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Author Topic: When to treat for mites?  (Read 540 times)

Offline Nyleve

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When to treat for mites?
« on: April 16, 2017, 06:14:02 pm »
My hive made it through the winter and they look great. I've been feeding them for the past month, or since I've seen them flying. I didn't treat them for mites last year at all, but I think I should do it this spring. Saw a few dead mites under the screened bottom board and I suspect there will be more coming. Planning to use Mite-Away Quick Strips. When do you think would be a good time to do this? I'm in central Ontario - our weather has just started warming up - no dandelions yet but I think they'll bloom in a couple of weeks. Trees are just starting to bud. I don't want to treat too soon but also don't want to wait until it's too late. Advice, please.

Offline tjc1

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Re: When to treat for mites?
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2017, 02:12:39 pm »
Since there have been no replies to this, I'll hazard one - I was waiting for someone with more direct experience to chime in. I've read about people using MAQS in the spring, but I don't have any direct experience of when and whether one strip or two. Anyone else? I was wondering about this idea myself and whether it would be good to whack the mites early to prevent them getting too far ahead in the summer.

Offline sc-bee

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John 3:16

Offline Nyleve

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Re: When to treat for mites?
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2017, 04:58:51 pm »
So I read through almost all of the links - thank you. I think I will do a mite treatment this spring. But still not sure about when is the best time to apply MAQS. Should I wait until the colony has had time to build up after winter? Also...the guy who did the tests seems to have just laid the strips over top of the frames in the top box of a two-box hive. Product instructions show placement between the two boxes. Which is it?

Offline tjc1

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Re: When to treat for mites?
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2017, 05:48:16 pm »
When I've used the MAQS, the instructions indicate on top of a single deep, or on top of the lower deep when there are two deeps, but they also say to slide the top box back a bit to leave a gap and  provide some extra ventilation. 

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: When to treat for mites?
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2017, 01:32:20 pm »
>When to treat for mites?

Last time I treated for any mites at all (or anything at all) was 2003...
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin

Offline GSF

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Re: When to treat for mites?
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2017, 12:52:17 pm »
I use oxalic acid vaporizing(OAV) in late summer, which is August around here. I've read that OAV has something like a 97% kill ratio or better. I treat this time of year because it helps the hive to have a healthy overwintering population, which helps them to have a strong spring build up, which aids in the number of swarms and/or honey production. Don't treat with either with the honey supers on.
When the law no longer protects you from the corrupt, but protects the corrupt from you - then you know your nation is doomed.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: When to treat for mites?
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2017, 01:34:09 pm »
I'm with Michael, I do not treat.
If the bees made it through the winter with no treatment, what makes you think you need to do it now.
Do you get regular shots of antibiotics even when you are not sick? Treating for no reason can cause more problems that you do not have now.
I would ask the supplier of the bees what he treats with first. If he didn't treat, then you probably should not treat.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline Nyleve

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Re: When to treat for mites?
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2017, 05:47:01 pm »
I know that they guy I got my bees from is a big believer in treatment. He all but accused me of killing my hive a couple of years ago because it wasn't treated in the fall. So now I'm just a little touchy about it. My gut tells me not to treat, my head says I ought to do it. I do know other beekeepers around here who don't treat and never have.

When I first got bees, I followed the letter of the law: mites and antibiotic every spring and fall. Now I'm uncomfortable using treatments when they do seem to be so healthy. I have seen a few mites on the bottom board - have not done a careful count but there were several amid the debris on the board. It got me nervous.

Offline Beeboy01

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Re: When to treat for mites?
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2017, 07:46:28 pm »
I'm on the fence about treating for mites, haven't done it for years then suddenly I lost some hives due to SHBs and am wondering if mites weakened the hives to the point the beetles could take over. A commercial beekeeper I know recommends treating in the spring and fall no matter what and the local club also recommends the same. Can't decide on OAV or conventional mite strips for treatment.
  So far I have used screened bottom boards for mites but after dealing with SHBs I'm building my own SBB with oil trays to catch both the beetles and mites. 

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: When to treat for mites?
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2017, 08:21:18 am »
>my head says I ought to do it.

Here is some help for your head:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoursimplesteps.htm
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnotreatments.htm
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin

Offline Nyleve

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Re: When to treat for mites?
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2017, 11:17:50 am »
Ok, Michael. I've been reading your posts for a long time and I respect your knowledge and experience and your arguments make a lot of sense to me. I'm going to skip treatment this spring, anyway. And then will make decisions from there. I have no desire to overly interefere with my bees - I have always been uncomfortable "managing" them according to my human ideas. And I do have friends who don't treat and it works fine for them.

Thanks, everyone. Now just waiting for some flowers to bloom.

Offline Rurification

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Re: When to treat for mites?
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2017, 02:33:32 pm »
Nyleve -  You're not alone in being conflicted.   I have gone back and forth also.   Finally decided I don't treat.
Robin Edmundson
www.rurification.com

Beekeeping since 2012

Offline bwallace23350

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Re: When to treat for mites?
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2017, 03:32:27 pm »
How long will hives survive on average untreated?

Offline cao

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Re: When to treat for mites?
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2017, 10:45:31 pm »
How long will hives survive on average untreated?
I don't think you will get a definite answer to that.  IMO treating or not treating is not as important as how well you manage a hive.  Managing a hive means giving what they need and not giving them what they don't need.  Is that vague enough? :wink: 

I still have bees in the first two hives that I started 5 years ago.  Right now they are 5-6 boxes tall.  I would say they could go on indefinitely if I manage them good enough.

Those 2 hives and buying 2 queens were the start of the 20 hives that overwintered this year and the 14 swarms caught this spring and the 20 or so nucs also started this spring.  All treatment free.  I do make mistakes but the bees usually fix them if they aren't too bad.