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Author Topic: Proposed Mite Control for 2020  (Read 610 times)

Offline amymcg

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Proposed Mite Control for 2020
« on: January 28, 2020, 05:39:40 pm »
So over the past 10 years I haven?t been beekeeping much. Attempts to keep bees, despite some treatments have never resulted in a hive that was able to overwinter.  So, with two packages on the way in March, I feel like I need to develop a plan and since I?ve been a bit out of the loop, I?d like to get some advice from you who have actually been in the trenches.

1) Install packages into 5 frame nucs and do OA dribble
2) Move into full bodies after about a month. (I have lots of drawn comb)
3) Check for mites using sugar or alcohol roll. (I have never done this, so if anyone could point to a good video resource, I?d appreciate it)
4) Super Up!
5) Remove Honey Supers in August, apply Apilife Var
6) Check for mites again in October using sugar or alcohol, treat appropriately with ??
7) Do OA Dribble in December.

Problems? Thoughts?  All appreciated.

Offline jimineycricket

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Re: Proposed Mite Control for 2020
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2020, 10:58:52 am »
Quote
1) Install packages into 5 frame nucs and do OA dribble
2) Move into full bodies after about a month. (I have lots of drawn comb)
3) Check for mites using sugar or alcohol roll. (I have never done this, so if anyone could point to a good video resource, I?d appreciate it)
4) Super Up!
5) Remove Honey Supers in August, apply Apilife Var
6) Check for mites again in October using sugar or alcohol, treat appropriately with ??
7) Do OA Dribble in December.

Problems? Thoughts?  All appreciated.
          You asked for advice; here is mine:
1)  Install packages into 5 frame nucs.  Ask your supplier if and when bees have been treated for mites.  If they have been treated, don't mess with them.   If not, you can spray according to EPA reg. No. 91266-1-991832 (google it)
2)  Move into 10 frame only when nuc is full
3)  Add supers only when brood chambers are mostly full.
4)  Check for mites in August using alcohol wash (good instructions on scientificbeekeeping.com)
     Do not treat unless alcohol wash reveals the need for treatment.
5)  I would not remove any honey this first year.
6)  Check again for mites once in Sept. and once in Oct.  If needed, treat with poison of your choice, 
     which will depend on temperature.
7)  Do OA dribble around Thanksgiving.
8)  Do not disturb hive in December.
9)  Read everything Scientific Beekeeping offers under Basic Beekeeping.  Good Stuff.

Good luck. :smile:
jimmy

Offline amymcg

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Re: Proposed Mite Control for 2020
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2020, 01:59:00 pm »
Great info, thanks!  I swear last summer when I went online to buy some mite control, I was simply overwhelmed by all the options offered now.  I've got some reading to do!

Online The15thMember

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Re: Proposed Mite Control for 2020
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2020, 05:42:40 pm »
I was going to let more experienced people answer, but since you aren't getting a lot of answers here, I'll add my two cents.  Which, in reality, is actually someone else's two cents.  :embarassed:  :cheesy:  One of the very experienced and knowledgeable members on this forum, TheHoneyPump, gave me some treatment guidelines that I have found very helpful, and perhaps they will be helpful for you too.  He told me to check my mite counts by sugar roll or alcohol wash in the spring before the hives get built up, before you put supers on, when you take the supers off, and before winterizing, and of course any time you are seeing evidence of mites (viruses, bees pulling brood, actually seeing mites on the bees, etc.).  He recommended if your mite testing comes up with 0-2 mites per 100 bees, you don't need to treat; 3-5 mites/100 bees use a soft/organic treatment if it's summer and a hard/chemical treatment if it's fall; and anytime of year, if you see 6+ mites/100 to treat with a hard/chemical treatment.  Alcohol washes are more accurate, but I always do sugar rolls because I don't like killing bees if I don't have to.  To help compensate for the inaccuracy of the sugar roll, you can multiply the number of mites by 1.3, to get a little more accurate number. 

Here's how I do a sugar roll.  I pick a frame from the brood nest that has a lot of bees and does NOT have the queen.  I have this 2 gallon garden tub made of kind of bendy plastic and I hold the frame vertically (sideways) over the tub and give it a stiff shake to knock the bees into the tub.  (I used to use a brush, and sometimes I still do if there aren't really enough bees on the frame.)  I pour the bees from the tub into my sugar roll jar, which is a qt. mason jar with #8 hardware cloth in the lid ring.  (It's weird how bees pour, but they do.)  I usually roll 1 cup of bees which is about 600 bees.  After I screw the lid on, I put about a tablespoon of powered sugar in through the mesh, just eyeballing the measurement with my hive tool.  Then I put a plastic dish on top of the jar to keep the sugar in, and shake it up really good to coat the bees in sugar.  Then I set the jar in the shade for about 5 minutes to let the bees get warm and "cook" the mites off.  Then I turn the jar upside down and shake the powdered sugar onto a paper plate, and with the sugar comes any mites.  I usually spritz the sugar on the plate with a spray bottle of water to dissolve it, so I can see the mites better.  Be sure to shake out as much of the sugar as possible, or your numbers will be inaccurate.  I return the (now very angry, but thankfully unable to fly) bees to the hive, being sure to check the bottom of the jar for any mites as well.  Then just do the math to calculate the mite/bee percentages, and from there you can decide what treatment, if any, you think you may need.       


     
 

 

                             
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Offline amymcg

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Re: Proposed Mite Control for 2020
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2020, 11:39:59 am »

Thank you!  This is very helpful.

Anyone's thoughts on Alcohol vs Sugar roll?   I read somewhere that those bees involved in the sugar roll eventually die, but I'd like to know if there's any actual study on that or if it's just conjecture?

Offline jimineycricket

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Re: Proposed Mite Control for 2020
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2020, 12:58:20 pm »
I do not know if the sugar roll bees die or not. I have heard/read that if you shake them hard enough to get the mites off then you will kill them. If you see stingers in your powered sugar they will die.
 
I have done a sugar roll and then an alcohol wash on the same bees and did not get any more mites with the alcohol wash. (I did this maybe four times)  But once I found more mites with the alcohol wash after the sugar roll. Go figure?? :wink:
jimmy

Online The15thMember

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Re: Proposed Mite Control for 2020
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2020, 02:47:05 pm »
In my experience, some of the bees come out of the sugar roll worse than others, but most of them seem fine to me.  They are obviously hot and coated in sugar, so when I dump them out onto the top bars they fan like crazy and spread out, and the other bees come up and start helping them clean off.  I would say out of the 600 bees I roll maybe 10-15 are obviously injured or dead.  The overwhelming majority of them are able to walk and move around normally and a couple are able to fly right away, so I don't see why, once they are cooled down and cleaned off, they wouldn't be back to work. 

Then I put a plastic dish on top of the jar to keep the sugar in, and shake it up really good to coat the bees in sugar.                     
I have heard/read that if you shake them hard enough to get the mites off then you will kill them.

I think the word "shake" was a bad descriptive word for me to use.  The goal of the sugar roll is not to shake the jar to dislodge the mites.  That would be harmful to the bees.  I believe it's largely the heat of the bees' bodies that causes the mites to dislodge, and the sugar probably helps to keep them from latching back on.  I am really just moving the jar around, turning it and flipping it up and down to coat the bees, like you would if you were coating candy in sugar.  It's not a shaking motion like a maraca.             
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 amymcg

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Re: Proposed Mite Control for 2020
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2020, 02:11:16 pm »
Ok. All good info. Thanks!


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