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Author Topic: varroa question  (Read 1613 times)

Offline Rabbitdog

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varroa question
« on: March 10, 2005, 05:06:08 PM »
Excellent forum.   Been reading it for weeks, finally joined today.  Beekeeping (or at least trying) for 3 years.
Question:  I have 8 hives going into spring in Virginia.  All but one colony was treated w/ Apistan last fall.  Is it necessary to treat again in the spring?  How do I determine varroa levels in each hive?
Someone mentioned putting paper towels soaked in vegetable oil on the bottom board.  What is this supposed to accomplish?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.  I hate the obsession with chemicals but agree that they are sometimes a necessary evil.
Thanks mucho!
"Born Po, Die Po" ........ just need to feed myself in between!

Offline Phoenix

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varroa question
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2005, 06:18:01 PM »
First of all, welcome to the forum.  As you will soon find out beekeepers are very opinionated, you will get half a dozen answers just by asking three keepers one single question :lol:
Is it necessary to treat again in the spring?

Depends on your mite count...
How do I determine varroa levels in each hive?

It is best to monitor your mite drop levels by using a screened bottom board, with a removable tray under the screen, upon which you can apply a layer of vegetable oil to trap the mites in.  I don't recall how to calculate the amount of mites in the hive by the number of ones that are on the sticky board, but you can use the search button at the top of this page to search through all the previous posts for a certain word or phrase that you my find to have been discussed already.
Someone mentioned putting paper towels soaked in vegetable oil on the bottom board.

The white background will help to contrast the mites so you may see them better, and the vegetable oil will coat the mites and suffocate them.

Since your interested in chemical free hives, you might want to search through the forums for "Small Cell" discussions.  You will find this topic to be quite controversial at times, but some of us are using it with much success, and no chemicals.

I personally don't believe that chemicals are at all "necessary", they are just evil.

Offline latebee

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varroa question
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2005, 11:54:58 PM »
Welcome aboard,
       When you do your mite count-whatever your count is,you can multiply that by 50 for a close approximation of infestation. Then and only then determine what your course of action will be. You would not take cough medicine just because your nieghbor had a cough and you didnt yet----right. The same applied logic will work with your winged buds.  I really got carried away with the medication the first few years because I wasnt sure what to do,be patient and take a good slow look at your bees,then see how you can help them. But above all enjoy yourself and dont fret too much. I admit that it will probably take me 10 yrs. to figure this whole process through to achieve any consistency,and I have only been doing it for three -so I have a LOT to learn. Have a ball!
The person who walks in another's tracks leaves NO footprints.

Offline Finsky

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varroa question
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2005, 06:10:07 AM »
The first note is, that bees have now brood and mites are inside capped brood. You cannot  handle them any more. Most chemicals are effective when you use them at autumn when there is any brood.

My friend gived last spring thymol to hives and larvas violeted very badly.  Half of brood died nad he lost his honey yield.  

But when you look capped drones and you see tens or hundreds mites inside capped drones you can pick them away with dutch method.  Wait for swarming time and join it there.  Don't do extra tricks, you can loose the honey.

If you see a few mites in drone pupas, you can leave the cure to autumn.