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Author Topic: Varroa Mite Control?  (Read 7119 times)
snmyork
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« on: June 17, 2011, 09:49:31 PM »

Trying to go as chemical free as possible on this, I really do not want to use checkmite or apistan but... My biggest hive has varroa. I am unsure the count but as I went into the hive on Tuesday I notice some bees with deformed wings. I checked closer due to most of the time it being caused by varroa. So I checked and saw several mites on bees. So since I was leaving for vacation the next day I did a powdered sugar shake. Since I am up at the in-laws I had access to tools that I do not have at home and made some nucs as I wanted to have them on hand anyway. So reading a lot on control, but will be able to read more when I am back home. What would be the best way to treat for them without using chemicals such as checkmite?

1. Split the hive
2. Powder sugar in about 10 days after split
3. Move to foundationless frames (which I have already been using some)
What about the one split with the queen how will it affect her hive with not really breaking the brood cycle? Will this get them out of the hive completely?
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Bee-Bop
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« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2011, 10:18:24 PM »

Trying to go as chemical free as possible on this, I really do not want to use checkmite or apistan but... My biggest hive has varroa.

Your other Hive/hives have Varroa also !

1. Split the hive
Just spliting the mites !

2. Powder sugar in about 10 days after split
 Powder the split and the hive when you do it, and every week for awhile, so they claim.

3. Move to foundationless frames (which I have already been using some)
 What would that do to get rid of mites ?

What about the one split with the queen how will it affect her hive with not really breaking the brood cycle? Will this get them out of the hive completely?

If you can get them out completely, with any of the above practices, get a patten on it, you'll get rich !!

Bee-Bop
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2011, 03:38:22 AM »

>Will this get them out of the hive completely?

Nothing will ever get the Varroa mites out of the hive completely.  That way lies madness.
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Finski
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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2011, 06:39:13 AM »

.
Your 3 points does not help anything with varroa.

Sugar dusting is ineffective.

Chemicals?  what folks know about chemicals?

A while ago the gang recommended thymol as all disease preventive cure. Then against varroa it is chemical.

Make a false swam. Move the original hive 3 metres. Let the bees fly in empty hive and put the queen there. Fter 3 days all old bees are there and there is no capped brood where  mites may hidden.

Then you may handle the hive with oxalic acid trickling or sprayig the frames on boath sides with 3% oxalic acid. This is the best  stuff. If you get a gasifying apparatus it is good too.

Then let the brood part emerge and handle the bees with same system when they are all hached. Then join the hive parts.


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Katharina
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2011, 03:30:48 PM »

Try Sucrocide.  We have a commercial organic beekeeper in our club and he states that this is the best ever.  He ditched all the harsh chemicals 10 years ago and his hives are stronger and healthier now.  I'm still new and have not seen them in my installed packages yet.  It will happen, its just a question of time.  Here is the product info from Dadants website.  Can't post a link yet, because I'm new.
Quote
M00139PT Sucrocide pint
At last! A safe product for the beekeeper and the honey bees. SUCROCOIDE is non-toxic to the beekeeper and your bees. It kills varroa mites on the bees but doesn\'t harm the bees. Sucrocide is concentrated and needs to be mixed with water. You can use a garden-type sprayer or backpack sprayer to apply to the bees. There are two methods to apply Sucrocide. Number 1 Remove frames with bees adhering and spray both sides using a broad fine mist setting. Number 2 Spray the top of the frames to wet the bees using a Spray Boom (M00139SB). Bees must be completely wetted to ite. Sucrocide must come in contact with the mites to . Apply at first siting of varroa mites. Repeat applications at intervals of 7 to 10 days, up to three times per infestation, in order to kill varroa mites emerging from brood cells. One pint treats approximately 29 2-story hives for three applications. Active ingredient - Sucrose Octanoate Esters (40%) Ship Weight 3lbs.
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Larry Bees
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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2011, 07:27:08 PM »

I just checked Dadant's website and

Available only to the following states: California, Georgia, Hawaii, Missouri,  North Carolina, Ohio and Washington.


Not available in Florida.

Larry
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Bee-Bop
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« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2011, 09:41:48 PM »

Nor in Oregon

Bee-Bop
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joebrown
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« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2011, 11:24:18 PM »

Everyone wants to be chemical-free, but sometimes we just cannot be that way. The first thing you want to do is get them under control. I once heard that when you start seeing mites on bees you are in serious trouble, because they tend to stay hidden until the run out of room or there is a lot of them. I would guess that the exception to this would be during splits and brood cycle breaks. Try the Mite-Away Quick Strips. Those are the newest thing on the market and will not disrupt your honey flow! They are suppose to kill mites inside the wax cells as well. Once you get them under control, you can do occasional sugar shakes to keep them that way!

http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/Varroa-Dustructor/productinfo/599/  I use this for powdered sugar treatments.

http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/MiteAway-Quick-Strip/productinfo/194/

Also, here is a good video to watch pertaining to Varroa. I learned a lot by watching this. It is a little long though. 

Honey Bee Blues
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snmyork
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2011, 08:07:26 AM »

As I looked at all the posts on this subject the last couple of days, I saw another topic where that video was mentioned. Watched it and that will make you more frighten for your hives. Finski mentioned that the three things I mentioned did not work, why were they mentioned multiple times to help lower the mite count. The only problem with the sucrocide is that I am in SC. This is the first I have had this pest. I have shb and wax moth and have been able to keep them at bay even though the shb did get one hive. I do want to do what is best for the bees and I do not want to put a lot of chemicals on the bees. I did like the sucrocide.  Thanks for the help.   
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Larry Bees
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2011, 05:28:20 PM »

I finally finished watching the video. Thanks Joebrown for posting it.

I found it very interesting and learned about mites.

Larry
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Finski
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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2011, 05:48:04 PM »

.
In Europe oxalic acid is noticed to be best stuff against varroa. It has been reseached thorougly and no to bees or to honey consumers has bee found if you measure the amount correctly.

You may think what ever about "chemicals" but I know that you have not made any reseach about issue. It is based just on belief...
Look at you wife's chemical store in bathroom  and you lick her like a mad.  - such is life!


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T Beek
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« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2011, 05:56:10 PM »

Practice and perfect the art of KYBO (Keeping Your Broodnests Open).

thomas
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caticind
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Nothing sweeter...


« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2011, 11:56:11 AM »

Trying to go as chemical free as possible on this, I really do not want to use checkmite or apistan but... My biggest hive has varroa. I am unsure the count but as I went into the hive on Tuesday I notice some bees with deformed wings. I checked closer due to most of the time it being caused by varroa. So I checked and saw several mites on bees. So since I was leaving for vacation the next day I did a powdered sugar shake. Since I am up at the in-laws I had access to tools that I do not have at home and made some nucs as I wanted to have them on hand anyway. So reading a lot on control, but will be able to read more when I am back home. What would be the best way to treat for them without using chemicals such as checkmite?

1. Split the hive
2. Powder sugar in about 10 days after split
3. Move to foundationless frames (which I have already been using some)
What about the one split with the queen how will it affect her hive with not really breaking the brood cycle? Will this get them out of the hive completely?

As has been pointed out already, all of your hives have varroa.  Like all bee pests and diseases, varroa is not something that moves into the otherwise pristine and sterile hive.  The critical thing to understand, if you want to use chemicals as little as possible, is that the pests and diseases are ALWAYS present in every hive. But in a healthy hive, other bugs and microbes, as well as the bees' hygienic behavior, limits the reproduction of the pests and their impact on your colonies.

The only ways to treat without chemicals are mechanical methods (drone trapping, sugar dusting, screened bottom boards) and genetic methods (breeding for hygienic behavior, breeding from untreated survivors).

You've got some helpful strategies listed in your post, but you missed the most important tool:  do a mite drop when you get back to check what the actual level of mites is, rather than worrying because you spotted a few of mites on bees.  If your drop suggests you're over the treatment threshold, then proceed with mechanical methods.

Splitting the hive doesn't do anything by itself, but the half without a queen undergoes a brood break which leaves the mites fewer places to hide.  During this time you can use sugar dusting to induce the bees to groom, knocking some of the mites out of the hive.  This only works if you have screened bottom boards, and in my opinion only works really well if you also have either a long fall to the ground or a sticky trap under the screen (mites can crawl).  You can do sugar dusting any time, but it's most effective when there is no brood because the mites are out in the open and because there are fewer larvae killed by the desiccating action of the powder.

The half with the queen does not get the benefit of a brood break, but you can do repeated sugar dusting (once a week for three weeks) to get some of that effect.  For both halves, go ahead and dust the first time right when you do the split.

While you're on foundation, you can also use a plastic drone trapping frame.  Insert one of these into a foundation-only hive in the summer and the bees will go nuts filling it with drone brood.  As soon as the majority of cells are capped (and well before any of them emerge), remove the frame and freeze, then either scrape or return to the hive for cleaning.  Varroa love drone brood, and in a foundation-only hive you can lure a substantial fraction of the reproducing mites into drone cells and take them out of the hive that way.

Foundationless keeping sortof helps....  Some people believe that bees reared in smaller-celled comb are better able to groom themselves, or that there is a slight shortening of the maturation time of pupae which helps bend the mite growth curve.  Neither of these ideas have been proven, and it takes either several generations of frame replacement or shaking out onto small-cell foundation to regress bees to the point where they draw substantially smaller comb.  Some people keep chemical free bees in all foundationless successfully...some people keep chemical free bees on all standard foundation successfully.

The key to having your hives thrive alongside varroa in the long term is genetics.  You need to either buy or breed bees which do not dwindle and die when exposed to varroa and the diseases they vector.  Isle of Wight disease, caused by tracheal mites, nearly wiped out all of the bees in England in the first decade of the 20th century.  Modern bees are largely resistant to tracheal mites, which are omnipresent in hives but typically don't kill strong, healthy hives.  The same thing can be done with varroa.  If you don't want to use chemicals, then don't.  Some of your hives will develop crushing mite loads and die out.  Some will survive.  Breed from the survivors.

This is tough on a keeper with few hives, because each loss hurts.  There's nothing wrong with using some chemicals, whether pesticides or essential oils, if you feel you must - though using them will not rid the hive of mites and you will be facing exactly the same problem each year.  The one thing that doesn't work is leaving hives untreated, and then jumping in with pesticides to "save" an overwhelmed colony.  Not only will you have to make that choice again and again for a colony which cannot tolerate varroa, but you will also be selecting very efficiently for pesticide-resistant mites.

If you don't want to put the work and money into breeding your own survivors, there are more apiaries out there now selling packages and queens from untreated stock.  It might be worth the initial investment to get some bees that have already demonstrated their ability to flourish in spite of varroa.  But ask pointed questions about what they consider "treatment free" and how long they have survived without treatment.  It should be a bare minimum of three or four years, and FGMO, thymol, formic acid etc all count as chemical treatments in my book.
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joebrown
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« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2011, 12:15:36 PM »

Watched it and that will make you more frighten for your hives.    

Very true, but there is no need in sugar coating the facts. It is a serious issue. Personally I would rather know the facts than not know anything at all. The main reason I posted the video was because I learned so much. If another person learns anything from the video then it is worth posting in my opinion (and I see some others did). It also gives us a heads up to some new potential problems. Since the video, Australian bees have been ban from USA importation. Apis Cerana being the reason. How long before Apis Cerana finds its way to the USA?
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Katharina
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« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2011, 05:25:22 PM »

I just checked Dadant's website and

Available only to the following states: California, Georgia, Hawaii, Missouri,  North Carolina, Ohio and Washington.


Not available in Florida.

Larry

Brushy Mountain does not have that restriction.  I'm not even sure why Dadant has it, because it is approved by the USDA.  Another brand name is SucraShield by Natural Forces LLC.  Can't post a URL yet.  try www dot naturalforcesllc dot com
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Katharina - hobby beekeeper and Saxony duck breeder
I also import German gift items at http://www.germanplaza.com
Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association in Oregon  http://www.klamathbeekeepers.org
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/kbbafb/
snmyork
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« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2011, 07:09:31 PM »

How many of you actually use treatments for varroa? What is the process that you use?
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joebrown
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« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2011, 11:00:36 PM »

I usually use powdered sugar treatments in the Fall. I bought some of the MAQS, but I don't know if I want to use them or not! I really have them as a just in case measure.
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Finski
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« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2011, 11:56:57 PM »

.
Every one should know that powered sugar is not effective against varroa.

attention against chemicals means lack of knowledge.

As I may read here many use vain chemials in beekeeping. These cure imagination and nothing more. Weak and uneffective chemicals are used too as speciality.

Somehow usefull chemicals are banned even if they are researched carefully during last 10 years.

I have teached here varroa control with oxalic acid many, many years. It seems that without "learning curve".

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joebrown
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« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2011, 02:12:47 AM »

.
Every one should know that powered sugar is not effective against varroa.

.


Knowing that most varroa stay hidden in cells, I can see how your point makes perfect sense, because the powdered sugar coats the bees and varroa are removed during cleaning. If this is the case, then why are so many beekeepers using this method?
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Finski
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« Reply #19 on: June 24, 2011, 03:02:26 AM »

.
Every one should know that powered sugar is not effective against varroa.

.


Knowing that most varroa stay hidden in cells, I can see how your point makes perfect sense, because the powdered sugar coats the bees and varroa are removed during cleaning. If this is the case, then why are so many beekeepers using this method?


beekeepers use what ever they are told.

10 years ago one guy made doctor researches in Helsinky University.
No one use it here. No officials remommend it.

Many researches show that it is not effective. You may read it from google.

80% of mites are in summer under cappings and no stuff kill them there.

I have had mites 30 years. I take them seriously.  i killed my first hive for varroa 1982.
It came over Russian border 35 years ago and here it is 50 km to the border.


Of course you may use it but there are 20 practically working methods too.

European Union varroa group made 10 years intensive researches and selected the best methods to be recommended. Results are publishes in English in inteenet. Few bother to read them but more love to read all kind of humbug.

If you really want to accustome to latest information in varroa, put into google "nanetti varroa control". Nanetti is an Italian beekeeping professor and leading expert in varroa research.

90% of varroa control advices is humbug on beekeeping forums. Chemical fear is one which make folks loose their mind. Then they are ready to use even poisonous stuffs than use recommend harmless chemicals.

If you look, carrot has more oxalic acid than dose against varroa.




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