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Author Topic: Mite treatment options  (Read 6791 times)
Mason
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« on: July 28, 2009, 12:10:37 PM »

It was recommended to me by an experienced bee keeper in my area that I should treat for mites this time of year.  He offered these treatments as options and was wondering what experience you have with each of these products or maybe some other options.  What are the advantages and disadvantages to these treatments?

10-Pk Apiguard         
Mite AwayII   10-pk                  
Tylan & 1# pwd Sugar                 
.5g Fumagillan
16oz Honey B Healthy


I would prefer to remain as chemical free as possible on the off chance I may get a little honey.

   
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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2009, 01:02:55 PM »

i like the apiguard.  in my area, temps are a consideration and the only drawback to using it.  in your area, maybe not a problem? 

do you need to treat for mites?  if it's a first year hive from a package, or a swarm, your mite count is probably not that high.  i am not opposed to treating, but i don't treat unless i need to.  most of the time, powdered sugar keeps them knocked down to a manageable level for me. 

i would do a mite count before deciding if you even need to treat.
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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2009, 01:05:37 PM »

i would do a mite count before deciding if you even need to treat.

What threshold prompts you to treat when you do a count?
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« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2009, 01:54:52 PM »

this won't be very helpful.  sorry.

i check when i remember, especially late may and June.  then i try to remember to do a check again about now...i have not yet because of the heat.  i have to start treating by mid august or so if i'm going to do it.  you are a few hundred ft lower and can probably put off treatment until very end of august or into September.

what prompts me to treat?  when i pull the board out and my reaction is "oh crap".  i had an 'oh crap' moment earlier with a hive, but the PS a couple of times and the fact that they are very good at their own control, seems to have taken care of them. 
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2009, 02:50:34 PM »

The advice came from a commercial bee keeper who is very gracious to pass along information.  His needs and are vastly different than for my (2) lonely hives.  Where the information I get from him is useful it pays to get other perspectives from different beekeepers.

I like the powdered sugar idea.  How do I do it?  Just put it in a sifter and sprinkle it into the top of the hive?  Do I need the Tylan and what is "#1" powdered sugar?

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danno
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« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2009, 03:28:23 PM »

a commercial beek doesn't have the time to check for mites so most if not all just treat twice a year.  With only 2 you have that option.   To use the powdered sugar you need screen bottom boards and sift a couple of cups between the top bars.  Tylan is for foulbrood and hopefully you wont need it.  Again many commercial guys just treat for it twice a year.  Not alot use Tylan though most still use Terramycin as tylan can  show up in honey.  The #1 powdered sugar I assume what he ment was the tylan or terramycin are mixed with it to get the bee's to take it.  The .5g Fumagillan is for Nosema.  The .5g is just the bottle size.  This is enough for 5 spring colonies or 2.5 fall colonies.  Some use it, some would never touch the stuff.  What all this boils down to is if you have new colonies that you gave new frames and let them draw them out.  They live in new woodware and you are not near any old hives, you shouldn't need most of this stuff.  
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« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2009, 03:57:48 PM »

another way to do the PS is to put an old window screen over the hive and brush the sugar through.  then you can sweep off the tops of the frames and you are done.  if you have a spacer frame, put it on top of the hive and the screen over it. 

look at the ingredients in the honey b healthy.  as i recall, it has stuff like lemongrass oil in it.  probably cheaper to buy  your own essential oils and mix something up.  i put a little lemongrass oil in my sugar syrup.  it seems to retard the mold a bit.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2009, 01:12:28 AM »

Inducing a brood dearth will control the mites just as well as any chemicals and doesn't have the potential of adversely harming the bees.
2 ways to do it: locate and isolate the queen in a push in cage or do a walk away split.  A 2-4 weel brood dearth can make a major impact on mite load.  You can always recombine if desired.
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« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2009, 06:30:32 AM »

Also keep in mind the stress you put on a hive by dumping powdered sugar throughout it.   Especially if you do it every 2 weeks like recommended.  The study results I have read have been mixed for the effectiveness of PS shakes. Personally, I would use 1 or 2 if needed, or better yet, oxalic acid.

I would not treat with anything unless there is a need,  and I would never use 3 & 4.
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« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2009, 09:40:21 AM »

when i use the PS i only do it once or twice.  i forget, or the weather changes.  i have read those studies that are posted here.  no argument that the PS sugar use is questionable for long term control.  i do think that it give the hive a short term chance to get ahead of the problem.  it is likely that not all hives are able to do that. 
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2009, 09:06:06 AM »

>10-Pk Apiguard         

Will drive the bees out, kill a lot of microorganisms that need to be there and kill some of the mites.  Will interfere with pheromones and smells in the hive that the bees use to stay organized.

>Mite AwayII   10-pk                 

Will drive the bees out, will kill a lot of microorganisms by shifting the pH dramatically and will kill some of the mites.  Will mess with smells in the hive.

>Tylan & 1# pwd Sugar                 

Will destroy all microorganisms needed for the fermentation and digestion of pollen, upset the microbial balance completely and is only approved for use in AFB infested hives that have shown Terramycin resistance.   Any other use is a violation of the law.

>.5g Fumagillan

Will kill Nosema and other needed fungi and yeasts in the hive.  This also causes birth defects and is illegal in most of the civilized world (The European Union, Australia etc.)

>16oz Honey B Healthy

Is antimicrobial.  Will kill off a lot of microbes and upset the pheromones of the hive.

Wonderful stuff.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoursimplesteps.htm
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David LaFerney
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« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2009, 09:43:49 PM »

Somewhere recently I saw a video of hives being treated with food grade mineral oil applied with what looked like a thermal fogger.  Apparently the idea is that it induces grooming / hygienic behavior and the bees just remove the mites.  I've heard mineral oil mentioned before somewhere else, but never any details or how to.

Is this a legitimate treatment method?  Does anyone know about, use, or have information about it?

It sounds like it might be harmless to the bees if done correctly, and it seems reasonable that it might work.  Of course I imagine that too much mineral oil could also suffocate or stress the bees.

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kathyp
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« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2009, 09:54:32 PM »

the powdered sugar does the same.  the grooming idea is legit, i think, but more depends on the bees and how good they are at managing the mites.  a knockdown of mites can give the bees the edge if they are good at their own mite control.  if they are not, it's not enough.  in that case, you have to decide on treatment, or letting the hive go. 

i think i have almost gotten to treatment free, but i have been fortunate to pick up some swarms from some true feral hives, and use that stock for queens.  even so, along the way, i have lost my share of hives.  not always to mites, but in a couple, i'm sure the mites played a role.

in one of those hives this year, i found a really high mite count.  i was sure i would have to treat them.  i dusted them with PS twice in a month.  now the mite count is really low.  this hive is going into it's 3rd winter with no treatment.  we'll see what happens.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2009, 10:08:46 PM »

Somewhere recently I saw a video of hives being treated with food grade mineral oil applied with what looked like a thermal fogger.  Apparently the idea is that it induces grooming / hygienic behavior and the bees just remove the mites.  I've heard mineral oil mentioned before somewhere else, but never any details or how to.

Is this a legitimate treatment method?  Does anyone know about, use, or have information about it?

It sounds like it might be harmless to the bees if done correctly, and it seems reasonable that it might work.  Of course I imagine that too much mineral oil could also suffocate or stress the bees.



Been there, done that. Initially you inverted the mineral oil bottle and put a pipe clear wick for the bees to cross as they entered the hive.  Then there was the drizzling it on the top bars, soaking cord in it, and fogging.    I never had consistent results with mineral oil.  The foggers tend to get clogged and if your not careful, you can turn them into a flame thrower, which isn't good for the bees.  I think fatbeeman still fogs.  I believe it was like 5 seconds into the entrance every 2 weeks.
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iddee
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« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2009, 10:46:40 PM »

I still have my fogger and will use it if needed. I no longer treat with anything. 2nd year of no treatment.

The fogger is filled with 1 liter fgmo and 50 gram thymol. The fgmo suffocates the mites, but not the bees. The thymol is deadly to adult, exposed mites. Two trigger blasts into the entrance and move on to the next hive. Simple, easy, and about as effective as any thing else I have heard about or tried.
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« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2009, 11:07:00 PM »

I still have my fogger and will use it if needed. I no longer treat with anything. 2nd year of no treatment.

The fogger is filled with 1 liter fgmo and 50 gram thymol. The fgmo suffocates the mites, but not the bees. The thymol is deadly to adult, exposed mites. Two trigger blasts into the entrance and move on to the next hive. Simple, easy, and about as effective as any thing else I have heard about or tried.

Is it a regular thermal fogger like you can use to fog for mosquitoes - like I already have?  Is thymol an extract or essential oil of the herb thyme like it sounds like. 

I would prefer to never have to treat, but it's good to have a plan B just in case. 
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David LaFerney
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« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2009, 11:15:30 PM »

the powdered sugar does the same.  the grooming idea is legit, i think, but more depends on the bees and how good they are at managing the mites.  a knockdown of mites can give the bees the edge if they are good at their own mite control.  if they are not, it's not enough.  in that case, you have to decide on treatment, or letting the hive go. 

i think i have almost gotten to treatment free, but i have been fortunate to pick up some swarms from some true feral hives, and use that stock for queens.  even so, along the way, i have lost my share of hives.  not always to mites, but in a couple, i'm sure the mites played a role.

in one of those hives this year, i found a really high mite count.  i was sure i would have to treat them.  i dusted them with PS twice in a month.  now the mite count is really low.  this hive is going into it's 3rd winter with no treatment.  we'll see what happens.

I would like to avoid treatments - especially with chemicals, but I'm sure that it's a long way from where I'm at to having a bee yard full of colonies of naturally mite resistant bees.  I think I'm beginning to formulate a strategy of how to get there thanks to all the helpful people here.

I think I need to know about as many options as possible.
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« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2009, 11:19:37 PM »

  I never had consistent results with mineral oil.  The foggers tend to get clogged and if your not careful, you can turn them into a flame thrower, which isn't good for the bees....

I can believe that. 
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« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2009, 06:02:51 AM »

Is it a regular thermal fogger like you can use to fog for mosquitoes - like I already have? 

Yes, but depending on what poisons you ahve used in it,  you are probably better off with a spiffy new one.

Quote
I would like to avoid treatments - especially with chemicals, but I'm sure that it's a long way from where I'm at to having a bee yard full of colonies of naturally mite resistant bees.  I think I'm beginning to formulate a strategy of how to get there thanks to all the helpful people here.

We where all at that point at one time.   I struggled for many years trying to find a non-hard chemical approach and ultimately found a one time a year oxalic acid vaporization to be the most effective, consistent, and least time consuming method.  I must admit that Thymol was not added to the FGMO protocol until after I had given up on it.
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« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2009, 08:20:15 AM »

We where all at that point at one time.   I struggled for many years trying to find a non-hard chemical approach and ultimately found a one time a year oxalic acid vaporization to be the most effective, consistent, and least time consuming method.  I must admit that Thymol was not added to the FGMO protocol until after I had given up on it.

The subject line of this thread "Mite treatment options" is a great idea.  A list like that which included every thing from miticides to naturally resistant survivor stock, and summer splits - along with a short rundown of things like when, how often, where to get it, and effectiveness would be extremely useful.  I know that some of the things that people do are controversial (like small cell) but just knowing what us being effectively used by other people would be make it a great resource.

Something like this probably already exists somewhere.  Links anyone?
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