Highest varroa count

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

Nannysbees 

House Bee
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Messages
346
Reaction score
248
Location
Barry
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
2
OK just out of interest for those who count their varroa what has been your highest count?
 

Erichalfbee 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
23,828
Reaction score
5,276
Location
Ceredigion
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
13
Nearly 8 thousand through 7 vapes
Lost my nerve and put Apivar in.
That was a few years back, 3?
Not bothered counting since
 

hemo 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
1,570
Reaction score
984
Location
West Sussex /RH.
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6-10
5k + about 8/9 years ago after using Bayvarol.
Now only OA vape, most colonies this year seeing <50 mites per inspection ever few days following vapes, just one colony showing about 25O mite after each vape. This year not seeing many mites via sugar rolls, all year have only seen 1 mite after sugar rolling.

For high count mites I don't actually count mites but estimate by picking a couple of squares on the board and then multiply mites x squares.
 
Last edited:

Hachi 

Queen Bee
Joined
Mar 28, 2012
Messages
2,079
Reaction score
362
Location
Wiltshire
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
Damn! A lot more than I ever thought I'd have
Vaping for a friend, three vapes produced close to three thousand mites then they lost their bottle. They lost 7 of their 9 hives that winter and still don't know why.
 

echidna 

New Bee
Joined
Oct 3, 2019
Messages
22
Reaction score
5
Location
Yorkshire
Hive Type
none
I've had thousands every year, but not counted exactly becuase at some point it's just "need to treat". It makes me despair. In my first year I attributed that to not putting on Apiguard until late Aug, which nearby beekeepers do but wouldn't have been above the temperature threshold by the end. I then got them down with multiple oxalic acid vapes. The next year I put the apiguard on at the start of August but had the same problem and again resorted to treatment that isn't allowed, with multiple vapes 4 days apart and a last vape in December when they would have been nearly broodless (but I'm not sure they even go totally broodless hence vaping not trickling).
This year I realised they'd got out of hand early and treated with MAQS. I then put Apivar on instead of Apiguard and did so in early Aug, taking supers off before they were capped because I knew I needed to treat. Yet still I'm getting daily counts of over 100, more than a month since that went on, and have resorted to multiple vapes at the same time. I've just done my third of 5-day vapes and got more than 200 on one of the hives. I find it really depressing that after so much treatment the counts aren't even getting obviously lower.
The only good thing is the colonies have survived each year despite this. Whether or not that will be the case this year, we'll see. If they do, I think I'll have to treat in spring to pre-empt an autumn explosion yet again.
 

madasafish 

Queen Bee
Joined
Apr 10, 2010
Messages
10,128
Reaction score
1,450
Location
Stoke on Trent
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
6 to 8 Langstroth jumbos, a few Langstroth and National nucs.
Counting - in my opinion - is a total waste of time and energy.
If you can easily see varroa on a board inserted within the last 7 days, then you need to treat.
If you cannot see varroa, you need to treat.... and (new) spectacles
 

Boston Bees 

Bumblebee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
1,352
Reaction score
1,281
Location
West Yorkshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10-20
I then put Apivar on instead of Apiguard and did so in early Aug, taking supers off before they were capped because I knew I needed to treat. Yet still I'm getting daily counts of over 100, more than a month since that went on, and have resorted to multiple vapes at the same time.
Apivar is a slow-and-steady treatment that works over 6-10 weeks, so significant drops after a month sounds like it was working fine? But yes. certainly sounds like you have a lot of varroa.
 

Nannysbees 

House Bee
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Messages
346
Reaction score
248
Location
Barry
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
2
I enjoy the count!!!! this year not too high so far still a few weeks left
 

Swarm 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
May 29, 2011
Messages
8,605
Reaction score
1,413
Location
South Wales
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
more than 30, less than 100.
Highest count over four applications OAV was 346.
 

E&MBees 

Field Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Aug 17, 2019
Messages
874
Reaction score
416
Location
Bath
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
2
Something I have noticed (edit: this year) is the difference in mite drops between different ‘lines’ of bees. I have some black bees and some ginger. So far, the ginger ones have had a significantly greater mite drop, many hundreds more, than the similarly sized black bee colony. They all have a couple more vapes to go, but the ginger ones may need an extra one.
 
Last edited:

Boston Bees 

Bumblebee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
1,352
Reaction score
1,281
Location
West Yorkshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10-20
Something I have noticed is the difference in mite drops between different ‘lines’ of bees. I have some black bees and some ginger. So far, the ginger ones have had a significantly greater mite drop, many hundreds more, than the similarly sized black bee colony. They all have a couple more vapes to go, but the ginger ones may need an extra one.
You have noticed this over multiple years?
 

E&MBees 

Field Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Aug 17, 2019
Messages
874
Reaction score
416
Location
Bath
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
2
You have noticed this over multiple years?
No not yet. Only been keeping bees for 2.5 years, so very inexperienced compared to most on here. I shall keep watching. It’s purely an observation from this year. It is a very noticeable difference and got me thinking. As the thread is about mite drops, I wondered if anyone else had noticed a similar occurrence? There are multiple other possible reasons as to why the ginger ones are dropping more, all of which I should consider.
 
Last edited:

bobba 

House Bee
Joined
May 2, 2019
Messages
490
Reaction score
247
Location
UK - Hampshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
4
I had very high counts last year:


Am starting this years treatments soon.
 

Boston Bees 

Bumblebee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
1,352
Reaction score
1,281
Location
West Yorkshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10-20
No not yet. Only been keeping bees for a while. I shall keep watching. It’s purely an observation from this year. It is a very noticeable difference and got me thinking. As the thread is about mite drops, I wondered if anyone else had noticed a similar occurrence? There are multiple other possible reasons as to why the ginger ones are dropping more, all of which should be considered.
As you say, all we can really say is that one of your hives has more varroa than the other. Very unlikely to have anything to do with genetics.
 

E&MBees 

Field Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Aug 17, 2019
Messages
874
Reaction score
416
Location
Bath
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
2
I’ve kept both for a number of years and not noticed that.
What I have noticed is that my black bees forage in conditions that keep the orange ones at home and do better in rubbish years.
My black bees are the same. Up earlier, out later and fly in poorer conditions.
 

Nannysbees 

House Bee
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Messages
346
Reaction score
248
Location
Barry
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
2
Something I have noticed (edit: this year) is the difference in mite drops between different ‘lines’ of bees. I have some black bees and some ginger. So far, the ginger ones have had a significantly greater mite drop, many hundreds more, than the similarly sized black bee colony. They all have a couple more vapes to go, but the ginger ones may need an extra one.
That's really interesting
 

StephenT 

House Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
376
Reaction score
251
Location
West London
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
4
Something I have noticed (edit: this year) is the difference in mite drops between different ‘lines’ of bees. I have some black bees and some ginger. So far, the ginger ones have had a significantly greater mite drop, many hundreds more, than the similarly sized black bee colony. They all have a couple more vapes to go, but the ginger ones may need an extra one.
Same. Two ginger 2nd gen Buckfast and one dark AMLondon™️ mongrel hive. Massive differences in the drop over 3 days after applying Apivar a couple of weeks back with the mongrels having a fraction of the count of the others. Who knows why but it did get me thinking last week when I checked the varroa boards.
 

Boston Bees 

Bumblebee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
1,352
Reaction score
1,281
Location
West Yorkshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10-20
A colony I have in a green hive have a lot more varroa this year than another colony that is in a pink hive. Hmmm. Made me think. Maybe there's something in the colour of the hive? I'll certainly only be buying pink from now on, based on this science I have done!

On a completely unrelated note, this is quite fun (though not updated for a few years):

Spurious Correlations (tylervigen.com)
 
Last edited:

Latest posts

Top