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If you plan to do OAV, yes do so after about 5 days of the queen laying actively. This will ensure the max amount of varroa out of the cell.

If you plan to do OAD, I wouldn't do so that soon.
 

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You recommend that OAV be applied to a colony of bees 5 days after the newly installed package's queen has started laying? I would think that would be a rather sensitive time to do anything to a package of bees. And I would think that an OA dribble would be less intrusive and invasive to the colony.
 

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In europe they do OAD prior to hiving the bees from new packages. But do so prior to adding the queen to the boxes. The OAV doesn't really bother the bees once in the hive. I did it to 15 packages last season without any problems at all. They built up better and stronger without the mites.
 

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Honestly Mark, No. I treated with OAV, then a couple days later rechecked each hive. Found plenty of dead mites on the solid bottom boards. All queens were still laying and appeared to be healthy. At that time I was happy with the results. Later on down the line into July, I did do mite counts with alcohol wash. The mite counts on the hives were at 2% and they got MAQS.

I'm a treater when it's needed for sure. Loosing bees to mites sucks. I do check the counts a few times each season to make sure of where they are to determine when I treat. I know as my hive count gets larger, there will be more time spent keeping the health of the colonies in shape. Hopefully some of he genetics from the Purdue queen line helps in that matter. This next season will tell for sure.
 

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Why would you not think that an alcohol wash before the treatment would be a good thing to do?
 

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It isn't that I don't think an alcohol wash before treatment would be good to do. For me, It was more of a decision of do I want to kill those 300 bees from the package when they could be helping to keep the cluster warm on those early april nights. I based my decision on the way a package of bees declines in population prior to ever having more new bees emerge. My thoughts were that OAV isn't supposed to bother the bees, so it would be better in my case to do a carpet treatment to kill off as many varroa and know i'd have healthy bees emerge from that first round of brood.

I think that if a person was in a warm area or starting their packages later than I did, it may be a good thing to do to check them. If for no other reason than to see how well the package producer was keeping their mites in check prior to shaking the bees.

Now i've questions for you. If you were put into the same situation as I. Starting packages, early april in NY. Knowing that you could get rid of most of the package mites. Would you do alcohol washes on each, a portion of them, or blanket treatment with OAV/OAD ?

Your answers to those questions should be based upon your style of management and what you feel would be best in your situation. We as beekeepers, wether hobby, sideliner, commercial, all do the same things. Try to figure out what works best for us, and repeat it.
 

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I guess I would talk to the package producer and find out what they do to "control" mites. No, I would not check every package, but I would check one out of ten.

It does appear that what you have been doing is effective. Keep it up.
 

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Is is OK to treat a new bee package just introduced into the hive with oxalic acid?
If you want a bunch of them to absconded than yes.

I agree with Mark on this, check them first and see if they need treatment before applying a treatment.

I would also do it while they are in the package rather than in the hive, and I would remove the queen first.
 

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I've OAV'd several packages prior to placing in the hive with no ill effect on either the bees or queen. I just placed the package on level ground under a cardboard box. Set the vaporizer under the box with it with a 1/2 gram of OA and vaporize.
 

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I would definitely OAV any new package if I ever have to get one. I am quite isolated from hives other than my own so this continued fight with mites are from the original bees that I brought in. If I had been smarter some 6 years ago I would have removed the queens from the packages and used OAV at least a couple of times before hiving the packages. Its too late now as the genie is out of the bottle.
Johno
 

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If I were going to do this...I think I would put the package w/queen inside the hive without releasing the bees. OAV them. Then later that day or the next turn 'em loose. I haven't done it but it would seem like it would allow them to settle down post treatment...while still in the package. Just a thought.
 

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If you use sublimation will the vapor adequately penetrate the cluster in a package?
My sense is that it would depend on the temp. A cold, tightly packed cluster...probably not. At higher temps...I don't see a problem.
 

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If I were going to do this...I think I would put the package w/queen inside the hive without releasing the bees. OAV them. Then later that day or the next turn 'em loose. I haven't done it but it would seem like it would allow them to settle down post treatment...while still in the package. Just a thought.
There used to be a German video about the rotary system of beekeeping where packages are sprayed with a solution of perezene (a fluvalinate) while still in the package box and left on check paper overnight before being united with their daughter colonies. The papers were then mite counted for queen rearing record purposes(I think).
Unfortunately the videos don't seem to be available anymore, the beekeeper was an admirably calm and efficient lady much to be admired.
Obviously, with treating a package, there are very little comb contamination issues.
 
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