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Discussion Starter #1
Honestly, that's all I can figure. I've done 7 treatments of OAV, every 5 days since Sept 13. I'm counting the mite drops every day, and after every treatment the counts get higher and higher. I've tallied the 5 day mite counts between each treatment, and it has increased with every treatment. Today was 2 days after the 7th treatment and I had 721 dead mites on the bottom board. That's the second highest count on this hive since I started treating, and exceeds the previous second highest count of 552 which happened yesterday! I've now killed over 8600 mites on this one hive. The more I pump oxalic acid vapor into the hive, the more mites I get. I conclude, therefore, that mites are spontaneously generated, and are made from Oxalic Acid Vapor.
 

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Have a lot of trouble keeping track of when I get to six ducks and can't imagine counting that many mites.
Do you name them too?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Oh boy I think you just side stepped a major hive crash
I don't know. This hive has been doing well since I started it from a nuc in mid-May. It showed 7 mites / half cup (300) bees about Aug 22. I just can't figure why the numbers keep rising. I don't seen mites coming into the hive on foragers. Either my sugar roll was not accurate, or my treatments are not effective, or I've built a mite generator, but the more I treat, the more mites I have.

One thing I've found frustrating is it seems I'm about the only person who counts dead mites after treatment, so I don't really have any data on what kind of counts I should expect.

I've decided this is the last treatment in this round. I'll hit them again about the first or second week of Dec, and I think I'll do 3 consecutive treatments over 3 days. I'm really going to reevaluate this for spring, too, as I'm not convinced the tribal wisdom I've heard on OAV is necessarily correct.

BTW, the other hive, which was queenless and broodless for a several weeks through August is also registering it's second higest counts after this treatment at 340, with a cumulative total of 3350 killed so far.
 

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Maybe your bees are robbing some dead-outs somewhere, bringing home some guests.

Alex
 

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I'm really going to reevaluate this for spring, too, as I'm not convinced the tribal wisdom I've heard on OAV is necessarily correct.
I'm wondering if your OAV tool is faulty.
I built one years ago out of copper pipe that I heated with a torch. It was hard to heat correctly each time and never did a thorough
job. I trashed the thing after 2 seasons and bought a wand, happened to be the Heilyser brand.
The difference in effectiveness was immediately noticeable.
But even if you have one of the commercially made brands could it be faulty? like the heating plug has gone bad and the OA is not
vaporizing at proper temperature?
I vaporize OA as part of my mite treatment regimen and using the series of treatments has not failed me.
Those counts you reported after 7 treatments are very high. My counts decrease as the treatment is repeated on a weekly basis.
I might use something else at this point to save the colonies until I figured out the problem, maybe apivar (amatraz strips). The clock is ticking though.

My guess is bad oxalic acid, faulty tool or method, or as someone already posted your hives are robbing some hives full of mites and bringing them home.
 

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He's getting a mite drop, so the OA is doing its job of killing mites.
Grumpy, how much brood in the hives?
 

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He's getting a mite drop, so the OA is doing its job of killing mites.
Grumpy, how much brood in the hives?
Don't we need to know if the OA is good, tool is good, method is good? start at the beginning to eliminate possible causes.
looks like it was 7 treatments, every 5 days. that covers a brood cycle and then some.
 

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Looks like QAV is working great. Rather have the mites dead on the bottom board than still on the bees, no matter have many are dropping each day.
 

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Both the OA and tool are good as he's getting huge mite drops. I'm thinking heavy brooding combined with heavy robbing of a mite bomb.
 

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I've decided this is the last treatment in this round. I'll hit them again about the first or second week of Dec, and I think I'll do 3 consecutive treatments over 3 days. I'm really going to reevaluate this for spring, too, as I'm not convinced the tribal wisdom I've heard on OAV is necessarily correct.
I would keep on doing the vaporizations on the same 5 day schedule till the drop count goes down. Dont back off to let the mites re enter cells although the queen may have shut down and is not providing any further brood cell sanctuaries. Those are scary numbers!
 

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I would keep on doing the vaporizations on the same 5 day schedule till the drop count goes down. Dont back off to let the mites re enter cells although the queen may have shut down and is not providing any further brood cell sanctuaries. Those are scary numbers!
I would second this or I would put the needed number of apivar strips in. If you do not get the counts down you are going to have a dead hive.

Plus, next year how about doing a real mite count with an alcohol wash rather than a pretty much meaningless sugar roll?
 

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Is that hive down to the brood boxes now ?
Or are you pulling supers while you are doing the treatments ?

I would think you would want to do a few more weekly treatments to prove to yourself that you are getting ahead of the mites....
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all the responses. I'll try to address them all in one post.

The robbing thing has certainly crossed my mind. I don't know what else is around me, other than a couple hives I see from the road a couple miles away. They are managed, but I don't know the beekeeper or what they may or may not be doing for mites. I don't see bees coming into the hive carrying obvious mites. A couple weeks ago I did see a couple bees on the front of the hive with mites, but I think they came from inside.

The tool I'm using is one I built myself. I posted a thread on it awhile back: http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?330756-OA-Vaporizer-The-Redneck-Way
It's been working well, as far as I can tell. The number of dead mites spikes one and two days after each treatment and then tapers off as the days progress. On this treatment, however, I did notice I did not get quite all of the crystals burned. It was cold outside, and I think my MAP gas may be running low. Still, I was seeing vapor coming from the top of the hives, and my numbers were very high the following two days.

I inspected the big hive last Tuesday and it had eggs, larvae and capped brood on 4 frames in the second deep. Bottom deep was all empty brood comb, and the top deep has 8 frames of capped sugar syrup and the feeder. I did not put supers on the hives this year because I was taking frames out periodically to build nucs. I ended up feeding a ton of 2:1 to get them up to weight. They're both about 145-150 lbs now.

I did not do an alcohol wash, but will certainly consider that next spring. I only did a couple sugar rolls, but I really don't trust that after what's been happening with the treatments.

I wish I had some other numbers to compare mine to. I don't even know if 700 mites is a high drop count, though I'm pretty sure 8600 is high for the colony.

I have considered continuing the 5 day treatments until the overall 5-day count accumulations following each treatment begin coming down. That count dropped on the second hive last week, but even that one seems to be surging this week, so I don't know. Even though everyone on here says multiple treatments won't harm the queen, I'm still a little nervous.

Also, here are the 5 day accumulated counts on the strong hive for the 7 treatments:
Treatment 1: 418
2: 871
3: 1274
4: 1450
5: 1541
6: 1798
7: 1273 (2 days into the 5 days, but it's headed for record counts)

Well, I'll keep counting dead mites and see how it goes. I will probably continue the treatments till I see numbers coming down. Not sure what my number target will be, though. I'm sure zero is not realistic.
 

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I've done a fair bit of ite counting after oxalic treatments. In my experience, mite drop on a per day basis peak after 2 days then taper off. That would confirm that the oxlic acid treatments are working. Certainly the mite drops would lead me to believe it is working. I would have expected that after 7 treatments varroa numbers should be coming down. It looks like yours are still going up. The only reasonnable conclusion is that they are robbing out mite bombs. I guess winter has not set in yet and that bees are still flying?

Jean-Marc
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I've done a fair bit of ite counting after oxalic treatments. In my experience, mite drop on a per day basis peak after 2 days then taper off. That would confirm that the oxlic acid treatments are working. Certainly the mite drops would lead me to believe it is working. I would have expected that after 7 treatments varroa numbers should be coming down. It looks like yours are still going up. The only reasonnable conclusion is that they are robbing out mite bombs. I guess winter has not set in yet and that bees are still flying?

Jean-Marc

We are in the mid 60's and nice weather. We have had only a couple minor frosts. There is a lot of daily bee activity. Pollen is still coming into the hives, and even drones coming and going from the hives.

The mite-bomb theory is certainly what I'm trying to convince myself. I think it's the only logical explanation.

It's obvious that the treatments are definitely working, but it's impossible to tell what percentage of phoretic mites are being killed.
 

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I have a friend that similar results. We used a varrox. One of the best tools on the market. I'm more worried about adding all that oa to the colony. But I try not to worry too much about varroa. We were going to hit them again in a month or so.
 

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So my math may be off but. From some comments I have read a 4 to 5% infestation rate is at the line of critical to treat. I always have the figure of 60,000 bees in a colony. you claim over 8000 mites you have removed from this one hive. That is a 7.5% infestation rate. And still climbing.
Assuming all of the above is correct. I would say your hive is at disastrous levels. Consider than that OAV is a preventative measure. you are now asking a preventative measure to solve a crisis condition. maybe a hive at a near 8% infestation rate does not get saved. You can't let the car run out of gas and still expect it to get you to the station. I don't care how aware you are that what you need is gas. Maybe OAV back when it was capable of making a difference. Now you may be bailing the boat with a teacup.
 

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Curiosity would get the best of me. I would have to pull a little brood just to be nosy.

Heavy robbing should be filling a lot of frames.
 
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