Quantcast

High mite count

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

masterBK 

Queen Bee
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
2,117
Reaction score
40
Location
S Yorkshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
25
Mites are a kind of Arachnid.

So any of the 3 words are technically accurate :)

No ; have to disagree. Arachnids = spiders, mites and scorpions (4 pairs of legs) do not come into the class Insecta (3 pairs of legs) so no way can you describe Apivar etc an insecticide. However Arachnids, insects and centipedes/millipedes are all arthropods and so share many aspects of their physiology so what harms one group may well affect members of the other groups to a lesser or greater degree it all being a question of dose.
 

bobba 

House Bee
Joined
May 2, 2019
Messages
265
Reaction score
76
Location
UK - Hampshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
4
Mites are a kind of Arachnid.

So any of the 3 words are technically accurate :)

No ; have to disagree. Arachnids = spiders, mites and scorpions (4 pairs of legs) do not come into the class Insecta (3 pairs of legs) so no way can you describe Apivar etc an insecticide. However Arachnids, insects and centipedes/millipedes are all arthropods and so share many aspects of their physiology so what harms one group may well affect members of the other groups to a lesser or greater degree it all being a question of dose.
You are indeed 100% right. Thank you for pointing that out.

When writing my comment, I mistakenly thought he had said pesticide, but re-reading he did say insecticide. So in error I was referring to pesticide, acaricide and miticide.

So sorry madasfish, you were technically wrong to call them insecticide strips. But we all understood you anyway, and that's what matters.
 

bobba 

House Bee
Joined
May 2, 2019
Messages
265
Reaction score
76
Location
UK - Hampshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
4
Vape No. 9: 24h count = 84

I was very pleased to see < 100. Especially after the last result.
 

bobba 

House Bee
Joined
May 2, 2019
Messages
265
Reaction score
76
Location
UK - Hampshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
4
Thanks E&B.

I will keep updating this thread until I finish treating and update in the spring to let you all know the outcome, even if its just me on my lonesome. Someone may be in a similar situation to me years from now and find this thread.

Firstly the total count for last week:
Vape No. 10: 24h count = 38
Vape No. 10: 48h count = 48
Total = 86

And so far for this week;
Vape No. 11: 24h count = 31

I stopped vaping my other bees when they were <20 on each of the 24h & 48h boards, with <30 total. For 2 vapes in a row. With a minimum of 4 vapes for a hive. (if anyone can understand that!). That seems so much more complicated when I wright it down, it was some how simpler in my head.

Basically, I am hoping for 2/3 more vapes to reach my target.

If anyone has any advise regarding when I should stop, I am all ears.
 

charlievictorbravo 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Messages
1,744
Reaction score
6
Location
Torpoint, Cornwall
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
2 - 14x12
At various point in this thread the term ‘phoretic’ has been used and reference was made to an Apiarist piece from 2016. We mustn’t lose sight of the recent (2018) research by Dr Sam Ramsey that shows that so-called phoretic mites are not phoretic (using the host for transport ONLY) at all - they are actively parasitising the adult bees, which I was not aware of until Ramsey’s research showed the damage the mites do to adult bees. The Apiarist article implied that the worst thing that the mites do to bees is pass on viruses. While they do do that, it’s the eating of the bees’ Fat Body that causes the real long-term damage.

Either way you slice it, Varroa destructor is not what you want in a hive and not what you want parasitising your winter bees so we should all do our utmost, if we choose to treat our bees, to keep going with treatments until most of the mites are gone.

Another thing that came out of Ramsey’s research was the feeding location on adult bees - tucked under the first and second sternites and tergites on the ventral side, where most beekeepers would never see them. Those seen on the dorsal side of the thorax and abdomen have already done their worst and are looking for a new host. My question is, given that the soft mouth parts and soft feet of the mites are hidden under the bees’ outer skeleton, how does the Oxalic Acid crystallised vapour kill them? Come back Dr Ramsey, your work is not finished!

CVB
 

bobba 

House Bee
Joined
May 2, 2019
Messages
265
Reaction score
76
Location
UK - Hampshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
4

The Poot 

New Bee
Joined
Feb 15, 2015
Messages
49
Reaction score
35
Location
Dorset
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
4
Thanks Bobba.
Your previous post made me smile😊
Perhaps you should stop when you run out of oa.
I have one colony similar to yours, in that it has had 7 vapes and still the little beggars drop in their dozens.
Its a double brooder and my most active colony by far from a new queen this year - so it had a brood break!
A tad frustrating to say the least!
I hope all works out well for you.
 

bobba 

House Bee
Joined
May 2, 2019
Messages
265
Reaction score
76
Location
UK - Hampshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
4
I agree, mites are bad for bees even in the absence of viruses.

The set number of vapes approach does not sit well with me. It does appear the first 4 vapes took out most the mites, killing around 10000+. But from vape 5 onward, I have killed an additional 2500+. So I think this hive benefited from the additional treatments.

The 4 vape approach probably makes scene if you have many hives and a more commercial approach to keeping. But mine are pet garden bees. So I can afford to spend a bit more time fussing over each hive.
 

bobba 

House Bee
Joined
May 2, 2019
Messages
265
Reaction score
76
Location
UK - Hampshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
4
Thanks Bobba.
Your previous post made me smile😊
Perhaps you should stop when you run out of oa.
I have one colony similar to yours, in that it has had 7 vapes and still the little beggars drop in their dozens.
Its a double brooder and my most active colony by far from a new queen this year - so it had a brood break!
A tad frustrating to say the least!
I hope all works out well for you.
Thanks Poot.

A few weeks back it looked like I might be vaping until the supers go back on. I got a new bottle of OA this year and have put a surprisingly big dent in it.

Good luck with your hive too.
 

charlievictorbravo 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Messages
1,744
Reaction score
6
Location
Torpoint, Cornwall
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
2 - 14x12
Thanks for the link. I went on to the Randy Oliver article from January 2016) that describes the ways to deliver Oxalic Acid here.
In there Randy states "There are speculative hypotheses as to why acids kill varroa, but no definitive study. Beekeeper Gerhard Bruning suspects that OA crystals are absorbed through varroa’s sticky tarsal pads."

While Gerhard Bruning's suspicion may be correct - probably is - the query I have is 'now that we know from Sam Ramsey where Varroa hide and feed on the bees, how does the OA get to the tarsal pads, hidden as they are under the moving parts of the bees' exoskeleton?'

The other interesting thing to take from the OxaVap piece is the assertion (at the bottom) that "OA dribbling is harmful to the bees as they eat the sugary solution and the oxalic acid harms the walls of their guts." Again, an assertion with no proof or link to evidence.

Some proper research would be nice!

CVB
 

bobba 

House Bee
Joined
May 2, 2019
Messages
265
Reaction score
76
Location
UK - Hampshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
4
Thanks for the link. I went on to the Randy Oliver article from January 2016) that describes the ways to deliver Oxalic Acid here.
In there Randy states "There are speculative hypotheses as to why acids kill varroa, but no definitive study. Beekeeper Gerhard Bruning suspects that OA crystals are absorbed through varroa’s sticky tarsal pads."

While Gerhard Bruning's suspicion may be correct - probably is - the query I have is 'now that we know from Sam Ramsey where Varroa hide and feed on the bees, how does the OA get to the tarsal pads, hidden as they are under the moving parts of the bees' exoskeleton?'

The other interesting thing to take from the OxaVap piece is the assertion (at the bottom) that "OA dribbling is harmful to the bees as they eat the sugary solution and the oxalic acid harms the walls of their guts." Again, an assertion with no proof or link to evidence.

Some proper research would be nice!

CVB
You seem to be a deep thinker with an inquisitive mind.

Regarding the use of the word phoretic in terms of verhoa, I know its commonly misused, but it unfortunately seems entrenched now, so we just have to accept it, although not technically correct.

This video explains how veroha evade detection by bees:


To summarize the video as its quite long. The mites take on the smell of the hive. They experimented with dead mites and found they still had this ability. So they do not mimic a copy of the smell, they somehow adsorb it.

I wonder if this ability of the mites works agents them. Maybe the OA clings to them too and gets distributed over their bodies so it gets to their undersides. Sorry, just another theory with no research.....

Alternatively It may be the case that if a mite remains stationary under the exoskeleton, it could be safe. But as soon as they move they could be in trouble. It may be the case they they wriggle and adjust their footing from time to time. We still don't know exactly how long the mites remain under there at a time, or how often they like to change host. This could explain why you never kill them all even if you vape a fresh swarm.

I understand your desire for "proper research", but its always got to start with the theory. Then you need to design the study to test the hypotheses. If you have any ideas for study designs to solve your question then I would be most intrigued.

The best starting point I can think is to simply observe how long they typically remain in suite on the bees. (easier said then done, but possible)

And to vape infested populations of bees with no brood, this wound allow you to produce a mortality curve exclusively for a phoretic (sorry) cohort. This will show how well/if mites can evade the OA by possibly hiding between the exoskeleton.

I totally agree with you regarding the assertion that dribble harms the bees guts. Not quite sure where they pull that one out the bag from. I have seen study's showing dribble is detrimental compared to vaping, but they did not explain why that was the case. I go with the assumption its because you are disturbing the cluster with a load of sticky dribble in the middle of the winter. My money says if you took 2 cohorts of veroha free hives, then treated one lot with OA syrup and one with untreated syrup the outcome for the 2 groups would be the same.

What I want to know is, does OA kill other kinds of mites, and what gave someone the idea to use it on veroha in the 1st place?

I think I heard the Italians were the first, but is anyone knows more about the history of its use then please do share.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
23,748
Reaction score
1,011
Location
Glanaman,Carmarthenshire,Wales
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Too many - but not nearly enough
I totally agree with you regarding the assertion that dribble harms the bees guts. Not quite sure where they pull that one out the bag from. I have seen study's showing dribble is detrimental compared to vaping, but they did not explain why that was the case. I go with the assumption its because you are disturbing the cluster with a load of sticky dribble in the middle of the winter.
The disturbing the cluster in the winter assertion is just a red herring (never been proven AFAIK) but keeps getting bandied about by various luddites
But try this:
OA may potentially harm the bees (Higes, Meana, Suárez, & Llorente, 1999). It can penetrate into the body after topical or oral application, which resulted in detectable OA concentrations in different organs of caged worker bees although mortality was not measured in the honey bee colony (Nozal, Bernal, Gómez, Higes, & Meana, 2003).
It's from
Al Toufailia, H.M., Scandian, L, Ratnieks, F. L .W. (2015)
Towards integrated control of varroa: comparing application methods and doses of oxalic acid on the mortality of phoretic Varroa destructor mites and their honey bee hosts. Journal of Apicultural Research, 54(2), 109-121
The study the link leads to also lists most of the previous OA studies which may help you discover where it's use began (way back in 1989)
 

bobba 

House Bee
Joined
May 2, 2019
Messages
265
Reaction score
76
Location
UK - Hampshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
4
The disturbing the cluster in the winter assertion is just a red herring (never been proven AFAIK) but keeps getting bandied about by various luddites
But try this:

It's from
Al Toufailia, H.M., Scandian, L, Ratnieks, F. L .W. (2015)

The study the link leads to also lists most of the previous OA studies which may help you discover where it's use began (way back in 1989)

Thanks, great info.

Disturbing the cluster in the winter with a dribble has got to be bad for the bees. Unless they are on the verge of starving and need the food. I am sure if you took 2 cohorts of uninfested hives, left one alone and dribble the other (no oa), surly the undisturbed ones would fair better on average.

In the study I saw, bees that were dribbled had a slower spring build up compared to those that were vaped. So that could suggest the dribble is bad for bees. But could also suggest the dribble killed less veroha causing slower build up. Unfortunately all hives in the study were infested, so we cannot be sure.

As to how detrimental the action of dribbling is, compared to the harmful effects of the OA, is anyone's guess. But as with so many things I expect there are multiple factors working together.

Until we have some proof my money still says the dribble does more damage than the OA in field conditions. But I would not be surprised if I am wrong.

I would like to read the study and see the results. I would firstly like to see how the rates in the study compare to what gets used in practice. It could change where I would put my money.

I am a study director. My work test crop protection products on non target arthropods. I have not run, but have participated in topical and oral application lab study's, on honey and bumble bees. So am familiar with how they work. But we have never done chemical analysis on bee organs post treatment, we just look at mortality. That is where the 650 bees went earlier in the year.

So this very hive has contributed to some research.

I kill bugs at work, count them and report the results. Then I go home kill mites and report the numbers to you lot.

So you could say this thread is "A Study into the Effectiveness of OA Treatment on an Infested Hive". Not sure if the regulators would accept it, but I could try submitting it.
 

mbc 

Queen Bee
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
Messages
5,829
Reaction score
71
Location
bestest wales
Hive Type
national
Thanks, great info.

Disturbing the cluster in the winter with a dribble has got to be bad for the bees. Unless they are on the verge of starving and need the food. I am sure if you took 2 cohorts of uninfested hives, left one alone and dribble the other (no oa), surly the undisturbed ones would fair better on average.

In the study I saw, bees that were dribbled had a slower spring build up compared to those that were vaped. So that could suggest the dribble is bad for bees. But could also suggest the dribble killed less veroha causing slower build up. Unfortunately all hives in the study were infested, so we cannot be sure.

As to how detrimental the action of dribbling is, compared to the harmful effects of the OA, is anyone's guess. But as with so many things I expect there are multiple factors working together.

Until we have some proof my money still says the dribble does more damage than the OA in field conditions. But I would not be surprised if I am wrong.

I would like to read the study and see the results. I would firstly like to see how the rates in the study compare to what gets used in practice. It could change where I would put my money.

I am a study director. My work test crop protection products on non target arthropods. I have not run, but have participated in topical and oral application lab study's, on honey and bumble bees. So am familiar with how they work. But we have never done chemical analysis on bee organs post treatment, we just look at mortality. That is where the 650 bees went earlier in the year.

So this very hive has contributed to some research.

I kill bugs at work, count them and report the results. Then I go home kill mites and report the numbers to you lot.

So you could say this thread is "A Study into the Effectiveness of OA Treatment on an Infested Hive". Not sure if the regulators would accept it, but I could try submitting it.
Interesting stuff, I would say possibly of more value if you'd done alcohol washes before and after treatment rather than counting dead uns but still a pretty clear indication of significant mite movement in the wider population of colonies in the area.
To count 12000 + mites killed suggests the load from several collapsing colonies ended up in your hive waiting to be zapped by an oxalic fug.
If your "super collector" hive hadn't been treated and had gone on to collapse that would be a shit load of mites possibly tumbling a lot of colonies in the area into collapse, the domino effect.
 

bobba 

House Bee
Joined
May 2, 2019
Messages
265
Reaction score
76
Location
UK - Hampshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
4
Just finished reading the study JBM provided.

This line caught my attention:

"Across all doses, more colonies died following spraying (11/30, 37%) than for trickling (5/30, 17%) and sublimation (2/40, 5%), respectively"

This would suggest it is indeed the action of dribbling (trickling) rather than the OA that is doing the most damage. But again all hives were infested so its by no means concussive.

I strongly blieve that the, disturbing the cluster in the winter assertion is not just a red herring.
Interesting stuff, I would say possibly of more value if you'd done alcohol washes before and after treatment rather than counting dead uns but still a pretty clear indication of significant mite movement in the wider population of colonies in the area.
To count 12000 + mites killed suggests the load from several collapsing colonies ended up in your hive waiting to be zapped by an oxalic fug.
If your "super collector" hive hadn't been treated and had gone on to collapse that would be a shit load of mites possibly tumbling a lot of colonies in the area into collapse, the domino effect.
I am of the school of thought that alcohol washes are pretty much useless, so do not see how they would have helped in any way. I don't want to go tit for tat over the validity of washes, so we will just have to disagree on that point.

You imply my "super collector" could have become a "super spreader" if it collapsed. I like your describing it as a domino effect.

I am still confused as to how the count got so high. It could have been robbing as you suggest, but as I said previously the robbing would have to` have gone on for weeks. But them robbing several different hives could explain the mystery. It could also explain where all the honey came from. This hive did try to rob her sister last autumn, so I would not put it past them.
 

Latest posts

Top