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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am returning to hobby beekeeping after a two year absence, so forgive me if things have changed or I have forgotten how to do things. I have two hives in an urban setting that I started last month with an Italian package and a Carniolan nuc, both from the same supplier. They appear to have started off well - healthy laying queens, drawing out comb well, etc.. I thought it would be a good time to treat for mites early - while the Italians were broodless. I use OAV and treat four times at 5-6 day intervals. I did the first treatment last week and another yesterday evening. When I checked the bottom panels this morning, I found absolutely no mites - none, zero, zilch. I scoured those panels with my LED magnifying glass and found nothing. Even if I totally screwed up the OAV, shouldn't there be mites that have fallen off bees anyway? I feel silly for questioning a no-mites finding, but it just seems incredibly unlikely to me that I should have no mites. What am I overlooking?
 

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After 2 treatments of OAV on a broodless package with zero mite fall means either you have zero mites or the stuff you were sublimating was not oxalic acid.
 

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Perhaps the seller had treated them shortly before sending them to you? Might start out with very low mite levels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks. I suppose it's possible that he treated just before I picked them up. I will check with him. And I did check the oxalic acid; it's real, alright!

But do I continue my treatment schedule? I suppose there could still be mites in the capped brood on the Carnis. I usually only treat if I get a high enough mite count, either through an alcohol wash, sugar roll, or keeping an eye on the sticky panel. Should I suspend treating and just continue monitoring?
 

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Three comments: 1) most treatments underperform in the Spring simply because the mites head for larva really quick and there is plenty of them. If the package was treated and the bees taken from well managed hives then the phoretic count and dead drop should be very low to nil. Does the sticky board have an exit? A lot of creatures are clearing off that board, especially ants, 2) I would monitor drone brood for varroa, wash is inaccurate for the same reason noted above, 3) Bee Happy! You have low to nil counts. I see the same effect even in drones. But wait, Fall robbing and drifting of Varroa will not disappoint you. Save the "powder"!
 
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