Completed my mite counts yesterday at 3 weeks after application. All 3 hives showed counts of <1% by the alcohol wash method. HGII appears to have been very effective when used during this period of minimal to no brood, with the mites left out in the general population of the hive and directly exposed to treatment.
Of course, in my case, this is an N of just 3 hives. And the alternate caveat is that this was applied on top of the 3.5% oxalate dribble (by weight, in syrup) in early August.
WillH, I don’t know your experience, but I did notice a portion of bees in each hive that seem to have been digested a bit by the acid syrup on the strips—kind of like drops of lava falling on them when the strips were applied. I inserted the strips pretty much straight out of the package, per directions. I wonder if they should be run (squeegeed?) through your fingers (gloved) before application to remove the excess syrup? Still, we’re only talking about a few bees here. Many times fewer than were sacrificed during the alcohol wash.
Also, as a newbee, I was surprised at how difficult it was to get a half cup of bees at this time for the wash—the population is reducing, and the bees were rather evenly distributed throughout the two deeps (it was 64o F yesterday during the sampling period) and each hive required several “scoops” to get the numbers needed. (I really hope I didn’t scoop up one of the Queens….) Add this to the fact that they were pretty ornery about the sampling (well, it is November, I guess) and I have to say I prefer the sticky board sessions that I used for mite counts during the on-brood period in July.
On the other hand, the alcohol wash method was incredibly fast and efficient. I can see being able to rip through a rather large bee yard pretty quickly using this method.