70 years ago when chickens had mites the chicken owners would paint the roosts with used motor oil, this seemed to control the chicken mites. I am building screened bottom boards for this purpose, I am going to coat the top of the bottom slide board of my screened bottom board with a vegetable oil, I also intend to put some borax in a jar lid to see if this will help additionally with the mite control. If this works I will let you know, it sure is a simple fix if it works!
Either you did not read my post or you do not understand how mites work on chickens. The mites are just as you said they are on the chickens, they crawl off the chickens on the oil painted roosts and are killed by the oil!!!
Peter, i refuse to answer any more of your posts!
I apologize to the administrator for this post, you may delete it!!!
I'm the original poster with the photo. I think that bottom tray was under there for about three days or so, and I haven't really counted how many mites there were. I have the one colony that was hived fro a swarm last spring. I was hoping to split this hive within the month by simply "dealing" frames between boxes without looking for the queen, and seeing how things develop..
My instinct is not to treat. I have to admit to some disappointment here, because I really haven't noticed mites until today. I'll do the 24 hour check and post back, but I don't really see how a high count means trouble or not. Could it be that a "high" count indicates efficient cleaning? By high are we talking about 30 or more mites over the entire board surface?
people debate how many mites represent a problem that needs attention but I leave the board in 3 days and figure about 50 mites in that time is enough to get worried about. you can try to get the number down by sifting powdered sugar into the top of the hive. this makes the mites loose their grip on the bees and cause a lot more to fall off. I understand your desire to avoid chemical treatments but you can't just let the mites run rampant. The sugar is a pretty clean approach. you can do a search for "sugar dusting" for more info
Just a suggestion:
If you do not have the mite drop paper with a grid for counting you can use a piece of 1"x1" hardware cloth or something like the concret reinforcing wire.
One of the major problems with a high mite count is the physical damage to the bee like shriveled wings and of course one of the many viruses that mites can transmit, like about 20.
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