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Discussion Starter #1
Let’s say you have completed all treatments for the year and you want to do a spot check of hives without alcohol washes. You overwinter with a Deep and a Medium as your brood nest. Roughly 25,000 to 35,000 bees in each hive. So you do a single shot of OAV in each hive with a sticky board in place on November 1. 48 hours later, you come back and check your mite drops.

Please finish this sentence with a number:

“I will retreat this hive if my mite count is greater than ____.”

Thank you for your replies.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Doesn't matter how many fell on the test round if the hive was broodless. You got almost all of them. Treat again in a month and see.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Should have specified that detail. I am almost never broodless. Probably a couple frames of capped brood in each hive right now.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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In that case, my personal number for this is around 100. This is how I "test" for mites. Give them a shot of OAV, if more than 100 fall, give them another shot. Repeat once per week until less than 100 fall. When the hive is broodless, like right now, I expect to see several hundred fall as I essentially kill them all.

On another note, Randy O has just published some very interesting articles concerning the timing and effacy of OAV treatments as it relates to mite populations. Goes against some popularly held beliefs.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks JW. Exactly what I was looking for. 100 mites is about what I was guessing, but I really wanted to hear what other beeks that had been doing this for a while thought. I have been a traditionalist with religious alcohol washes up to this point. Sure would be a time-saver if I could get some confidence in this monitoring method. Again, thanks for response.
 

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If you divide your mite fall into your estimated bee population and then multiply by 100 you will get a percentage number the same as an alcohol wash. Of course like an alcohol wash it will tell you the percentage of your phoretic mites which will be dependent on the state of the colony as to wether it is broodless or at the end of a treatment regimen.
Johno
 

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PSM 1212 ---To make sure U treat when broodless in warm climate --U maybe need to cage your QUEEN so your hive will go broodless and treat --put her in a broodless NUC until your main hives is broodless then treat
 
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