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Arfermo 

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Do you use a spring treatment?
No - they need to grow their number with least interference, just a quick inspection early on to make sure they have food and are foraging and maybe eggs/larvae. Then at intervals as thought necessary. My hives are in the garden so quite easy to manage. Probably disagree but I am content I get satisfactory results. Have only ever lost two colonies over winter but that was my fault - unexpected starvation. I have not lost any colonies at any other time, though wasps did their best to decimate one colony about 5 years ago but I saved it - long story and lot of patience that nobody else would contemplate in their right mind.
For first time ever I have wax moth larvae crawling around in frames that were out in my high domed nuc earlier to catch a swarm that never came to roost. Now in the freezer at -20C and no overcoat. Very cruel to poor little dears. Not a good year all round actually. Need house roof fixing - coming Tuesday to erect scaffolding, new felt, battens etc. to get waterproof again. Several grand up my shirt.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Why - do you think I should and do you?
According to prof Ratnieks once or twice in winter with no brood is sufficient. I’m no bee professor but I always considered it strange for the bees to be going into winter with the highest levels of varroa they are likely to encounter in a season. And no I don’t treat in spring. Just in the autumn. My 24 hour drops after OAV are around 30. I’ve had much worse.
 
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bobba 

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Well here is the 48h board from the 3rd vape.

I saw a big decrease from the 1st to 2nd vape. But the 2nd and 3rd vape drops look about the same. (I have not actually counted them).

This is the vape I use;


They are made by a guy in the Czech Republic. It has machined metal parts and 3d printed plastic parts. It can rest on an inspection board without melting it.

And power with:


Hemo is on the right track.
The purpose of sugar rolling returning bees is to see if they are bringing mites home. Your first vape has already dealt with home acquired infestation.
A good idea in theory. But I would surly have to compare it to a sample from within the hive too. So all in all I just don't think its pratical.

If my bees were robbing out a dieing/abandon hive, how long would it take? I would guess 2-3 days max, but don't have a clue tbh. So even if the sampling was to be trusted then I am thinking it would be hard to catch them in the act. Or does it go on for weeks?

I am beginning to wonder if they robbed someone out earlier in the year though. I recall a period when the were exceptional busy, why my other hives were relatively quiet. They did well on the hone front, so am beginning to wonder if they robbed a load of it from somewhere - little scoundrels.

I have decided to slog on with the vaping and see how things go. I am so sorry Dani for not following your advice on this occasion. I know you have always guided me well in the past, and I hope you continue to offer me your support.

What is considered an acceptable mite drop at which point you stop vaping?

I will update after the next vape.
 

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hemo 

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One of my colonies my best one had a fifth vape today, vape four last Tuesday dropped to Thursday 160 - 180 mites and since Thursday had dropped a similar amount up to today.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Well here is the 48h board from the 3rd vape.

I saw a big decrease from the 1st to 2nd vape. But the 2nd and 3rd vape drops look about the same. (I have not actually counted them).

This is the vape I use;


They are made by a guy in the Czech Republic. It has machined metal parts and 3d printed plastic parts. It can rest on an inspection board without melting it.

And power with:




A good idea in theory. But I would surly have to compare it to a sample from within the hive too. So all in all I just don't think its pratical.

If my bees were robbing out a dieing/abandon hive, how long would it take? I would guess 2-3 days max, but don't have a clue tbh. So even if the sampling was to be trusted then I am thinking it would be hard to catch them in the act. Or does it go on for weeks?

I am beginning to wonder if they robbed someone out earlier in the year though. I recall a period when the were exceptional busy, why my other hives were relatively quiet. They did well on the hone front, so am beginning to wonder if they robbed a load of it from somewhere - little scoundrels.

I have decided to slog on with the vaping and see how things go. I am so sorry Dani for not following your advice on this occasion. I know you have always guided me well in the past, and I hope you continue to offer me your support.

What is considered an acceptable mite drop at which point you stop vaping?

I will update after the next vape.
Don’t worry just keep going. I did 7 before giving up. The mite drop with Apivar was very low so I had probably cracked it. My drop over all was about 8k.
I was that horrified by the first overnight drop that I counted every day.
This year all hives seem to be quite low at around 30 for the first 24 hour count
I know the instructions say 10 minutes but when I used a varrox I experimented and after a few minutes no vapour escaped
 

Arfermo 

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Have you read this before? it's about "When is the best time to treat?”.
Interesting and in most respects confirms that I have ALWAYS been on the right track without advice from anywhere. Mostly beeking common sense really imho.
 

bobba 

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This is the 24h board from the 4th vape.

Numbers still looking high........
 

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gmonag 

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If you are carrying out 4 vapes at 5 day intervals, you should expect a similar drop each time. That is why you repeat the treatment. It takes the whole course to get all the mites.
 

Erichalfbee 

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If you are carrying out 4 vapes at 5 day intervals, you should expect a similar drop each time. That is why you repeat the treatment. It takes the whole course to get all the mites.
Sometimes the drops go on past the 4th.
 

bobba 

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If you are carrying out 4 vapes at 5 day intervals, you should expect a similar drop each time. That is why you repeat the treatment. It takes the whole course to get all the mites.
I think if there are considerably more mites then "brood slots", then this can result in a disproportionate number of mites being phoretic, I surmise this could result in a higher drop on the 1st treatment.

Last year this hive got 5 vapes, 2 without proper day spacing. Then a proper coarse of 3 treatments with 5 day spacing.

(I did not know what I was doing to start with, but luckily Dani set me straight)

48h cumulative counts were as follows:

1000+, 500+, 80-ish, 12, 12

But what you say seems to reflect what I am seeing in my hives this year. With the exception of the first vape drop on this hive winch as I said was red.

So if what you say holds true, hopefully I should see a significant reduction after the 5th vape. 🤞

I wont bother uploading the 48h board, unless anyone is particularly interested - I think we can all guess what it will look like.

I will update after the next vape.
 

madasafish 

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Had a simialr tale.
After 5 vapes with huge mite drops, I used Apistan.
That basically solved the problem ..
 

hemo 

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I checked my hive in #26 which had it's fifth vape Monday, 200 mites approx. dropped rechecked it 6hrs later another 20 -30 dropped. Brood cycle now well covered so will check again on Saturday, looking like they may get another. So far about 1200 dropped.
Temper is superb as has been all year they are docile and calm on and off the comb, getting a little light on stores but have enough (14lbs) for now. Will introduce some wet feed or fondant next week, ivy not quite opening yet.
 

bobba 

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This is the 24h board from the 5th vape.

I counted this time and made it 598.

I must have wiped out about 10,000+ mites from this hive so far, especially if you factor in the drop on days 3-4 when the boards were not in.

My other 3 hives have all seen an increase in mite drop since their 1st vape!

This is the count from hive 2, the most striking example, numbers are approximations:

vape 1: 24h <20........ 48h <20
vape 2: 24h <10........ 48h <10
vape 3: 24h >50........ 48h >100
vape 4: 24h <50........ 48h na

I don't know if they have just been spreading from Hive 1 (the infested hive) or if my bees are bringing them home from elsewhere.

I still think I am another 3 vapes away from getting H1 under control. And I think the other 3 hives will need at least 1 or 2 more each.

I am also having a rethink and am pondering stopping vaping until the weather cools down and the amount of brood decreases.

If I am using OA next year, I think I may need to upgrade to a gas gun style vape. The pan is fine for 1-2 hives but becomes time consuming as your numbers increase.

I checked my hive in #26 which had it's fifth vape Monday, 200 mites approx. dropped rechecked it 6hrs later another 20 -30 dropped. Brood cycle now well covered so will check again on Saturday, looking like they may get another. So far about 1200 dropped.
Temper is superb as has been all year they are docile and calm on and off the comb, getting a little light on stores but have enough (14lbs) for now. Will introduce some wet feed or fondant next week, ivy not quite opening yet.
Hows your treatment going, please update thanks.
 

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Erichalfbee 

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I am also having a rethink and am pondering stopping vaping until the weather cools down and the amount of brood decreases.
I did say to abandon this and throw in Apivar.
I have been here before some years ago.
Life is too short to be tearing your hair out over repeated vaping
 

hemo 

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The hive which has had 5 vapes was checked Monday and another <250 dropped, they had a 6th vape.
Will check the insert tomorrow, I can only think they re now bringing them back from some where ?
 

bobba 

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I did say to abandon this and throw in Apivar.
I have been here before some years ago.
Life is too short to be tearing your hair out over repeated vaping
I know you did, but, "I didn't listen".

I vape 2 hives one day, then 1 hive for the next 2 days then have a break and start again. So have done myself no favors with a crazy schedule - don't ask.....

I probably should have ordered some Apivar and put it in all 4 hives when you said.

But figure I have got this far with the vape, so will probably just slog it out now.

The numbers are finally significantly decreasing in H1, so if that holds up then at least the end is in sight.

Definitely got an eye out for a gas gun. If I gunned all 4 hives on the same day - life would be simpler.

I am considering getting some Apivar in case the next few vapes don't go so well.

But to be honest, I prefer a treatment that does not require opening hives, or keeping the inspection trays in for extended periods. So am very fond of the OA approach and "want" it to work. That is why I have been hesitant to follow your advice on this occasion.
 
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