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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just installed this package almost 3 weeks ago. Just a minute ago, I saw a mite crawling on the roof of the hive as I was setting it back on top (I squished it). Should I test to see how many there are? I have the stuff to treat. I wasn't planning on treating until June, but now I'm rethinking. Thanks.
 

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That's pretty unusual. Treating a package after the queen is laying, but before cells are capped is the best time to treat. You are beyond this point, unfortunately. Have you learned how to do a mite count and wash? This would be a good time to learn. What " stuff" do you have to treat? We all need to keep in mind that mites are becoming resistant to some of the treatments so one should only treat when you are at your treatment threshold. J
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hmmm. I guess it might have been. I didn't really think of it cause we don't have hardly a tick around here. I sure hope it wasn't though. I almost died from one getting Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever a couple years ago.
 

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Did you see a mite OR did you see a tick?
matters little the OP has OA so
Treating a package after the queen is laying, but before cells are capped is the best time to treat.
is the best case of action.


so one should only treat when you are at your treatment threshold.
I disagree, I don't see the need to do a mite count on a brood less hive with OA , espicaly in the spring as the counts and thresholds tell me nothing, here is why
in this package example
3lbs of bees @3500 a pound is 10500 bees
given the resolution of a mite wash of 0.33% means you can roll 0 with 35 mites in the hive.... realty is with sampling error it could easily be 2X+
those 70 mites will be 140 in may, 280 in june, 560 in july, 1120 in aug, and 2240 in sept...
One gram of OA in the single saving hundreds of grams of other chemicals. minimum amount to maxuim effect

ie its 136g of formic , 100g thymol for a treatment down the road

Or the likely 5 rounds of OAV in june then again late july/aug when the OP starts to try to get control in a double deep making 20g+ that's were the abuse and problems will come form
 

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matters little the OP has OA so
Sure it does matter.
I am for one unsure IF the user even knows how the Varroa mite looks like.
:)
And then squishing it just like one would squish a tick.

Sounds like we are talking of treating the bees from dog ticks. LOL
 

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Hmmm. I guess it might have been. I didn't really think of it cause we don't have hardly a tick around here. I sure hope it wasn't though. I almost died from one getting Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever a couple years ago.
You see, visually picking up a single Varroa mite crawling at some random place AND squishing it....
Eh, this does not sound to be a true case.
:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok, regardless whether it was a tick or mite, when should my first alcohol wash test be? Or just go ahead and treat?
 

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These quotes below are from a discussion outside of this forum, when a new beek asked if she should treat her newly arrived package.
Anyway, I have no skin in this game, but here it is - some experienced advise there (not mine).
:)

Personally, I would advise not to treat new packages as (especially for new keepers) focusing on getting them installed successfully is more important than mites at this point. Mites can be dealt with later. Why complicate your life and risk a successful installation fir your first hive.

A novice beekeeper should not attempt to treat a package for mites upon install, regardless of the method. It's enough for them to worry about to just get a queen successfully released and verify that she's laying.

Commercial and sideline beekeepers are welcome to treat their packages as they like, but I think it's poor form to incite a novice hobby beekeeper to attempt a treatment they have no experience with on a package.

<Jane>, you might reach out to your package supplier and ask them if they recommend doing such a thing or not. There are some package suppliers who will provide advice and even replace a queen if it fails, but if an accidental overdose of oxalic acid occurs because someone pulls a recipe off the web and mix the solution up wrong, I doubt the package supplier will have much sympathy.
 

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The thing with mite treatment is that it needs to be done early to be effective. Bees die in winter not necessarily because they have a high mite load at that time, but because they had a high mite load in summer. Depending on the location, bees breed the bees that will bring the colony through winter in late summer or fall. If those bees a hurt by the mites, than the colony will slowly die off and they will be gone by christmas.

Another thing influences this. Start around summer solistice the brood nests get smaller and there are fewer bees in the hive. In relation there are more mites per brood cell. Before the bees basically outbreed the mites, now there are enough mites for every brood cell. So every bee is possibly infected.

So you need to treat early to get the numbers down even if the number is comparatively low.

Therefore I wouldn't recommend not treating for a beginner. As said above, the best thing is to spray wit oxalid acid when the bees have started drawing comb, but haven't capped any cells yet.
Spraying oxalic acid is easy enough, so that it can be done by a beginner.

In this case, I would spray the bees with oxalid acid without a mite wash.

Why no wash?
A mite wash is a bit more difficult to do for a beginner. There is the risk of catching the queen in the wash. Also if you don't get the right amount of bees into the container, the results are not accurate enough. Also with a wash to kill 300 bees and at the current state it hurts the colony more than at a later stage as there simply are less bees.

Why spray with oxalid acid?
First of all, vaporization is illegal here. Stupid, but that's what it is. However with spraying you can exclude the queen from the acid - that is if you manage to find here of course. But at least you have the chance, with vapor she does get some. That isn't a problem normally, but why risk it. You also don't need to catch her. Just look where she is and then simply don't spray her directly.
And in regard to the problem that OA doesn't work in capped cells. The colony is not quite 3 weeks old. So they don't have all to much brood yet. Yes you won't get the mites inside the brood, but you will get those on the bees. The treatment will not be perfect but better than nothing and better than the other options.
 

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IF you have a OA vap device, Place a paper or card board under the frames, with the 3/4 inch standard entrance, there should be space. A cereal or cracker box opened work ok for this. follow the direction for the VAP and give them 1 dose, in 48 hours pull the papers/cardboards and do a count. < 10 likely ok,, > 50 likely not ok. 0 would be either you are fine or you flubed the treatment. if you have the stuff and are wondering then just do it. consider it a "wet run"

GG
 

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At three weeks the risk of absconding is very low. I would treat them with OAV as you have the means to do so. I would, however check for supercedure cells, just as a matter of course.

Alex
 

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Guys, the very first sentence - "I just installed this package almost 3 weeks ago. "

So - IF one really means to treat in planned and deliberate manner - the treatment would have been done already before the first brood (IF any) has been capped.
Well, we don't know if this is the case and if the ideal treatment window has closed yet.
No need to go around and treat in erratic manner - there needs to be a logical and effective plan to it before you even get the package.

This is assuming that newly installed package is OK in most general sense (has a well laying queen to begin with). We don't even know that much - these are kinda pre-requisites to doing anything at all.

PS: IF the package is doing great AND the ideal treatment window has not passed yet - yes, I'd go ahead and treat it then; granted the pre-requisites are met, this is a good chance to create a "clean start". Indeed, I would not even bother counting mites at this time, as for myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Before I got my bees, I didn't think I would want to treat right away, but there is only 3 frames that are full of capped brood so. So what day after queen release should one treat normally? Latest possible with no brood so day 9?
 

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I have an oxalic acid vaporizer and the acid its self.
OA treatments " probably" do not contribute to mite resistance. However, I do encourage you to learn how to do a mite wash. It will greatly increase your skill and comfort level, as well as provide you with important information.
Not all beekeepers do regular washes, myself included. However, I did them for years and now have a good understanding of when I need to treat. I still do them in the late fall, the most critical time for me in my area .
Yes, the ideal time to treat a package is between the time the queen starts laying and 9 days.
 

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Msl: when I replied, the OP had not yet said what he planned to treat with. I do think doing washes is one of the best ways for a newbie to learn about beekeeping. It is not complicated, but teaches one how to get your smoker going, locate the broodnest, look for a queen, nurse bees, eggs, larvae, shake frames etc. And the end result produces data. But its the experience of the hands on aspect that is most valuable in this case.
When I was new, I was nervous like everyone else. Enjambres had me do washes and it helped me quickly achieve a level of comfort and confidence I don't think I would get from just doing inspections or poking around with no real purpose. Of course, handling nurse bees helps ! J
 

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Considering your location you certainly have ticks. I'm sure you have already, but looking up photos of each will help you in the future. I have seen mites crawling around the hive but they are usually injured and looking for a place to die. Bees can certainly chew their legs and harm them.

It won't hurt to do a few rounds of OAV but agree with many above that it's not the end of the world to not, especially when the colony is rapidly growing. The mites will grow with the colony and as you planned to treat in June, I'd stick with that.

Since our areas are very similar, my strongest flow is now through Mid-June (maybe shorter this year with the drought). The colony will begin to shrink around this time as things dry up so you'll want to make sure they go into summer with little to no mites. I'd then treat again in December as in January things start blooming again and something about the winter solstice really gets the bees to work!

Keep in mind we don't get "winter" like our Northern friends. Our flow is Jan-June and our hard times are summer.
 

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When I was new, I was nervous like everyone else. Enjambres had me do washes and it helped me quickly achieve a level of comfort and confidence
I completely agree

my point was there are times and sold reasons to treat with OA with out a mite count and with out being at threshold...
A broodless package and a broodless winter hive being 2 of those situations, any time your requeening with a cell such as making up a nuc is another
a "only treat when your at or above threshold" statement isn't very accurate out side of the brood on, main season,full sized hive its intended for..
 
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