Maybe the load was just too heavy going in. Of course, the real fear is that the mites are becoming resistant to the Apivar. I do not believe the latter to be the case, because it remains very effective in over 95% of my hives.

Unfortunately, you will now need to work your behind off to save this last hive. 3 treatments every 5 days probably is not going to be enough. If at all possible, I think you need to treat every 3 days. Also, you need to keep treating every three days until you are seeing only 1 or 2 mites drop on the board after treatment. This could be SEVERAL treatments.

If it cools down a little more, you can hit it with Formic Pro. Formic Pro is risky in that it can produce brood and queen failure as well as absconding, but, desperate times . . .

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just wanted to give an update. I unfortunately have been to busy to go to a 3 day schedule, I am however making time to go every 5 days.

7/13 - Mite drop around 100
7/18 – 2nd Treatment. My drop to large to count after 24 hours. If I had to guess it would be over 2000
7/23 – 3rd treatment. Just checked and its still high....my guess is over 1000

Since it is the weekend soon I plan to do my next treatment on Sunday. I wanted to try Formic but weather is still not good.
 

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Hi Everyone.

On June 27th I treated all my hives with Apivar and removed the strips after the proper amount of time. All my hives have been doing well since. Saturday I was going through my hives and I noticed that my strongest hive had mites that I could physically see. I also saw some deformed wings on some bees.
where did you get your strips and were they within the expiration date? reason I ask I was helping a person that just ordered strips to be put in from one of the large bee suppliers, I checked the expiration date and they were expired over a year ago. the Mfg. date plus two years was oct 2019, so they are asking for a reship.
 

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interesting I told the person to call about them sending them old apivar, this was there response???
I also called Kelly Bees about the mite treatment. They don’t have any in stock to replace the expired. - but said it would be Ok to use and just double the dose
 

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Just wanted to give an update. I unfortunately have been to busy to go to a 3 day schedule, I am however making time to go every 5 days.

7/13 - Mite drop around 100
7/18 – 2nd Treatment. My drop to large to count after 24 hours. If I had to guess it would be over 2000
7/23 – 3rd treatment. Just checked and its still high....my guess is over 1000

Since it is the weekend soon I plan to do my next treatment on Sunday. I wanted to try Formic but weather is still not good.
Another idea- you may have a mite bomb in the area that your strong hive is robbing out. That’s why your count doesn’t make sense. Fall mite pressure numbers can be non sensical. Apivar may have worked but outside pressure may be overwhelming it. Pound the mites with OAV until they are subdued. It will happen if you’re relentless.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Did the 4th treatment on all hives. The hive I am concerned about still had a big mite drop. Looks similar to the 3rd treatment. Next treatment is hopefully going to happen thursday and again sunday, Really hope the numbers get much better in the next 2 rounds.

BTW this hive is still really strong. I still see DWV, bees in the grass. I did inspect the hive saturday and that queen is still going hard. Population is also very strong, strongest of all my hives.
 

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Good luck and keep us posted. Watch it very closely. If it starts losing population or shows signs of getting robbed, you need to close it up immediately. Don't let one problem ruin your whole apiary.
 
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