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Author Topic: Where are the Varroa mites???  (Read 467 times)

Offline van from Arkansas

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Where are the Varroa mites???
« on: July 26, 2019, 05:51:29 pm »
After treatment, two days ago, with OAV,  I can only find 0-4 mites on the bottom board.

I treated 17 hives July 24, 2019 with Oxalic acid vapor using a provap 110volt set to 230F.  I treated the rate of 1 gram per 10 frame langstrof deep: 2 grams per a double deep, 1 gram for 5 gram double nuc.  Been doing same treatment for years except for my treatment free hives which all died last March. So this year all hives are treated.  I gave up on treatment free, I can?t make it work; but to be clear: treatment free M. Bush and others are looked up to.

So where are all the mites?  Did my treatment fail, all 17 hives, not likely but possible.  I did treat last December with OAV with absent capped brood.  In fact, 2018, I treated 5 times with OAV.

At this point, I am not sure why the absence of mites.  Next time I see drone brood I will open the cells and look for mites.

I just can?t do an alcohol wash and subsequent mite count.  I can?t kill the very bees I adore that trust me.

I am attaching a pic from October 26, 2018, last year.  A pic of the bottom board that had a high mite count which the queen was replaced:

[ You are not allowed to view attachments ].   Bottom board, 2 days after treatment with OAV, 2018.  The white powder is diatonic earth for control of beetles.
Bless the Beekeepers.  Dealing with venomous insects takes courage, patience, dedication and a desire to be with nature.

Offline saltybluegrass

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Re: Where are the Varroa mites???
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2019, 06:08:22 pm »
My wife refuses to kill 300 bees let alone 3 in the name of science but so many say powdered sugar doesn?t  give a correct assessment.
Which is better?
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Where are the Varroa mites???
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2019, 07:01:58 pm »
Odd, Van.  Sorry I can't offer any advice, but I guess it's better to be dealing with a strange lack of mites than a strange surplus of mites.   :happy:

I just can?t do an alcohol wash and subsequent mite count.  I can?t kill the very bees I adore that trust me.

My wife refuses to kill 300 bees let alone 3 in the name of science but so many say powdered sugar doesn?t  give a correct assessment.
Which is better?

I can't stand killing bees for an alcohol wash either.  HoneyPump told me last year that if you multiply your sugar roll numbers by a factor of 1.3, it helps to compensates for the lack of accuracy.  Here's an example he gave me:
"Example1:
Sugar shake method
1/2 cup bees.  (300+ bees)
18 mites counted
Divide by 3 =
6 mites per 100 bees
Multiply by 1.3, factor for sugar vs alcohol
    6 x 1.3 = 7.8 mites per 100 bees. Call it 8

This example is 8 mp100 = 8 percent.  Infestation and contagion. Attack level. Get out the hard treatment arsenals."
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Where are the Varroa mites???
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2019, 11:22:30 pm »
After treatment, two days ago, with OAV,  I can only find 0-4 mites on the bottom board.

I treated 17 hives July 24, 2019 with Oxalic acid vapor using a provap 110volt set to 230F.  I treated the rate of 1 gram per 10 frame langstrof deep: 2 grams per a double deep, 1 gram for 5 gram double nuc.  Been doing same treatment for years except for my treatment free hives which all died last March. So this year all hives are treated.  I gave up on treatment free, I can?t make it work; but to be clear: treatment free M. Bush and others are looked up to.

So where are all the mites?  Did my treatment fail, all 17 hives, not likely but possible.  I did treat last December with OAV with absent capped brood.  In fact, 2018, I treated 5 times with OAV.

At this point, I am not sure why the absence of mites.  Next time I see drone brood I will open the cells and look for mites.

I just can?t do an alcohol wash and subsequent mite count.  I can?t kill the very bees I adore that trust me.

I am attaching a pic from October 26, 2018, last year.  A pic of the bottom board that had a high mite count which the queen was replaced:

 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ] .   Bottom board, 2 days after treatment with OAV, 2018.  The white powder is diatonic earth for control of beetles.

@van from Arkansas
Wow Mr. Van it is amazing at the dropped mites!! You told us the bees replaced the queen, did this hive survive winter, meaning was the treatment a success?  I am happy for you that you do not have the same problem this year. One more question, I get tired of fooling with the oil pans, even though they are VERY effective against the SHB. In your opinion, is diatonic earth just as effective against SHB as oil trays?  I am ready for a change if so.....   I will also admit, though it is probably the most accurate way of determining the mite count, I do not like killing the bees either.
Phillip

@The15thMember
Thank you Member for sharing the guide line that THP showed last year. That was an interesting and educational period when he was teaching us of the mites along with problems associated with them. thanks for the reminder.
Phillip
« Last Edit: July 26, 2019, 11:59:02 pm by Ben Framed »

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Where are the Varroa mites???
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2019, 11:42:02 pm »
Mr. Ben, I replaced the queen with known hygienic stock do to high mite load.  The original queen was not producing hygienic bees.  The hive is thriving today.

I used oil, it works but is so messy and mold grew.  So for the past 3-4 years I have used diatomaceous earth in the screened bottom board.  The stuff is food grade, but I would not eat it, even if it is calcium carbonate, the stuff they put in Rolaids, tums malox, etc.

I have to replace the powder about once a month if it is rainy.  Place a plug of pollen patty in the middle of the diatonic earth on screened bottom board and watch the beetles go for the bait and die.  The beetles adore pollen patties.
Blessings

Van
Bless the Beekeepers.  Dealing with venomous insects takes courage, patience, dedication and a desire to be with nature.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Where are the Varroa mites???
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2019, 12:01:16 am »
Mr. Ben, I replaced the queen with known hygienic stock do to high mite load.  The original queen was not producing hygienic bees.  The hive is thriving today.

I used oil, it works but is so messy and mold grew.  So for the past 3-4 years I have used diatomaceous earth in the screened bottom board.  The stuff is food grade, but I would not eat it, even if it is calcium carbonate, the stuff they put in Rolaids, tums malox, etc.

I have to replace the powder about once a month if it is rainy.  Place a plug of pollen patty in the middle of the diatonic earth on screened bottom board and watch the beetles go for the bait and die.  The beetles adore pollen patties.
Blessings

Van

Thanks Mr Van. I am glad for you and the bees that they did survive. Good for you replacing with your hygienic queen.

Offline tjc1

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Re: Where are the Varroa mites???
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2019, 11:42:26 pm »
I spoke the very same words last year at this time after first OAV treatment - "What? No mites?!" So I did not do more treatments (not wanting to treat when unnecessary) Did another treatment early September and still very few mites. Then suddenly there was an explosion of mites in late October. Did a series of treatments then and saved 2 out of 3 hives (one got CBPV), but they were weak in the spring. I won't make that mistake again - OAV series this month, visible mites or no.

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Where are the Varroa mites???
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2019, 12:10:50 am »
TJC, I agree with you.  I will treat again in August and September and finally in December when there is no capped brood.  I only use Oxalic acid vaporization, 1 gram per single deep, 2 grams to a double deep.

Cheers
Van
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Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Where are the Varroa mites???
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2019, 02:12:59 pm »
Sept 19, treated my hives again with oxalic acid vaporization, the results.

Only one hive out of 17, had concerning mite drop numbers.  Guessing at about 200 dead mites on the screened bottom board.  All other hives had so few mites, I have to look carefully to find a dead mite.

For years I have been selecting queens for breeding that had the lowest mite drop.  Looks like my queen breeding efforts are finally paying off.  The queen that had significant mite drop will be replaced next spring.  Mites will continue to drop for days so I will keep an eye on the bottom boards.  Hives with significant mite drop will have the queen replaced next spring.

Today, regarding Varroa, things look good for my hives, as this old fella definitely has some outstanding queens.

Cheers
Van
Bless the Beekeepers.  Dealing with venomous insects takes courage, patience, dedication and a desire to be with nature.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Where are the Varroa mites???
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2019, 05:27:57 pm »
?Today, regarding Varroa, things look good for my hives, as this old fella definitely has some outstanding queens.

Cheers
Van?

Yes things do look good for your hives and with those results,
 I agree, you have great stock Mr Van 👍🏻

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Where are the Varroa mites???
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2019, 06:01:44 pm »
Even though we don't have Varroa we still check using the sugar shake method. We use icing sugar but I have trouble getting volunteers to go into the jar.
We use a jar with hole in the lid and shake the icing sugar out over a bucket of water, we aren't counting, just looking for the presence which I hope we don't find for a long time.
Reading about the US scene and Varroa sound like a pain in the rear end.

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Where are the Varroa mites???
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2019, 01:26:09 pm »
Beavo if you are having trouble getting bees into a jar.  Here is what I used to do:  stand a frame on end, place the jar the back of the bees and gently side the jar down the frame rubbing the backs of the bees.  This causes the bees to roll over backwards and fall into the jar.  The mouth of the jar is upward facing and the jar is sliding  down the frames so bees are gently rolled into the jar.
Van
Bless the Beekeepers.  Dealing with venomous insects takes courage, patience, dedication and a desire to be with nature.

Offline Live Oak

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Re: Where are the Varroa mites???
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2019, 02:54:10 pm »
I am on the last bit of my 4th application of OAV in about 4 weeks and I am noting a gradual reduction of mite droppings.  There are still a few hives that are showing an uncomfortable mite drop number but they too are gradually decreasing.  For the most part the vast majority of my hives are show little to no mites like you are seeing.  Due to medical issues I got far behind in my apiary this season and had to do something FAST as the mites were taking over and I lost a few hives. 

The application of OAV I am finding is about as much work as is thermal treatment only the OAV treatment goes quickly each round of treatment but applying 5 to 6 round of OAV is very time consuming. Thermal treatment takes just as long time wise but requires disassembly of each hive and a 2.5 hour treatment cycle in addition to a hour set up time and I can do a maximum of 12 hives at one time vs. about 50 hives with a single ProVap.  I just starts running dual ProVaps yesterday and I can see being able to treat 100 hives a day especially if I can get that 3rd ProVap in the mix.   I was using a single ProVap 110 but that is just too slow.  I broke out a second ProVap 110 which has greatly increased my speed treating the hives.  I have a 3rd ProVap 110 that I am considering throwing into the mix once I get a good work rhythm going with 2 ProVap's.  Not sure if 3 will be too much but I think it's worth a try.   

Colony populations are noticeably growing larger, and very spotting brood patterns are gradually getting MUCH better.  Foraging activity was noticeably increased after the 1st OAV treatment the next day. 

OAV is an excellent method of mite treatment but it has it's limitations.  It is fantastic if a quick knock down of mites is needed to buy some time but it does NOT kill reproductive mites under the brood cappings which is where most of the mites are.  Repeated rounds of OAV treatment gradually reduce the numbers of reproductive mites that return to the brood but thermal treatment accomplished basically the same results as MAQS or Formic Pro without the harsh formic acid which can kill brood and queens if temperatures are in the upper treatment temperature range. 

OAV, thermal, and Apivar I am finding is a nice rotational treatment mix although I have my suspicions that Apivar is gradually losing the battle to resistant mites. 

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Where are the Varroa mites???
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2019, 03:09:29 pm »
Even though we don't have Varroa we still check using the sugar shake method. We use icing sugar but I have trouble getting volunteers to go into the jar.
We use a jar with hole in the lid and shake the icing sugar out over a bucket of water, we aren't counting, just looking for the presence which I hope we don't find for a long time.
Reading about the US scene and Varroa sound like a pain in the rear end.
Beavo if you are having trouble getting bees into a jar.  Here is what I used to do:  stand a frame on end, place the jar the back of the bees and gently side the jar down the frame rubbing the backs of the bees.  This causes the bees to roll over backwards and fall into the jar.  The mouth of the jar is upward facing and the jar is sliding  down the frames so bees are gently rolled into the jar.
Van
I have this big flexible plastic garden tub that I use to carry all my supplies up to my hives, and I use this for my sugar rolls.  I take a frame and either brush or shake the bees off it into the tub, and then pour the bees from the tub into my sugar roll jar.  It works great, and I can easily collect at least a cup of bees to sample.     
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Where are the Varroa mites???
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2019, 05:09:56 pm »
LiveOak, first let me express my empathy for you not feeling up to par.  I take it from your post you are doing better.  I hope you health continues to improve.

Second, very well stated texted.  Yes I agree with your detailed post.  OAV does not work on mites in capped brood, understood.  However after treatment with OAV, emerging mites from capped brood are doomed.  My question is how long is the residual effects of OAV on emerging mites?  Never read a study so I don?t know how long OAV last, 2 days or 10 days, I don?t know for sure.

The provap 110v is what I use: fast and effective.  I treat July, August, September and lastly in December or January when there is no capped brood.  In Spring my bees begin virtually mite free.

I don?t use any other miteacides, only OAV can pass my stringent personal guidelines for the bees.  Thermal treatment has promised but I question the effect on gametes which are known thermal sensitive and the reason male mammals have exposed gamete reproductive organ.  Jim, I worded very carefully for you the previous sentence.

So until I hear more from beeks, like LiveOak using thermal treatment I will just sit back and watch.

Blessings
Van
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Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Where are the Varroa mites???
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2019, 06:22:41 pm »

Residual time frame for Oxalic acid vaporization: 14 days.

Effects of Oxalic Acid on Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

According to the above article, 14 days is the period of residual effects on mites by OAV.  So any mites in capped brood that emerge in 2 weeks after treatment is in trouble.

BTW the article also investigated ingestion of OA in sugar solution.  The results were ingestion is lethal in small amounts.  By no means feed bees Oxalic acid.

On the other hand, Vaporization was safe up to 0.175 mg per single honey bee.  In other words vapor is very well tolerated, very safe, at recommended treatment levels, but ingestion or feeding bees Oxalic acid is not safe.

Van
Bless the Beekeepers.  Dealing with venomous insects takes courage, patience, dedication and a desire to be with nature.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Where are the Varroa mites???
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2019, 09:29:00 pm »

Residual time frame for Oxalic acid vaporization: 14 days.

Effects of Oxalic Acid on Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

According to the above article, 14 days is the period of residual effects on mites by OAV.  So any mites in capped brood that emerge in 2 weeks after treatment is in trouble.

BTW the article also investigated ingestion of OA in sugar solution.  The results were ingestion is lethal in small amounts.  By no means feed bees Oxalic acid.

On the other hand, Vaporization was safe up to 0.175 mg per single honey bee.  In other words vapor is very well tolerated, very safe, at recommended treatment levels, but ingestion or feeding bees Oxalic acid is not safe.

Van

Quote
According to the above article, 14 days is the period of residual effects on mites by OAV.  So any mites in capped brood that emerge in 2 weeks after treatment is in trouble.


Good to know, I am pleased that you followed up with this from your  previous post because I also wished for the answer to your previous question.


Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Where are the Varroa mites???
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2019, 09:36:51 pm »
Mr Live Oak using 3 provaps at the same time will have you hopping over your apiaries like a grasshopper!! 😊😁. I would like to asK, have you heard of anyone using formic via provap?

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Where are the Varroa mites???
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2019, 09:51:52 pm »
Mr Live Oak using 3 provaps at the same time will have you hopping over your apiaries like a grasshopper!! 😊😁. I would like to asK, have you heard of anyone using formic via provap?

Phil, Formic acid vaporization would be very dangerous to both human and bees.  Formic acid is much more toxic than Oxalic acid.  Fire ants inject Formic acid via their stinger, thus Formic acid is the venom of fire ants.  Look how tiny a fire ant is and imagine what a small dose of Formic acid causes such a fiery sting.  Those little ants can sting as you are probably aware.  Many a honey bee colony has been killed by improper use of Formic acid.  I can understand your correlation, or logic, seems like a simple idea.  But not one to try.
Bless the Beekeepers.  Dealing with venomous insects takes courage, patience, dedication and a desire to be with nature.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Where are the Varroa mites???
« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2019, 11:10:46 am »
Mr Live Oak using 3 provaps at the same time will have you hopping over your apiaries like a grasshopper!! 😊😁. I would like to asK, have you heard of anyone using formic via provap?

Phil, Formic acid vaporization would be very dangerous to both human and bees.  Formic acid is much more toxic than Oxalic acid.  Fire ants inject Formic acid via their stinger, thus Formic acid is the venom of fire ants.  Look how tiny a fire ant is and imagine what a small dose of Formic acid causes such a fiery sting.  Those little ants can sting as you are probably aware.  Many a honey bee colony has been killed by improper use of Formic acid.  I can understand your correlation, or logic, seems like a simple idea.  But not one to try.

Once again I see you being here a blessing Mr Van. I wouldn't try this without scientific backing, and you, being my scientist of choice, thank you!!
Phillip