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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I want to be treatment-free. This is my second year and I have not treated yet.

My hives don't seem to be very productive right now even though flowers are blooming everywhere. So I did a sugar roll on one hive and found 30 mites on a half cup of bees.

I only have three hives, I will check the other two tomorrow.

My hives are setup like this.
-Small cell foundation.
-Screened bottom boards.
-Top entrance.

Any advice?
Thanks!
 

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I want to be treatment-free. This is my second year and I have not treated yet.

My hives don't seem to be very productive right now even though flowers are blooming everywhere. So I did a sugar roll on one hive and found 30 mites on a half cup of bees.

I only have three hives, I will check the other two tomorrow.

My hives are setup like this.
-Small cell foundation.
-Screened bottom boards.
-Top entrance.

Any advice?


Have a read here for a little info on treatment free approaches, and others... http://scientificbeekeeping.com/varroa-management/treatments-for-varroa/
 

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There is nothing you can give them and still be treatment free the whole concept is to let the bees take care of the problem. There are management techniques that give the bees an advantage like making late splits and over wintering nucs. If you can't stand to loose the weak ones and are anti chemical, maybe you will feel more comfortable with organic treatments. No shame in it if you do, beekeeping is very personal and very local
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone for the replys and link!

I am going to try powder sugar dusting every week for a month and see what happens.
 

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It will possibly knock a few mites off the bees. It will not have a significant effect. Also people will not want to discuss it much here because this is the treatment free forum.

There was a thread a few years ago by a guy who committed to sugar dust his hive every 3 days until he got rid of the mites. He kept it up for a couple of months, and his measurements did indeed show he eliminated most of the mites. But he said he would not do it again.

Bigfish you say you want to be treatment free but are asking how to get rid of the mites anyway. The non chemical way favoured by most treatment free folks is to use the right bees. You could requeen the hives with queens that will produce varroa resistant bees, such as are sold by Beeweavers. The question is how far gone are your hives, ie, is there time for a new queen to produce enough bees to turn the tide before the hive collapses. In any case, having bees that can do it themselves is really the only truly treatment free way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
In any case, having bees that can do it themselves is really the only truly treatment free way.
OK Oldtimer, now you have me rethinking again.:) I do want my bees to be treatment free.
 

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You could try naturally occurring chemicals such as organic acids, essential oils and pheromones (non-synthetic)
Organic acids acaricides: "Mite A Way, Formic Acid 65% Oxalic Acid Essential oils acaricides: Thymovar, Menthol
pheromones are still under development also Biological control is coming under testing in my area
All treatments.
 

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I am going to try powder sugar dusting every week for a month and see what happens.
Okay, since you are willing to modify your stance why don't you give drone frames a try. You can also confine the queen for three weeks, giving your bees a brood break. These things, along w/ hygienic bees, will help.
 

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I did a sugar roll last year and found 12 mites , when I did a MAQS treatment 800 mites fell on the sticky board , if I didn't treat when I did I feel certain they wouldn't have survived the winter .I agree with Andrew 30 mites in a sugar roll is really out of control. I would think a more aggressive treatment is needed fast .
 

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It will possibly knock a few mites off the bees. It will not have a significant effect. Also people will not want to discuss it much here because this is the treatment free forum.
from the 'unique forum rules':

"Any post advocating the use of treatments, according to the forum definition of treatment will be considered off topic and shall be moved to another forum or deleted by a moderator, unless it is employed as part of a plan in becoming treatment free."

(emphasis mine)

this allows for the contingency that there may be those who might consider treatments as a stop gap measure to save a colony which has not been able to 'do it on it's own', and prevent the loss of time, money, and a live colony of bees.

tf 'mindset' has been brought up in another thread. to some, this mindset is seen to include being prepared to allow colonies to perish as part of the tf process. i see nothing wrong with this, and i have always felt that all beekeepers should be able to make their own management decisions as they so feel moved to do so, (within the constraints of applicable laws and in a way that doesn't threaten nearby colonies kept by others and/or feral colonies).

what often appears to be the case is that beginning beekeepers have made the decision to go tf without understanding that this may involve losing colonies in what can potentially become a disappointing and expensive process.

it makes perfect sense to me for someone to do whatever is necessary to save a colony in the short term and while attempting to come up with measures that will lead to their bees being able to be kept off treatments, but to the hard core this 'mindset' flys against theirs and they dismiss it.

bottom line: don't be constrained by this or that definition and make your choices based on what it is you feel is appropriate for you, your circumstances, and your goals.
 

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what often appears to be the case is that beginning beekeepers have made the decision to go tf without understanding that this may involve losing colonies in what can potentially become a disappointing and expensive process.
Thanks SquarePeg for saying this so eloquently.
 

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it makes perfect sense to me for someone to do whatever is necessary to save a colony in the short term and while attempting to come up with measures that will lead to their bees being able to be kept off treatments, but to the hard core this 'mindset' flys against theirs and they dismiss it.

bottom line: don't be constrained by this or that definition and make your choices based on what it is you feel is appropriate for you, your circumstances, and your goals.
+ 1, Great advise Peg
 

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What often appears to be the case is that beginning beekeepers have made the decision TO treat without understanding that this may STILL involve losing colonies in what can potentially become a disappointing and expensive process while contaminating their equipment and often losing their principles on the way...
 
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