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Author Topic: Varroa?  (Read 1743 times)
Erich
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« on: April 27, 2006, 10:59:38 PM »

I was wondering, where do the bees contract mites to begin with?  I started a package this year to replace the two I lost this last winter. I am sure it was the varroa that did them in.... or their beekeeper  Sad  The packages come up here to Washington from California and am told they are disease and pest free.  This is my third year practicing the fun art of beekeeping. I sure like and appreciate this forum.

Erich
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2006, 07:29:20 AM »

>I was wondering, where do the bees contract mites to begin with?

The same place you get the bacteria that causes tooth decay.  It's endemic tothe population.  Everyone has it.  All bee hives in North America have mites.  If they didn't they would get them from drifting drones or robbing out crashing hives.

>and am told they are disease and pest free.

They may be disease free.  I'm sure they are not pest free.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Erich
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2006, 12:02:43 AM »

So then, How soon should one use some preventive treatments? Like the patties. Should I be determining the infestation or just regular treatments?  I know what to look for when mites have caused problems but I sure don't like the idea of waiting to see the sick bees. From what I read on this great forum, the thing to do is a much closer inspection of the brood. I'm not sure I'm good enough for that or fast enough.
   The temperatures have finally reached the 60's to 70's for daytime highs so I'm planning on a longer and closer inspection this weekend.
   I appreciate the replys. Thank you.

Erich
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Finsky
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2006, 02:19:53 AM »

Quote from: Erich
I am sure it was the varroa that did them in


Seldom varroa is able to kill hive during first winter. It means that you have so much mites that they violate brood during first late summer. Sounds odd. Professinal beekepers have not afford to keep so much mites in his farm. It takes normally 3-4 years untill mite population is strong enough to kill hive.

You may see amount of mites if you use drone cell areas and open brood to see how many mites you have.

There are many reasons why hive dies during winter. Try to find other explanations to your skills than mere mites:

too small colony
too small and slow start
too much room

no room for brood - too much syrup feeding/honey --> small winter colony

wind blows into entrance too often

*** moist box, no ventilation enough

*** stock is too southern and is not able to meet winter

*** winter storages are not enough
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Andrew Tyzack
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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2006, 02:59:35 AM »

http://mkat.iwf.de/mms/metafiles/02000097840220000000_lo.asx

The above film shows house bees and varroa mites inside the hive. They don't half move - you'll soon see how they manage to move from hive to hive...

BTW This isn't an English accent that the narrator has - I've never ever heard anybody speaking like that!

Andrew
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2006, 12:57:56 PM »

>So then, How soon should one use some preventive treatments?

I don't do preventative treatment for anything.  Bees or me.  Do you take antibiotics when you're not sick?

> Like the patties.

There are two kinds of patties commonly used, neither of which I use.  Grease for Tracheal mites and terramycin for AFB.  The solution for Tracheal mites is resistant bees.  The solution for AFB is strong hives and burn the combs if you get some.  Terramycin will only mask the symptoms and will NOT kill the spores.  Both have grease and will attract small hive beetles.

> Should I be determining the infestation or just regular treatments?

Finsky will do regular treatments.  I would learn to monitor the mites.  This can be done with several methods either individually or using all of them.  You can do a sugar roll:

http://entomology.unl.edu/beekpg/tidings/btid2000/btdjan00.htm#Article2

A sticky board:

http://www.tonitoni.org/photos18.html

Or just count natural mite drop on a Screened Bottom Board.

> I know what to look for when mites have caused problems but I sure don't like the idea of waiting to see the sick bees.

Don't.  If you wait to see sick bees you've waited too long.

> From what I read on this great forum, the thing to do is a much closer inspection of the brood. I'm not sure I'm good enough for that or fast enough.

That's another thing you can do is ucapp some drone brood now and then and count mites there.  What is "fast enough"?  They don't run.

>The temperatures have finally reached the 60's to 70's for daytime highs so I'm planning on a longer and closer inspection this weekend.
I appreciate the replys. Thank you.

My recommendation is get on a natural system:

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnaturalcell.htm

And monitor the mites to make sure you don't have a problem.  You may not need to do anything.  If the mite numbers are going up exponentially and reaching numbers of say 50 mites dropped naturally (untreated) in 24 hours then you should have a plan in place to deal with it.  If you want to stay totatlly natural (and not add anythying) you can cut out all the capped drone, or put in a drone foundation frame and take it out and freeze it when it's capped.  You can do a break in the brood cycle by caging the queen.  You can use powdered sugat dusting.  Or, if you want to use soft chemicals I'd recommend vaporizing oxalic acid.  The problem is that treating while there is brood isn't very effective:

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesvarroatreatments.htm

So your best bet if you find your colony has a serious problem during brood rearing time, might be a combination of things.  If you hit them with powdered sugar off the bat you'll knock some down.  If you cut out all the drone brood you'll knock them down some more.  If you confine the queen for three weeks at the same time and wait three weeks the worker brood (which is all the brood that is left because you cut out the drone brood and you can cut it out again when the open drone brood get's capped)  When there is no brood you can do oxalic acid vapor and kill virtually all the remaining mites.

The time to treat with anything is when the hive is broodless in the fall.  Powdered sugar, oxalic acid etc.  It's your choice.  I'm not willing to contaminate the wax with organiphosphates (Checkmite) or Fluvalinate (Apistan).
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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