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Author Topic: Sticky Board Varroa Mite Count  (Read 731 times)
GSF
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« on: September 16, 2013, 09:10:05 PM »

I tried to find out on my own but couldn't. I was able to come up with info all about VM but not what I was looking for.

Here's the deal. I put a sticky board under my screen this evening. This is the one with squares in it. I would like to know all I need to know about using the sticky board. I didn't put anything else in the hive. I know you pull it out after a certain time period and count the mites. However I still can't find how long to leave it and what is the treatment threshold. Am I too early here in central Alabama to do the test? Our goldenrod has just barely started opening around here.

If I see they need treating would the powdered sugar method be good enough? How many times/how often? I have chemicals (mite strips) but I would like to stay away from that if I could. However, I will use them to save my bees and keep them healthy.

I have hive pictures that were taken on 2 Sep. I took a picture of the left side, then the right side, flipped the frame over and repeated. I done this with every frame in the hive. I can magnify them fairly good on my computer. The bees will be about 2 to 3 inches long by magnification. I have only seen maybe three mites since I started taking pictures upon receiving my package.

I'm thinking they are in good shape but I didn't know if that painted an accurate picture, hence the sticky board.
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MsCarol
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« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2013, 09:26:05 PM »

I really hope you get some answers for "roughly" this region.

I "sugar dusted" my two hives on Sept 15th. The small hive might have needed it, but as I was there and checking.....they both got it!!! Not sure they were happy with me. But check on the IPM board this am revealed a count of about 20 on the big hive and about 10 on the little one. Plus a lot of sugar and squashed a couple hive beetles.

BTW, dust the sugar first......then put in the sticky board!!

I too am trying to avoid the chemicals.....and "treat" to the load rather then a schedule
« Last Edit: September 17, 2013, 10:11:23 AM by MsCarol » Logged
Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2013, 09:37:14 AM »

>However I still can't find how long to leave it

Typically the measurement is a 24 hour count.  It is common to leave it for three days and divide the number found by three to even out things somewhat.

> and what is the treatment threshold.

Typically the numbers quoted run between 40 and 60 in 24 hours for a natural drop.

>Am I too early here in central Alabama to do the test?

You can do it anytime, just understand that although the arbitrary numbers of 40 or 60 may be thrown around, reality is that 40 in the spring with a lot of brood in the hive is a lot more mites than 40 in the fall with no brood in the hive.  A trend is probably a more useful piece of information than just a count.
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Michael Bush
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GSF
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« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2013, 11:01:50 AM »

Thanks again Michael. I'll leave it on for a couple of days then do my count. I did find out about "capped" mites in brood.
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10framer
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« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2013, 11:12:29 AM »

michael, we still have plenty of brood down here.  i have several hives that are wall to wall brood in at least one deep.  
high yesterday was 94 and we'll probably stay in the 80's for another month or so.  
honestly, i've never done a mite count and i've never treated for mites.  in my worst years between '99 and '06 i probably lost about 1/3 of my hives through the winter.  keep in mind that i didn't feed during those years either, if they made it they made it.  i was trying to build up survivor bees.  unfortunately, several things took me out of beekeeping for a few years so i didn't get to continue.  
this year i broke the brood cycle in certain hives at certain times and left others alone.  i will feed this winter, though.  i made a lot of splits in a poor year for honey so i'm not holding the bees accountable for low stores.  
gary, how many frames of brood do you have?  bad shotgun pattern?  any bees walking around with deformed wings?  if you have wall to wall brood but kind of a shotgun pattern and the population just doesn't seem to build as fast as you'd think it would with such a good laying queen you may be infested.  
i'd google "uga honeybees keith delaplaine"  and see what i came up with if i were you (may not have spelled his name right).  that's probably where the most research that would work for our region has gone on that i can think of.  someone else may know of more.  they shut the apiary studies program down at auburn a long long time ago.  george blake was talking about varroa back in the early 80's and the research at that point was to fill the hive with tobacco smoke.  he retired in '83 or '84 and the department was gone a few years later. needed room and resources for frat houses and the athletic department more than studying honeybees.  oops!
sorry, i got off track.  i'm with michael bush, 40 and 60 are just base line numbers.  i'd take the count and i'd look at the over all health of the hive before i threw pesticides in it.  
let us know what the count is.  you've got me curious now.  
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GSF
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« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2013, 11:37:09 AM »

Will do 10framer. It'll be 48 or 72 hours before I get the count. The last "full" inspection I did was on the 2nd. Pretty dang good looking hive (newbee's prespective). If my memory serves me well out of 16 frames 2 or 3 were empty or just started being drawn out. But there was a lot of brood, I'd have to go back to my pics when I get home to be sure. I put a super on top just incase they wanted to show out this fall. I plan on peeking in there to see if they are interested in it.

Here's my "hopeful" thinking. I'm pretty certain there aren't any feral hives around here because I didn't see any honey bees working my corn tossels last year. This is a 3 lb package from 7 Jun. I'm hoping that those two points will have been helpful in controling, (shall I say preventing?) the mites. No deformed wings and good pattern. I'll try to dig up a photo of the brood and paste it. It's still hot here as well. When I do some work around my home I still have to have a sweat rag. I have seen several of Mr Delaplaine's youtube video's and have a book by him. `
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10framer
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« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2013, 12:49:16 PM »

gary,
that all sounds good.  i wouldn't leave the extra space too long if they aren't doing something with it.

rob
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GSF
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« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2013, 08:53:36 PM »

I did a quick count this afternoon (24hrs). This is a natural mite drop - no nothing. I counted it twice and came up with three each time. 

I'm having problems interacting with this website so I'll try to load up some pictures in the morning. I have broadband so that should explain it.
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"Life is hard, It's even harder when you're stupid."

John Wayne
GSF
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« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2013, 05:56:21 AM »

These were taken on the 2nd. I looked again a week or so ago because I thought they had swarmed. I remember seeing pretty good brood and stores then. Some of the brood patterns didn't look like they should but I believe we were seeing a race between the queen and the workers to see who could fill up the cells the quickest. I've looked at all the pictures a few times and I haven't seen any deformed wings. I have noticed (about three times) some bees being groomed before they went into the hive. I looked yesterday to see if they had touched the top super and they hadn't. I'll probably wait until the goldenrods are gone and pull it. I didn't see the first SHB either (again).

If you look closely you may can see the eggs.



If you look over the top of the frame you'll see where the goldenrod (not blooming then) starts.




These are from the bottom brood box.









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10framer
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« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2013, 06:53:18 AM »

plastic foundation?
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chux
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« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2013, 07:32:25 AM »

I was watching a presentation on Brushy Mountain's youtube channel the other day. The presenter said that the peak number of Mites will follow a couple of weeks behind peak numbers for bees in the hive. No matter the type of treatment you use, it seems to me that if you wait until you see problem numbers, you've waited too long. The damage is done. We would probably be better off treating with "natural" or man-made before the peak of bee numbers. This would cut down the number of mites getting capped at the peak, and draw down numbers for the fall.

This is my first year, I'm learning from you guys as I go. Next year I plan to do some type of treatment early.
   
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GSF
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« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2013, 07:47:24 AM »

10framer - yes to the plastic foundations. Do you see anything here that may be of a concern? Like I've said before - to my "newbee" eyes it don't look too bad.

Chux - There's so much to learn and so many variables that can alter what you think you know.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2013, 09:23:14 AM »

>The presenter said that the peak number of Mites will follow a couple of weeks behind peak numbers for bees in the hive. No matter the type of treatment you use, it seems to me that if you wait until you see problem numbers, you've waited too long.

The numbers were derived and intended to know when to treat.  Not to know when you waited too long.  If you're going to treat no matter what, then why count the mites other than to verify that the treatment worked...
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hjon71
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« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2013, 09:53:45 AM »

Judging by your pictures and info given I think you're in good shape. Granted, my experience is about as long as yours(I inherited an old abandoned hive around Feb.)  laugh
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10framer
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« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2013, 03:32:00 PM »

gary, i just noticed how abruptly they stopped filling out the foundation near the top and bottom of some of the combs, that happens more often with plastic than with wax in my opinion.  i'm not a fan of plastic because of that and the fact that the bees won't do repairs on plastic once there has been damage. 
i was in tractor supply earlier today and bought a bee culture magazine (never read one before but years ago i got the american bee journal, i think) and there is an article about varroa count and the NEED to treat from a lady that apparently works at the UGA bee lab.  i'm on the fence but i'm always close to falling to the treatment free side.  i've never treated and i've suffered losses some years.  i've been out of it since maybe 06 so i'm sure i'm behind the times but i should say that i had plenty of colonies survive from the late 90's until then without ever being, treated, fed or re queened so i'm a bit skeptical of the need to treat.  apparently the 40-60 number was established at uga back in 1999.
one good point that she brought up was that the brood cycle never ended in our area last winter (had highs near 80 in january, ruined deer season) and that the mite cycle never stopped either and according to her the mite population is up in georgiar.  i haven't seen many mites this year but my eyes aren't what they used to be. 
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GSF
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« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2013, 07:46:15 PM »

Okay, the 3 day drop w/o any applications was a total of 16. I may do one around mid Oct/Nov just to monitor them.

One thing I did start back seeing was small hive beetles. I had to take the IPK oil trap out to put a sticky board in. I think I killed at least 10 of them. The last three or four times I opened it up I didn't see any.
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tjc1
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« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2013, 09:29:15 PM »

FWIW, my count two weeks ago was >50 per day. I treated with MAQS (formic acid) and just checked a week after the treatment and the drop was <5 per day. I had similar results last year.
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