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Author Topic: First year queens and non treatment mite drop differences, if any  (Read 321 times)

Offline charentejohn

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Just looking at mite drop on the sticky boards and running at a steady 16-24 running into winter so ok with that.  What with a brood break or at least reduction over winter, and the bees moving in and out of the cluster no doubt disloding some small number of mites, is there a difference.  I will do sticky boards every 3-4 weeks over winter as they go well below the open floor so don't shut it off.

I saw when the bees arrived in mid May they had a drop of 6 and 12 (different hives) after treatment a month before So......
As treatment does not remove all mites they will build up again, there were few after they arrived so would this be the case after winter with less brood and not going out just milling about (open floor).

I was thinking of some small treatment to 'wean them off' treatments but as queens are first year they have only seen chemicals once.  There will be some in the foundation but they have built their own now in the warre boxes and all treated workers are long gone.   What I have now is new workers from whatever drones were around, so best chance to do nothing I think I will get.

With a drop of 20ish/day (worst was 30) expecting the same 10 or less in may is reasonable or am I too optimistic ?
   
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Offline yes2matt

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Re: First year queens and non treatment mite drop differences, if any
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2020, 07:41:17 am »
Just looking at mite drop on the sticky boards and running at a steady 16-24 running into winter so ok with that.  What with a brood break or at least reduction over winter, and the bees moving in and out of the cluster no doubt disloding some small number of mites, is there a difference.  I will do sticky boards every 3-4 weeks over winter as they go well below the open floor so don't shut it off.

I saw when the bees arrived in mid May they had a drop of 6 and 12 (different hives) after treatment a month before So......
As treatment does not remove all mites they will build up again, there were few after they arrived so would this be the case after winter with less brood and not going out just milling about (open floor).

I was thinking of some small treatment to 'wean them off' treatments but as queens are first year they have only seen chemicals once.  There will be some in the foundation but they have built their own now in the warre boxes and all treated workers are long gone.   What I have now is new workers from whatever drones were around, so best chance to do nothing I think I will get.

With a drop of 20ish/day (worst was 30) expecting the same 10 or less in may is reasonable or am I too optimistic ?
 
Suppose you have two hives in the same yard, they're both in the same size box.  You get a 24 hr mite drop count at the same time. One is 10, other is 20.
Is the bigger number because the colony has twice as many bees and same infestation rate? Or is it same bees and twice the infestation?  Or is same bees, same infestation pressure, and the colony with 20 is twice as good with grooming?

My point is that if you're serious about measuring mite infestation between colonies and across time you need to adopt a more standardized test method. Alcohol wash is the "gold standard" I think at least around here; the folks I've talked to about it usually prefer a sugar shake. What you're after is standardization within your own operations and it's nice to be comparing apples to apples with the folks to talk to about your project. You won't ever get standardized number with a sticky board.

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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: First year queens and non treatment mite drop differences, if any
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2020, 10:16:20 am »
John,
Mite drop of 20 in a 24 hour period is real high. I recommend you treat with something now. 3 per 24 hours is normally considered to be requiring treatment.
Jim Altmiller

Offline charentejohn

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Re: First year queens and non treatment mite drop differences, if any
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2020, 03:00:05 pm »
Sorry guys, not a hope in Hades as they say.
On the balance and alcohol wash not really the point and I don't like to kill bees for higher accuracy.  I have seen that this is not really accurate either but not the point as the sticky board is an idea of rise and fall and accurate enough for me.
Sugar and alohol shakes mean opening the hive and scraping off bees so not possible over winter.   Just not my way of doing things so sticky boards it is I'm afraid.

I think 3 in 24 hrs (no offence) is nuts, I saw this from a canadian site.  I subsequently found that 50 is not good  but acceptable and that is my benchmark.  I can't imagine 3/day or less just after a treatment has worn off.  There will always be that amount no matter what you do surely ?

I suppose my real question is when they start brood rearing again what count should I see.  I will qualify this by saying in comparison with my current daily counts. 

Editd to add.  The bees are different types, the lesser drop is from the most active 'italianate' colony, the other are blacker bees and come and go less but were massive on arrival.  One was 3 frames the other 5 loaded frames, no idea why but they have always been the same ratio drops of one abour 30% more than the other. 
« Last Edit: October 11, 2020, 06:57:14 pm by charentejohn »
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