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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have roughly 20 hives, all northern free mated in upstate NY. As in none brought as packages from the south. While I understand I can't tell who they mate with I have a strange problem.

I treated all my hives in fairly early spring with hopguard and then with 5 doses of 4 day apart oav vap in August. I tested all in late spring (nothing to note as probably expected) and in early August there was a small count of mites so I chose to oav.

All my hives bar one have a mite drop on a sticky board of 2-7 mites after 3 days. That's fine with me. All are booming. ( I had a 90% survival rate last winter.) BUT one hive went crazy - 75 mites over 3 days. I did a late season maq strip, with a huge resulting mite drop as expected and a subsequent test seems to confirm all ok.

My question though is if I have sort of similar hives, with identical treatments, why would 19 be almost mite free (ha ha - at least per sticky board) but one completely different? Is it pinch queen time even now? The one weird hive was as tightly closed as the others so it wasn't oav drifting out.

The only other variable is I let (to the extent I can influence) this one hive throw off swarms. It threw off three that I caught, all of which are now bursting at the seams and with almost no mites. Initially I thought this effort made the mother hive weaker but it is possibly still my most active/populated hive. It is 2 deeps and one full super right now.

I'd hugely appreciate any help.

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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Another possibility is that the bees got motivated when the number of Varroa crossed a threshold they were not willing to accept and they started grooming or otherwise removing the mites and/or biiting the mites. A sugar shake would give you an idea if the mites are at a high level on the bees rather than just a high level being groomed off onto the sticky board. Also numbers typically go up suddenly whenever the bees stop rearing brood.

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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