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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I have two hives that I started this spring, and things seemed to be going well until about a month ago
when I noticed Varroa mites. I dusted the hives with powdered sugar for three treatments a week apart
and that seems to have gotten rid of the mites.
However, I checked the hives today and noticed a few things I wanted to ask about. I am still seeing some bees with deformed wings, some
brood that died partially emerged with only their heads protruding from their cells, and some uncapped larvae that seem kind of oddly
shaped. They are more like a glob on the side of the cell rather than a fat horseshoe near the bottom of the cell. I poked them with a
small stick and they are not stringy or ropy. Otherwise the hives seem to be fairly busy and healthy.
Are these phenomena the after effects of the Varroa mites, and if so do they need to be treated in any way or will they go away naturally?
Or are they something else entirely that needs to be addressed?
Thanks for any advice.
 

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Kyle Meadows . . .

The things you describe, deformed wings, brood that died, the odd uncapped larvae, are all caused from the Varroa mites in your hive. These symptoms are referred to as PMS, Parasitic Mite Syndrome.

Have you been monitoring the mites?

An easy way to see a "potential" problem before it "becomes" a problem is to use a Screened Bottom Board (SBB) under your hive. The V-mites fall through the screen and are collected on a pull-out "stick board". You can see the dead mites go from 1 or 2 to MANY, and do something about them early-on.

Your hive needs treatment (sooner than) ASAP. There are many choices and Oxalic Acid is one choice.
 

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Mine have not reached the level of visible problems that you are experiencing, but I do use a screened bottom board and do monitor the mites on that board. I went from two or three, to twenty or more. I just placed my second ApiGuard tray on the top box. Seems to work as most of the mites are not moving on the board (not sticky). I'd say that when the problem becomes visible, i.e. deformed wings and larvae, you have a serious problem requiring immediate treatment, as suggested. Powdered sugar is a good preventative, but your hive(s) seem to have gone past this level.
 

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I had a similar situation with my first hive, acquired mid July of this year. I noted the deformed wings, etc. At the advice of folks here, I took prompt action... did a few powdered sugar treatments while ordering Apiguard. Put the Apiguard on when it arrived and spent the next 4 weeks with newbie-paranoia convinced I did something wrong. I added screen bottom boards (actually, Brushy Mountain's "Guy's Screen" which you just put over your existing bottom board.) The dead larvae kept getting booted out for a while, but I have not seen anymore deformed wings. I still need to do a good sticky-board mite count, but I am hoping this treatment helped.
 

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RonS . . .

>Seems to work as most of the mites are not moving on the board . . .
The true indicator that any treatment is working, will be lower (hopfully much lower) DEAD mites falling AFTER the treatment has ended.

Hobie . . .

Please do regular counts and do them often. Doing a count once a week this time of year would be a good idea


>I am hoping this treatment helped . . .
What do your numbers say?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all of the replies.
I wasn't aware mite counts were important, so I haven't done any. I guess I'll get a SBB and start counting.
I'd really like to avoid any pesticide use. Is oxalic acid considered a natural, safe treatment? (i.e. would those using it happily ingest some of it themselves?) Would powdered sugar work if I continue to use it at weekly intervals?
 

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>I guess I'll get a SBB and start counting . . .
It's never too late (in the season) to start


>I'd really like to avoid any pesticide use . . .
And that's the goal of everyone here!

>Is oxalic acid considered a natural, safe treatment? . . .
OA is not yet "approved" in the US.

>happily ingest some of it themselves . . .
NO! Do NOT taste it straight out of the container. Please define "some"
. "Some" is found in foods we eat.

>Would powdered sugar work if I continue to use it at weekly intervals?
Maybe. If you start when mites drops are very low, PS may keep them low. ONLY if you monitor your mites, will you know for sure
.
 
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