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Battling varroa mites

Discussion in 'Bee Pests, Diseases, Predators, Robbing' started by Robbin, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. Oct 22, 2014
    Robbin

    Robbin Loving the herd life

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    I started using an oxalic acid vaporizer. It's very cost effective and very effective against mites. If you are handy you could make a vaporizer, I bought mine for about $130. OA is cheap and the treatments are pennies a hive. OAV is still not "legal" in the us, but well on it's way to being legal. It's legal in about 20 countries now and has been widely used in the US for the last 10 years.
    Just thought I'd post what is working for me.
    Robbin
     
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  2. Sep 14, 2015
    Robbin

    Robbin Loving the herd life

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    OA is now legal in the US, one of the major beekeeping groups finally got the FDA to undertake a study and following the study the FDA has approved OA dribble and Vaporizing for bees in the US.
    I've been using it for about 3 years.
     
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  3. Sep 14, 2015
    samssimonsays

    samssimonsays Milo & Me Hoppy Tail Acres

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    Congrats on the breakthrough!
     
  4. Sep 14, 2015
    babsbag

    babsbag Herd Master

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    So how do you personally apply it without inhaling the fumes.
     
  5. Sep 14, 2015
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    Good to know, thanks for sharing. I've had good luck with Apiguard.
     
  6. Oct 2, 2015
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    OK, I installed Hopguard II strips yesterday around noon. Temp was in the low 80s, humidity low at maybe 15-20%, light breeze, slightly cloudy. I have a 2 deep (10 frame) hive structure with LOTS of bees, and the hive is strong. Here are pictures of the drop board, pulled today after 24 hours. It was clean (aside from staining) when I installed it. As you can see, there are a LOT of dead :clapmites :somad. I will pull the board every day over the coming week to monitor progress.

    You can also see liquid honey that is from torn cells when I was separating frames to install the strips :hit. This shows the edge of the board so you can get a size perspective.

    IMG_1407.JPG
    Here's another shot, a little closer. I didn't shrink either of these down, so they're large files, but as such it allows you to zoom in and see these pests a little clearer.
    IMG_1408.JPG

    I'm not even going to try to count these, but would estimate close to a thousand mites after one day.
     
  7. Oct 2, 2015
    babsbag

    babsbag Herd Master

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    Darn, that is alot of mites. I need to go and check mine.
     
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  8. Oct 2, 2015
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    Wow, that is a lot. I have had a lot dropping, but I haven't seen that many on my board. Darn good thing you treated!

    I just did my 2nd dose of apiguard today. So we will see how many drop tomorrow.
     
  9. Oct 4, 2015
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    So day 3 of the Hopguard II application. Checked the drop board again today and the #s have dropped substantially. Still hundreds of mites, but more centered on the drop board, directly under the brood frames, rather than covering the entire board. I would guess these are recently hatched varroa that were in brood cells.

    Temps dropped substantially here overnight last night and today's high barely hit 60 with mostly cloudy skies all day. Sure glad I got the entrance reducer in and the drop board installed. Still haven't gotten the mouse screen in place because the bees have been bearding at the new reduced sized entrance. They did clean up the remaining honey off the frames I left out there for them so I brought them and the empty honey super in for storage. Found some dead yellow jackets too, so they must have gotten the bees pissed off. Anyway, with the lower temps and weather change, most of the bees should have stayed close to home today and therefore have better exposure to the strips.

    If the drop # continues to decrease as it has, I will consider doing a 2nd treatment mid month to make sure and kill the ones who are coming out of brood cells. I'm hoping it will work as advertised over the 30 day period and continue to kill mites over the majority of that time. Since the mites enter the cells right before capping (day 6-8) and the worker emerges at day 21, if the strips work for at least 12-15 days of the 30, they should kill most of the mites that were out as well as those that hatch out with hatching brood, before they get a chance to re-enter new brood cells.

    I'll update this over time so we can all learn.
     
  10. Oct 5, 2015
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    Thanks for the update. While I've had good luck with Apiguard, I'm interested in how Hopguard works.

    With Apiguard, it's normal to have a lot and then have the number of mites decrease. The bees get the thymol on them and carry it through the hive. Plus, thymol is heavier than air. My drops increased again after the 2nd treatment was added Friday. I can't count on the counts from my 2nd hive, because the ants have been carrying off the dead varroa. They haven't found the tray on my main hive yet.