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Author Topic: varoa control or wives tale?  (Read 1655 times)

Offline GT

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varoa control or wives tale?
« on: June 05, 2006, 02:33:52 PM »
A new beek in NH told me over the phone a tricke relayed by her mentor: Pour vegetable oil (any kind) onto a napking and lay it onto the frames overnight for varoa control.
Can it really be that easy?

Offline Michael Bush

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varoa control or wives tale?
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2006, 10:56:17 PM »
>A new beek in NH told me over the phone a tricke relayed by her mentor: Pour vegetable oil (any kind) onto a napking and lay it onto the frames overnight for varoa control.
Can it really be that easy?

Most anything that makes the bees groom themselves will make some difference.

There are many oil methods. Most, because it won't turn rancid like vegatable oil, involve FGMO (Food Grade Mineral Oil).  The first treatments were just painting it on the top bars.  The problem is it only works for a short time and it doesnt' have knock down power.  It takes keeping the bees in contact with the oil to keep the mite levels down.  So Dr. Rodriguez, who started the idea, came up with several alternative methods to do this.  One was to make an emoulsin of beeswax, honey and FGMO and soak cotton cords in it.  This took the bees longer to get the oil out and so the treatment would last longer.  Another is shop towels soaked in oil.  But this doesn't take a day for the bees to get it out.  Fogging with FGMO is another method to do oil.  You buy an insect fogger and just use FGMO in it.  If you do it every other week until late summer and every week until winter, from my experience, it works.  But you can't treat once and be rid of the Varroa.  You have to treat all the time from spring until winter.

Here's an idea of knockdown and efficacy:

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

If you look at these numbers you see that something that is 50% effective requires at least once a week treatment to be useful.

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

Here's some on all pests including Varroa in general and a section on FGMO for varroa.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Offline Brian D. Bray

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varoa control or wives tale?
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2006, 04:00:33 AM »
I agree with MB, there is no simple solution to Varroa, it is and will continue to be a daily battle until the bees develop the ability to function  in spite of the mites just as they have with the trachea mites.  Looking for a golden solution just obscures the objective.
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Offline Michael Bush

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varoa control or wives tale?
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2006, 08:18:32 AM »
>I agree with MB, there is no simple solution to Varroa

Actually there is.  It's natural cell size.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Offline Brian D. Bray

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varoa control or wives tale?
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2006, 10:39:11 AM »
I haven't tried the smaller size comb.  I'm on a limited budget due to retirement which is why I make as much as I can from salvaged materials.  My brother's a carpenter so I have him bring me usuable sizes of pine scraps from his construction sights.
But the next time I'm buying frames and foundation I guess I'll bite the bullet and spend the extra dinero for smaller cell foundation for integration into the brood boxes.  I buy my frames and foundation 100 ct at a time and don't buy more until I've used them up.   Unfortunately, but fortunately budget wise, I just bought 100 on Mann Lakes 40 cent sale.
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Offline Apis629

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varoa control or wives tale?
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2006, 03:55:11 PM »
Doesn't "Natural cell size foundation" only come in medium depth?

Offline MEdmonson

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varoa control or wives tale?
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2006, 07:04:38 PM »
If natural size was the solution to varroa, wouldn't the TBH then have a big advantage?

Offline Brian D. Bray

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varoa control or wives tale?
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2006, 07:13:04 PM »
You would think so, but I've decided that with so many bees being use to the 5.4 cell size of standard foundation they have to be reconditioned to revert to 5.1 or 4.9.  Medium depth frames are all I use: I cut three strips out of medium brood foundation and let the bees fill in the rest of the frame.
One would think that reverting the brood chambers to 4.9 would then make the 5.4 drone cells and honey stores.  I'm looking hard at this one,  trying to decide if I can still use my starter strips with 4.9 and make it work.
What say you Michael Bush--Guru of the 4.9?
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Offline Michael Bush

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varoa control or wives tale?
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2006, 12:15:05 AM »
>Doesn't "Natural cell size foundation" only come in medium depth?

Natural cell size comes from no foundation.  Small cell size (which is in the middle of natural cell size) is 4.9mm and comes in deep and medium, wired and unwired from Dadant or Brushy Mt and now a few others are stocking it.

>If natural size was the solution to varroa, wouldn't the TBH then have a big advantage?

Yes.  They do.  Especially if they bothered to get through a turnover of comb and kept the smallest size inthe brood nest.

>You would think so, but I've decided that with so many bees being use to the 5.4 cell size of standard foundation they have to be reconditioned to revert to 5.1 or 4.9.

Exactly.  But it's just a turnover.  The bees draw about 5.1mm and the bees raised on that will draw 4.9mm and the bees raised on that will build even smaller.

> Medium depth frames are all I use:

That's all I use.

> I cut three strips out of medium brood foundation and let the bees fill in the rest of the frame.

IMO that's the best.  It's natural sized because the bees built it (although another turnover will probably get smaller) and the wax is clean because the bees just made it.  No organophosphates or fluvalinates.

>One would think that reverting the brood chambers to 4.9 would then make the 5.4 drone cells and honey stores.

Oddly enough what I see with natrural cell size is a larger variety of drone cell sizes.  I see some as large as 7.00 and as small as 5.9mm  None of it is 5.4mm.

> I'm looking hard at this one, trying to decide if I can still use my starter strips with 4.9 and make it work.

Make what work?  Starter strips work fine.  I like the wood comb guids better.  They don't ever fall out and all you have to do if they mess one up is scrape it off.  Also if you do cut comb you'll have a little comb left on there for them to start from.

>What say you Michael Bush--Guru of the 4.9?

About?  Drones?  Starter strips?
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen