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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a new beekeeper and have a few dozen colonies. Most of which have what I think are ample honey stores for winter. I dont plan to harvest honey and would rather keep the hives full for a better chance of survival. My question is about applying miticides with honey stores. If I use apiguard or similar product with stores for winter left in the hive will that be toxic for the bees to feed on this winter? thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I thought that a late summer to fall treatment was the rule for bees to overwinter. To get as many bees uninfested as possible for the winter. I am just learning as I read things. I welcome any and everyones opinions and comments. thanks
 

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If you have honey supers on I would take them off. They bees may not eat all the honey in them over the winter and you don't want to mix it in with the new honey the next season.

On another note If you don't have mites I would not treat. Start doing might counts either with a sticky board if you have SBB or pull some drone larva and see if the hive has mites. If you have bees that don't have mights You may want to take notes on that. IF they stay might free for two years or more that is a hive you really want to think about splitting and making new queen from. Natural resistance is a good thing.
 

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In this respect bees are like people. Giving medicines that aren't needed only helps to breed drug resistant diseases, viruses, ect. If you have mites , then treat them, otherwise, no.
Meridith
 

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This is my first year keeping bees also. I just got back home from doing my alchahol wash. I had several hives with 1-2 % infestation and then the rest were about 4% so i treated them all. I would not have treated if I didnt have the higher % hives. If you have a question about how to do the testing look at randy olivers web site scientificbeekeeping.com . He has alot of good info on there. Good luck George B
 

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In my opinion, since you are not going to harvest this honey at this time, if you have a need to treat for varroa, and I can't imagine that you don't, then do so. The honey won't really be effected to a degree detrimental to your health, if you do extract what they don't consume over the winter.

USDA studies find that chemical residues in honey are extremely low. The chemicals used for varroa control are found most in the wax of the comb, being an oil, a sponge let's say. And, the honey, being a water based liquid does not hold onto the chemicals as much.

Yes, the idea is to get rid of as many mites as possible so that the bees have a chance to produce a round or two of brood before the queen starts to reduce her egg laying.
 

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In this respect bees are like people. Giving medicines that aren't needed only helps to breed drug resistant diseases, viruses, ect. If you have mites , then treat them, otherwise, no.
Meridith
The use of miticides does not effect the bees. It effects the mites. They are the ones that become resistant to the miticide. Which is inevitable unless alternative methods of mite control are used. Knowing all of the different control methods and materials helps one to use different controls which keeps the mites from gaining resistance.

Otherwise, I agree. Don't try to fix what isn't broken. You'll regret it down the road.
 

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I had several hives with 1-2 % infestation and then the rest were about 4% so i treated them all. I would not have treated if I didnt have the higher % hives.
Can you give us the numbers? The raw data? I don't know what you mean by % infestation? Did you count the bees in a sample of bees that you took to check and then count the mites and then did the math? Is that how you figured % infestation?

I always tried to take a sample of bees for ether roll sampling that was about two inches of live bees in the bottom of a pint jar. Then, after shooting them w/ ether and shaking the jar, I don't understand the roll name, I would count the mites. That gave me a mite per sample count.

What is the treatment dosage, say for Apistan, if one only has 4 mites in an ether roll sample? What is the dosage if you have 10 or 15 per sample? Is there a difference? Would you recommend not treating the sample that was 4 mites per?

Having 600, I don't see the point of checking each col and treating individually. It isn't cost effective and some that get treated and some that don't are going to die during the winter whether I treat them or not. So, for me, unless I suspect that I don't have mites in my outfit, I'm going to treat and not bother to do sampling, because the application of the material is the same for 4 mites or 14 mites per sample.

But I do agree, if you don't have mites, don't treat.
 

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I use my digital camera to check for mites,deformed wings,tattoos,makeup and other forbidden contraband young ladies should'nt have.I snap a pic of the hivebody as I walk up to it, then I know all the photos that follow belong to that hive. Down load to my PC and use Zoom to look at the bees/comb/eggs/larve and frame as long as you need in comfort. you can also save the photos and compare from one inspection to the next (video notes along with writen notes). Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Can I get some advise on what you all do, and when? Mite control techniques?
thanks for the input....
 

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cteddo
the use of treatments for your hives is not mandatory,the long winter in the northern areas can allow the mites to outproduce the bees, the use of VSH queens helps, what is the winter weather like in Modesto?

Mark
The use of miticides does affect the bees that is one reason why they regulated the usage, the bees need time to recover and metabolize the chemical

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Modesto weather is damp and foggy not real cold. Down to high 20's at the worst and not lasting . What is the best way for a beginner to test mites
 

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Personally, & 2% I wouldn't do anything. @ 4% I'd be a little concerned.
2% is 2 mites per 100 bees, or 6 in a common 300 bee sample.

One of our hives was fine in Aug last year, but had an exploration of mites in Oct. Could be from bees absconding from an infested hive. Be sure to check them again later in the fall.
We ended up losing that hive in Feb. Just a handfull of bees, & the queen was left. Funny thing was nobody robbed that hive, & it didn't get wax moths.
 

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Mark
The use of miticides does affect the bees that is one reason why they regulated the usage, the bees need time to recover and metabolize the chemical

Bob
Yes, I know it effects the bees. But the way the statement taht I responded to read, it seemed as though the questioner thought that the bees became resistant to the mites because of the control material.

"metabolize the chemical"? How do they do that?
 

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Personally, & 2% I wouldn't do anything. @ 4% I'd be a little concerned.
2% is 2 mites per 100 bees, or 6 in a common 300 bee sample.
What is your sampling technique? Ether Roll? Powdered sugar roll? Alchohol wash? Where in the hive are you taking the sample from? When are you taking this sample? June? July? August?

How many mites per colony does your 2% sample translate too? Or is it a simple matter of guessing how many bees there are in the colony and doing the math? 2% of 60,000 is 1200 mites. Wouldn't you be better of w/ only 600?
 

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Hi Mark,
Its an estimate of the total hive infestation, by using a 300 bee sample from the broodnest. I saw Randy Oliver do it at his place in Grass Valley, www.scientificbeekeeping.com

Personally, I mostly use the accelerated sugar drop.
Put a dry white board in the bottom of the hive.
Sift 2 cups powdered sugar from the top of a double deep brood hive.
Remove the white board, in 10-15 minutes, & count mites.
The numbers you get are similar to a 24 hour count.
 
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