Charlie, nice to hear your response, no offence taken.
<Cindi; I'm glad that you have something to fight the varroa mite. But from what you say you cannot use oxalic acid while brood is present. Can you use it when you are collecting surplus honey? What about formic acid? Can you use it whenever mites are a threat? I'm not trying to be a smart A-- I'm asking because i don't know.>
Oxalic acid should not be used when brood is present, correct. It will kill the brood, but not affect the honeybees.
No, you cannot use it while collecting surplus honey, nor can formic acid be used during honey harvest.
Yes, you can use formic acid whenever mites are a threat. BUT, you cannot use the honey during this time period.
When formic acid pads are applied to the hive, it is generally used for 21 days and then removed from the hive. This is generally a sufficient length of time unless there is a very heavy infestation of the mite.
Honestly, I cannot say that if the treatment is done during a honeyflow, if there is a point where the honey would be fit for human consumption, I doubt it. But that does need further research on my part to become informed. Thinking about it, maybe if the honey supers were removed and this honey used to feed back to the bees maybe. Maybe putting a new honey super on would be making space for "CLEAN' honey that would be considered "human safe". We have a pretty long honeyflow in my area, so I could see that this is possible.
I am taking a beemasters short course at one of our local universities at the end of this month, and these are questions that I know that I will have answers to. I will be informed of such for our climate.
It sounds like the vinegar method works for you. That is good. This is something that I will be discussing at the course to see what our professors of our bee area basically think of it. Maybe even it will be something that will be recommended to be implemented, I don't know. The masters will tell all when I am there.
My intention of keeping the varroa population down in the summer is the early spring management, keeping STRONG and HEALTHY hives. I have much new wisdom that I have learned over the past few months and feel that I am entering my second summer of beekeeping with incredible new knowledge that when I take the best of all the information, I hope that I will be able to say that I am succeeding with big and healthy colonies. Bee health is my target, honey is a bonus.
My thoughts about keeping the varroa problem in check is to perform frequent mite counts on the sticky boards. When I see any elevation in levels, I will apply the icing sugar/garlic powder sprinkle using a flour sifter. That is my idea that I think will help.
I do not live in an area that keeps an enormous amount of bees, so there will not be a high contamination from other beekeepers bees. The only "other" bees that I would be worry about would be the wild bees, which I am sure there are many. I do not let my bees out for pollination. I will be providing 3 acres or more of extremely high producing nectar/pollen plants for the bees. This may sound strange, but the seeds that I will sow will provide so much nectar/pollen that I honestly don't think that the bees will have to travel far to get their foraging done. I could be totally wrong, but watching the bees last year with the 1,000th (or even far more) less amount of plants that I will have this year, they were pretty busy here.
We live in a fairly moist and in summer time, pretty warm climate, so their is generally not an enormous dearth because of drought. The plants receive lots of moisture, from underground and above ground. The nectar flows all summer here for the most part.
We'll see, these are my hopes and aspirations. Great day. Cindi