Advice on varroa treatment in nuc

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BeeBird

Lakes bee from Mungrisdale near Keswick
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Aug 26, 2022
Messages
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Location
Cumbria
Hive Type
WBC
Number of Hives
4 WBC & 2 Abelo 12 frame national poly
I made up a nuc 4 weeks ago from a split from one of my hives and a bought them a beautiful Buckfast Queen from BMH. They have accepted her and are building nicely. I took a picture of her on my last inspection (see below) she looked great but I was shocked 😳 to see a varroa mite on one of the worker bees in the picture. Wondering if I should give them a tray of apiguard to try to deal with the little critters. My hives were treated last September with Apistan strips and then they got 4 treatments of OA by Varrox in late December. As I won’t be treating the other hives until Autumn when the supers come off, how detrimental would it be to leave the nuc until then to treat? I don’t want to disrupt the Queen from laying, but as they are only a very small colony at the moment I am thinking it might be more beneficial to treat them now. All advice welcome.
 

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I’d suggest with your over zealous winter treatment on the donating colony in most instances you should be fine till autumn. Late December treatments need only be a single application of OA. I certainly wouldn’t treat with apistan again and if using strips use apivar.
I’d leave unless you start seeing bees with dwv.Or a single vape if you have the kit to asses drop.
 
Thank you for your advice. I do have a Varrox vaporiser so could give them 1 treatment of OA. I hadn’t realised I was being over zealous with the December treatments 😬 think I was just trying to use belt and braces to ensure the bee’s went into winter as mite free as possible, as I only had 1 hive at that time. I now have 5 hives and 1 nuc so have been on a learning curve. I have purchased some apiguard gel tray’s which I was planning to use for the autumn treatment this year then the OA vape in December again, but maybe just 1 OA treatment unless there is a heavy mite drop.
Every day’s a school day 🤓
 
I would either vape them with a sticky board underneath to count the mite fall or sample a cup full of bees with a sugar roll .
 
Thank you for your advice. I do have a Varrox vaporiser so could give them 1 treatment of OA. I hadn’t realised I was being over zealous with the December treatments 😬 think I was just trying to use belt and braces to ensure the bee’s went into winter as mite free as possible, as I only had 1 hive at that time. I now have 5 hives and 1 nuc so have been on a learning curve. I have purchased some apiguard gel tray’s which I was planning to use for the autumn treatment this year then the OA vape in December again, but maybe just 1 OA treatment unless there is a heavy mite drop.
Every day’s a school day 🤓
Good you’ve got the kit.
In late December you are very likely brood less, oxalic will only kill varroa outside of cells. So during a brood less period only a single application is required.
If possible I’d leave any treatment till autumn API Guard does work but can be very variable. Use it and a single vape at the end to test its effectiveness would be my recommendation.
I’d imagine you’d be using the api guard in a few weeks anyway!
 
That’s great, thank you very much for your valuable advice.
It’s really good to have experienced beekeepers such as yourself who are generous with sharing their knowledge and experience 👍
 
wouldn’t treat with apistan again and if using strips use apivar.
Yes, Apivar is more effective as Apistan resistance is likely.

Bear in mind that any fumigants - Apiguard, ApiLifeVar, Thymovar - may well put a queen off lay, in which case a strip of Apivar (6-week full late summer treatment now) or one dose with the Varrox (temporary treatment now to knock down phoretic varroa) would not affect the queen laying.

Varroa walking around is indicative of a high load, so I wouldn't wait.
 
I was surprised to see a mite when I viewed the photo, if I had not been taking a picture of the Queen I would have been oblivious to any varroa. The December series of OA vaps did not produce a large mite drop with no mites on the board after the final vape.
If this is possibly just the tip of the iceberg, I need to act asap so will OA vape tomorrow.
Thanks for advice
 

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