Has anyone here tried queen trapping for varroa control? Any comments?
I like the idea that by restricting the queen to a single frame, and replacing it and providing another fresh frame over several brood cycles once the cells are capped over, and the frame removed the mites are eliminated from the hive and it is highly effective at almost totally eliminating varroa.
It's heavily labour intensive in that you have to repeatadly return to the hive, and swop out a frame, and remove the queen cells that appear in the first week after you trap her, but I thought I'd like to have a go.
My local bee inspector tells me if you time it just right before the honey flow, you don't loose any foraging bees for the main flow, you cut the amount of brood during this period so you get more honey, less bees in August when you don't need them, and once released the queen is still able to build numbers to normal levels by the start of winter.
As I see it, you can't loose expect for labour involved. I've read you need a carefully prepared frame to swop with the one thats capped, as the proplis can stop the trap being shut properly, and you need to be extra careful not to loose you queen during the swop - but preperation and observation is normal practice anyway.
Anyone tried this, or can comment on it? The cost of frame traps to keep the queen restricted to one frame are quite expensive, but then its a "once only" investment.
I thought I'd post in the main forum as its related to improved honey collection as well as varroa control
From a supplier website:
Made in all standard sizes.
1. Confine the queen on an empty comb and place in the trap
2. After 7 days, remove the frame and substitute another frame with the queen trapped again
3. After 18 days, both frames will be filled of sealed brood and, hopefully, full of varroa mites trapped with the only brood available to them.
4. Remove both frames and destroy