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Author Topic: OAV treatment advice needed ...  (Read 533 times)

Offline CoolBees

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OAV treatment advice needed ...
« on: December 21, 2018, 12:27:36 am »
I'm new here ... so thank you in advance for your help/advice/guidance/thoughts/suggestions, etc:

My question: How far do I need to go with OAV treatment?

Heres the details:

5 hives - 75% foundationless currently (used 50% foundation to get proper layout - slowly phasing out foundation). Each hive had (11/28) appox 70% of 1 frame of capped brood. Small qty's of DWV observed in each hive.
H1 - 10 frame deep, currently 6 frames of bees. Started from 1 frame of eggs & 1 of capped brood, & 1 of stores, 2/11/18. Source of bees - friends 4 yr old TF hive - Queen, open mated from egg. SBB.
H2 - 8 frame medium, currently 5 frames of bees. Started from 1 frame of eggs & 1 of capped brood, & 1 of stores, 3/23/18. Source of bees - friends 6 yr old TF hive (his "best" hive ... diff genetics than H1) - Queen, open mated from egg. SBB.
H3 - 3/28/18 - source, split from H1 - 5Med x 5Med x 5deep Nuc. Quite full of bees. Solid BB.
H4 - 4/15/18 - source, split from H1 - 5Med x 5Med x 5Med Nuc. Maybe 70% bees. Solid BB.
H5 - 5/25/18 - Split from H2 - currently untested/untreated - at different yard

Alcohol wash counts 12/6/18 - H1 22 mites / H2 - 42 mites / H3 - 32 mites / H4 - 38 mites

OAV applied (provap 110)
H1 - 12/6 - 3 day mite drop 214 - sticky board
12/9 - 3 day mite drop 418 - sticky board
12/12 - 3 day mite drop 245 - sticky board
12/16 - 4 day mite drop 218 - sticky board
12/19 - 3 day mite drop in process (a lot so far)

H2 - 12/6 - 3 day mite drop 87 - sticky board
12/9 - 3 day mite drop 398 - sticky board
12/12 - 3 day mite drop 205 - sticky board
12/16 - 4 day mite drop 187 - sticky board
12/19 - 3 day mite drop in process (over 100 so far)

H3 - 12/6 - 12/9 - 12/12 - 12/16 - 12/19
H4 - 12/6 - 12/9 - 12/12 - 12/16 - 12/19

Based on the data - Any advice on how many more treatments I should do?

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Offline CoolBees

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Re: OAV treatment advice needed ...
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2018, 12:32:02 am »
For clarity, I should add the Total Mite Drop count:

H1 - over 1,200 so far
H2 - over 1,000 so far
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Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: OAV treatment advice needed ...
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2018, 03:32:54 am »
Suggestion:
If they are brooding, eggs and larvae present; treat every 4 days for 24 days.  6 treatments <-- that is the minimum.  Go more/longer if the data indicates after the 6th.

If they are not brooding, no eggs no larvae, likely only 1 more treatment at 4 days from the last one you did. Reapply OAV until the mite drop onto the boards reduces significantly from the previous treatment.  The heavy drop will be day 2 after the treatment.  compare the day 2 numbers from each application. When that reduces significantly, you are done.

Your alcohol wash numbers are very high.  Is that the raw count or is that after division by 3 ?
« Last Edit: December 21, 2018, 03:35:20 pm by TheHoneyPump »
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Offline CoolBees

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Re: OAV treatment advice needed ...
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2018, 04:36:15 am »
Thank you for your response HP - It is much appreciated.

Suggestion: If they are brooding, eggs and larvae present; treat every 4 days for 24 days.  6 treatments ...
Ok. This Sunday will be the 6th treatment. Mite drop counts have been dropping - but not as much as I would have thought.
Every hive does have brood - not a lot, but some. Temps here have been in the 40's (nights) to mid 60's (day). Pretty typical this time of year. I don't think we get a true "brood break" here.


... Your alcohol wash numbers are very high.  Is that the raw count or is that after division by 3 ?
That is the raw count.

Last year the main Nectar Flow started on Jan 15th - and went till mid May. My goal is to get them into late January in healthy condition, and then let them "bulk up" the hives all next season.
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Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: OAV treatment advice needed ...
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2018, 01:52:57 pm »
Ok.  Based in that additional info, imho you are right on track.  Hive/mite numbers are typical.  You are doing the right things at the right time.  Good work!

Suggest to do alcohol wash 3 days after that 6th treatment.  See what the numbers tell you about whether to keep treating or if they are then good to go. 
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Offline CoolBees

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Re: OAV treatment advice needed ...
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2018, 02:27:42 pm »
That sounds good HP. Thanks for reaffirming, what I'm doing.

That's really where I was headed with this question - what should I do after the 6th treatment? ... now I think I've got a plan. I'll update this later next week with alcohol wash counts.
You cannot permanently help men by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves - Abraham Lincoln

Offline CoolBees

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Re: OAV treatment advice needed ...
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2018, 01:01:33 am »
As promised, here are the updates of the Alcohol washes (after 24 days of OAV treatments), along with some notes:

Your thoughts on these numbers are always appreciated.

H1 - did not alcohol wash.
H2 - (highest infestation hive at start) - 2 mites in alcohol wash - 4 med. frames of bees. 1 frame brood.
H3 - (5dx5mx5m nuc) - 5 mites in alc. wash - large brood nest. Hive is getting packed.
H4 - (5dx5mx5m nuc) - 11 mites in alc. wash - large brood nest.

Additional notes:
All hives have increased (doubled?) in size in last 24 days, except H2.
No DWV observed in any hive - very different from November inspection.
Fresh nectar coming in all hives - eucalyptus maybe. (Several big stands of them nearby)
H4 had many drones - no other drones observed.
Brood patterns good, and in all stages, in all hives.
There was far more brood than I expected to see - mid 30's F night temps, 60ish F days.
Hives looked the healthiest I've ever seen - in my yard anyways.

All hives seemed to want to fight me today - never happened before. Got several stings. By the time I opened H1 (lastly) I was getting attacked constantly. Gave up, and closed the hive.

I'm thinking H4 may need additional treatment. The brood nest is in the 2nd and 3rd boxes. High density of bees. Maybe OAV is not reaching high enough up into the brood area?  Maybe I should OAV (provap) from the middle box directly into brood area? ... didn't see any drone cells, but quite a few drones, maybe drones are bringing the mites? ... hmm ... Lots of questions right now.
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Offline TheHoneyPump

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OAV treatment advice needed ...
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2018, 11:43:24 am »
For consideration and imho

Advice is:   
If alcohol wash raw count is more than 9, continue treatment.  6 or less is best.  (Assuming the wash is approx1/2 cup of bees).
The mites seen and counted now may be ones that just came out with all those drones you are seeing - which would have just recently emerged, with mites on their backs.

The numbers:
H2 looks good. Patience, now that the mites are off their back the hive should quickly recover under good conditions. Perhaps feed it syrup+patty to give it a boost. If it does not bounce back after that, then it is still inflicted with something ( virus, nosema, queen injured or sick or old )
H3 is borderline
H4 needs continue, 2 more treatments
H1 is unknown

My practice is if I am going to treat one hive in a yard for mites, I treat all the hives regardless and at same time. Bees and drones drift. Drones especially. Based on that, I would be treating all 4 for 2 more times at 3-4 days apart, starting immediately. H4 being the high marker at this point, wash H4 again 2 days after the extended treatments for confirmation of effectiveness of the final mite cleanup. Assuming the end results are on point, the hives will then be set for a blistering season.

H2 may really benefit from donations of 2 brood frames from the other hives.  However do NOT do that until the final mite treatment and results across the board are satisfactory. For now, just give them some syrup and protein supplement (patty).

Glad to see the hives are on the upswing and healthy.  These are signs that you are doing a great job at getting the mites off of them and out of the brood.  Great work!

Hope that helps!

PS: The cranky bees are the oldest bees, which tend to be cantankerous. When the population flips, new young bees as the new brood emerges, the hives will significantly calm right down. Hang in there!  Keep the smoker lit and lightly puff them back when you notice a bunch of bees aligned across the gaps between frames looking up at you.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2018, 04:40:03 pm by TheHoneyPump »
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Offline CoolBees

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Re: OAV treatment advice needed ...
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2018, 05:27:53 pm »
Thank you HP for your input. I VERY much appreciate it!

I was shocked to see the growth rate in the hives this month. I've never seen it like this at this time of year. It's as if the girls were excited about being cleaned up, and understood that now is the time to grow. Usually our 1st blossoms are mid Jan, and growth happens Feb to Mar.

Also - I'm not sure that I buy the argument that field bees will not return to being nurse bees (if needed). The brood patterns were so large that there definitely weren't enough nurse bees to support the growth going into this. ...

... as I shook frames into the tub for alcohol wash, then rolled them to Queen check, 60% of the bees flew directly back to the hive, and/or at me with no hesitation (not what I normally see). This suggests to me, that these bees were well trained at flight. ... but it's not like I know all that much. :)

... in either case, they definitely showed a lack of interest in polite conversation.

Cheers!
« Last Edit: December 31, 2018, 05:44:29 pm by CoolBees »
You cannot permanently help men by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves - Abraham Lincoln

Offline TheHoneyPump

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OAV treatment advice needed ...
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2018, 09:45:45 pm »
Those old bees are -winter bees- are the last bees raised in oct-nov.  Those bees hold nutrition in their bodies and hold on until it is time in early spring for the colony to start brooding. By January they are old bees, but by divine design they are nurse bees in waiting.  Those are the bees you are encountering.  In 3-4 weeks those bees will be dead and gone, the nest population will -flip- to new spring bees. At that point your 2019 season is officially open, game is on!

Anticipate a noticeable population dip in the period that the -flip- occurs.  Bee expectant of it so not concerned when it happens.  It short, and the nest takes off again within a week. 

A good topic to read up on if you are not yet familiar - winter bees -  .

Sounds like you are helping them with the right stuff at the right time.  The rest is up to the bees.  They let you know that they like what you are doing by rewarding with dense population, exponential growth, and boxes full of bees and honey.
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