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Discussion Starter #1
So after getting some bogus advice from a bee instructor, I ended up under treating my package hive for mites in early August. This was a prophylactic treatment just to be on the safe side. Now after realizing that I under treated (one out of three weeks thymol treatment) and after spotting some mites on some dead larvae hauled out of the hive, I am now concerned for their well being.

Not sure what to do with this. I could test for mites but what good would that do this late in the year. I could also treat but wouldn't the winter bees be already born? The hives have ample stores, pollen and honey, and the bees seem to be in good health. Have not seen any signs of disease. At this point I am inclined to leave them be and not disturb them.

Any thoughts from the hive collective?
 

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If you have not seen symptoms of bee pms, then your still doing okay. by default I would treat no questions asked. Only then you can be sure that they received a proper treatment.

Get it done asap. Even if you have a few generations of winter bees reared, you want then to go through winter without being hindered by the mites.

Choose your treatment wisely. Imo, I would go for either oxalic acid, apivar, or maqs. Just depends on your temperatures. Maqs would be a good one but, I dunno if it's still warm enough for you. Maqs will get all the mites in one shot.
 

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It may be sacrilege but I have treated in springtime before the hives were even unwrapped. The same can be done in autumn if your bees have had mite infested drift since your late summer treatment. Some areas with a high bee population seem to put a constant mite pressure on hives.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Merde! Seeing a lot of bees on the ground today outside the hive. Out of 15 bees collected, I'd say at least 5 had some sort of DWV. The rest *looked* healthy but just couldn't fly. Some seemed lethargic and clumsy. No signs of deficant at the hive entrances.

Still lots of activity at the hives
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If it's high how does that knowledge change the course of action I took? I can't think of anything more that I can do other than treat them which is what I did yesterday
 

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You are correct. If you put in apivar you have pretty much done everything you can for now other than feeding and other routine fall prep. Counting mites won't change that.

It would have been better to have treated sooner - before fall build up - but even the one apiguard treatment in early August is better than nothing. I wouldn't give up hope.

Before I went all in for treating I used essential oils (thyme oil mixed with mineral oil soaked paper towels on top of the brood nest) in mid summer followed up with OAV in Dec and my winter loss rate was quite low - zero as often as not. Despite sometimes having visible DWV symptoms. Your one treatment of apiguard probably did as much good as my essential oils did.

You might consider feeding pollen sub starting around Jan 15 (or whenever brood production typically starts in your area) to do everything possible to get an early build up. Just don't let them go hungry, and cross your fingers.
 

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I can't think of anything more that I can do other than treat them which is what I did yesterday
You are doing what you should do in these circumstances to save your hive. You will continue to see bees with deformed wings for two to three weeks. You should not think that the treatment is ineffective for this reason. Many of these bees were born in the days following the placing of Apivar strips and were infested prior to placement of the strips. Your concern should be to confirm 8 to 12 days after the placing of Apivar strips that the laying area back again to be dense with capped brood to occupy a homogenous area without many empty cells (spotty patern).
 

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Hello, everyone I have a question, im 2 YEARS into my beekeeping, I treated in late august with formic acid vapor, and I have been seeing dfwv and I seen a couple mites on my girls, my mentor said not to do it again, I kept the treatment on for 21/2 days before, but I want to treat again, my hive are thriving tons of bees. I'm at a dilemma I want to do it again but I don't want to loose either. please any advice, Mike PALMER IF U C THIS PLEASE HELP ME, I RESPECT YOUR ADVICE , U have been doing this for years. janelle
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks David, Eduardo for the feedback especially to be not surprised if I continue to see DWV bees for the next few weeks. My main hive is well stocked with honey and pollen, I even left on a super full of honey to give them ample resources for the winter. Am curious if the Queen registers that the population is falling greater than expected (DWV losses) and whether brood laying picks up? One can only speculate.

I'll keep an eye on the brood pattern. That's something I hadn't been focused on these last few weeks, inspections had been focused on winter stores so thanks for pointing that out.

It really was an unfortunate set of circumstances that led to this. With the best of intentions I did treat but under treated. Partly my fault, partly my instructors.

I did start a Nuc in late July so I'm hoping that between the two of them, one of them pulls through the winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'd really like to try one day and breed / select bees that can live with the varroa (plus everything else they carry) but since this is my first year and since I only have two hives. I don't have a lot of capacity to absorb losses. Next year I should be able to try and overwinter 5 hives (3 nucs + 2 hives). Perhaps then I can afford to experiment and let nature put the selective pressure on the bees and not the mites
 

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You are correct. If you put in apivar you have pretty much done everything you can for now other than feeding and other routine fall prep. Counting mites won't change that.

I wouldn't give up hope.
Agree with David. And Eduardo.
You may still get all the healthy winter bees the colony needs. And I think you will.
Make sure they have plenty of stores and are collecting lots of pollen so they can feed all
those new bees that are going to emerge between Halloween and Thanksgiving.
If they don't have stores and pollen give it to them.

(next year treat in late August)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Update: getting close to the end of the Apivar treatment period. The number of bees crawling outside the hive did dramatically reduce; it may have been the cooler weather but I think the treatment had something to do with it. Also, opened up the main hive a few days and saw a nice healthy population of bees on the combs and even on orientation flights too.

Feeling much better about their chances to get thru the winter now.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Removed Apivar strips yesterday. Hundreds of dead mites stacked up against the entrance reducer which I cleaned up. Both hives look healthy; plenty of food stores and a nice population of bees. Not seeing any DWV symptoms so looks like I have given the mite population a big blow (for now). The nuc might need some pollen patties come February but other than that, I think I am set.
 

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Nice thing about Apivar is when it is used during a broodless period, the exposure time is greatly reduced. Like a one day kill & done. (If bees are not clustered hard-somewhat active) Less exposure for bees and you can even use the strip somewhere else if you keep it air tight and fresh. After opening a package, I seal extra strips with my foodsaver. Keeps them at full potency until they are needed.



You always want to be careful not to under dose though. Make the call based on actual results.

Nice thing about Apivar too is if it is accidentally left in the hive for far longer that suggested treatment time, there appears to be no ill effects what so ever. I've occasionally overlooked removal or lost strips that fell below frames. Colonies were tip top shape when strips were eventually removed. I now use a tooth pick to hold each strip in place and remove with needle nose pliers for better grip. Mark the hive with tape with date installed & number of strips. Tape comes off when they are removed so no removal gets overlooked.

 

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Discussion Starter #20
Good to know thanks. It does seem to be a treatment that is quite effective.

Next year I will try something else so as keep the mites guessing. Something quick and easy to install.
 
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