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Hello hive mind,

Here's a conundrum for you:

A month ago I counted the mites in my hive with a sugar shake and a sticky bottom board. The sugar shake came out with 7 mites (2%) and the sticky board had 203 mites. I then vapourized my hive with oxalic acid 5 times in 5 day increments. Today (three days after the final vapourization) I counted the mites again: 22 in my sugar shake and 710 on my sticky board! I was amazed and not impressed by the sharp increase in mites when I expected a decrease. I believe my oxalic acid treatments were done correctly.

Can you think of a reason for this strange increase?

Also what do you think I should do? I worry it is too late to start another round of oxalic acid and I worry it won't work again...maybe a different treatment? I'd like to avoid chemicals if possible.

Thanks!
 

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They are robbing out a collapsed hive. Keep hitting them witht he OAV until it improves. I have done as many as 12 in a series, with no apparent harm, except to the mites.
 

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They are robbing out a collapsed hive. Keep hitting them witht he OAV until it improves. I have done as many as 12 in a series, with no apparent harm, except to the mites.
If brood rearing has been interrupted or changed greatly after treatment series was started, it can make mite drop numbers squirrely. A day or two of shut in weather can also change robbing situation. I have been eyeying the sticky boards to try to show change of effectiveness in three, four, and five day intervals. Too many variables for a solid conclusion. I am down to about 15 drops a day from a double deep; did see approx 100 a few treatments ago. Still some brood but the mite numbers are definitely trending down.

In other words dont be surprised if #s actually go up sometimes during a series of treatments. Stick to it! Dont quit till they say "uncle".
 

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710 mites on your bottom board tells you that the OAV is killing mites. OA does not breed mites so the mites you are killing have always been there or you are importing them from elsewhere.
 

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I'm having similar results.

I have a very good vaporizer, I hit all my hives 4 times in August, and I saw a large mite kill. Then 2 weeks ago I put in Apivar strips. Yesterday I was checking hives and the dead mites are 6 deep all across the bottom board. I did not expect to see that many dead mites. I thought I was just doing a cleanup round before winter? I also treated with Formic and a round of OA in June and July. My alcohol washes have been showing 6-7 mites. Enough to cause concern but not enough to justify the kill I'm seeing?

In my case if there is any robbing it's my bees being robbed by the more than 600 commercial hives within 2 miles. I can't feed without starting a round of robbing.
 

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In my case if there is any robbing it's my bees being robbed by the more than 600 commercial hives within 2 miles. I can't feed without starting a round of robbing.
now you know where your mites are coming from, they will treat when they go south, and leave you with mites when they leave, normal around here, just keep treating until they leave, a real pain, expensive, but no choice now a days.
 

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This is just one of 6 commercial yards within a bee flight of my hives. I think there are nearly 300 hives in this yard alone. They just stack them and feed them and wait for the next almond check. They claim to have 18,000 hives.

https://youtu.be/xXbFbVlmjqM
 

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Here is a goofy question I have wondered about that could affect drop board numbers:
O.K. So supposedly, the vapor kills mites by permeating the tarcel segments on their feet and soaking into their system, killing them.
This is said to take up to 3 days.
If a beekeeper vaporizes a hive, how many of those affected mites enter a cell of larvae and die prior to bees emergence?
We're assuming that after vaporizing; we should see the main drop in 3 days.
What about the mites that were affected by the vapor, entered a cell on day 8, died in the cell and were pulled out of the cell with the healthy young, unparasitized, bee once emerged?
If this model is true, MANY, MANY mites could potentially drop a couple of weeks later after successful treatment.
Has this been talked about?
 

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A month ago I counted the mites in my hive with a sugar shake and a sticky bottom board. The sugar shake came out with 7 mites (2%) and the sticky board had 203 mites..... Today (three days after the final vapourization) I counted the mites again: 22 in my sugar shake and 710 on my sticky board!
Part of this puzzle is you don't say how long it took for the sticky board to get this many mites. If it was one day that's huge. If a month, less so.

If the sticky board was untouched during the treatment period, and at the end had 710 mites on it, my guess would be the treatment did not get many of the mites, there should be several thousand, for a hive still showing 22 mites in a sugar shake. The treatment didn't work.

However if that mite drop was just for a period of a day or two, then it represents a higher kill. ClementineO, could you say how long a period the two sticky board mite counts represent?

As to the hive getting bombed with mites from nearby failing mite infested hives, while this is of course possible, my own thoughts are it is easy to blame our problems on that. In my own hives I'm pretty cautious about assuming that, because it absolves us of the need to address what might be our own problem.
 

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Here is a goofy question I have wondered about that could affect drop board numbers:
O.K. So supposedly, the vapor kills mites by permeating the tarcel segments on their feet and soaking into their system, killing them.
This is said to take up to 3 days.
If a beekeeper vaporizes a hive, how many of those affected mites enter a cell of larvae and die prior to bees emergence?
We're assuming that after vaporizing; we should see the main drop in 3 days.
What about the mites that were affected by the vapor, entered a cell on day 8, died in the cell and were pulled out of the cell with the healthy young, unparasitized, bee once emerged?
If this model is true, MANY, MANY mites could potentially drop a couple of weeks later after successful treatment.
Has this been talked about?
since they say only 15% of the mites are on the bees and 85% are in the capped brood, and that the mites spend up to 5 day's hardening off before going into the cell, if you are doing your treatment every 5 days, I would expect that only the first oav treatment would allow the mites to return into the cells.
 

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As to the hive getting bombed with mites from nearby failing mite infested hives, while this is of course possible, my own thoughts are it is easy to blame our problems on that. In my own hives I'm pretty cautious about assuming that, because it absolves us of the need to address what might be our own problem.
this time of year in the north, with the migratory beeks picking up their bees in the middle of the day while the work force is out looking around it is extremely common, local beeks that don't recognize it are the ones buying new bees every year.
 

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since they say only 15% of the mites are on the bees and 85% are in the capped brood, .....
Last year, Dr. Ramesh Sagili and crew from the Oregon State University Bee Lab ran some tests.
They found the ratio closer to 40% of mites phoretic and 60% sealed in brood.
How did they arrive at these numbers?
They killed entire hives and dissected every single brood cell. They picked and poked at each and every bee of those hives.
The "80 / 20" ratio appears to bee WAY OFF.
Next, they are going to continue the tests to see how the ratio changes throughout the seasons.
 

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Last year, Dr. Ramesh Sagili and crew from the Oregon State University Bee Lab ran some tests.
They found the ratio closer to 40% of mites phoretic and 60% sealed in brood.
hard to hit moving targets:D but I would think even with these kind of mite numbers that the number getting back in would be very few if you did it every 5 days. Now with those numbers I'm even more inclined to do the one pad of formic pro every 10 days, no need to kill the mites under the caps.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Oldtimer, each of my sticky boards were in for ~72 hours. the first one was the three days preceding treatment and the second one was the three days immediately after treatment.
 

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Very interesting takes on this situation, thanks everyone. I've decided to move on to a Formic Pro treatment and see what happens there. Guess we'll find out in 9 days...
 

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Oldtimer, each of my sticky boards were in for ~72 hours. the first one was the three days preceding treatment and the second one was the three days immediately after treatment.
That's interesting Clementine, so we now have a drop of just over 200 mites per day, for 3 days following treatment, in a hive showing 22 mites in a sugar shake.

Although re invasion could be happening, to me, these numbers mean you have a large number of mites in the hive, not being killed by the OA treatment. Because 22 mites in a sugar shake extrapolate into several thousand mites total in the hive, but the final treatment only got 710.

Although not beyond the bounds of possibility, it would seem unlikely that your hive is being invaded by several thousand mites each few days. Because if it was, your last OA treatment would have got more than 710 of them.

Re the formic treatment, you will probably get a big mite drop. But the thing to be aware of is that formic is quite a short treatment time. So because some re invasion of your hive by mites from other places is possible, it is better to use a longer lasting treatment such as Apivar strips. These are put in the hive and can be left up to 10 weeks, and will continue to kill any new mites that arrive during that time, and will take you past the end of robbing season and safely into winter.
 
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