Highest varroa count

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gmonag 

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A couple of my colonies have a lot of varroa on the inspection board, others almost none. They are all in the same location (my garden). Clearly there is something that if different between them. I suspect it is down to robbing behaviour.
 

E&MBees 

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There really is no need for sarcasm here. A thinking beekeeper has made an observation and shared it with us. He may be on to something or not but he does not deserve derision. If you know better, then share - nicely.
Thank you for your support, it’s much appreciated.
Us beginners get told to think more, and when we do, we then get shot down.
Emily
 

Boston Bees 

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There really is no need for sarcasm here. A thinking beekeeper has made an observation and shared it with us. He may be on to something or not but he does not deserve derision. If you know better, then share - nicely.
How dare you! I was being serious. Pink is the way to go.

If I was a thinking beekeeper I guess I would simply point out that no reputable scientific study has ever shown a repeatable, consistent difference between varroa levels in hives with different strains of European honey bee. And that perhaps thinking a bit would make it obvious that observations based on two hives, over one year, are about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

No-one, based on a two hive comparison, is "on to" anything

Finally, if you can't stand a bit of light ridicule, perhaps internet forums aren't for you?
 
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gmonag 

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How dare you! I was being serious. Pink is the way to go.

If I was a thinking beekeeper I guess I would simply point out that no reputable scientific study has ever shown a repeatable, consistent difference between varroa levels in hives with different strains of European honey bee. And that perhaps thinking a bit would make it obvious that observations based on two hives, over one year, are about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

No-one, based on a two hive comparison, is "on to" anything

Finally, if you can't stand a bit of light ridicule, perhaps internet forums aren't for you?
You may be on to something, perhaps the colour of the hive is significant? However there is no need for ridicule, even if you call it humour, for a new beekeeper asking a valid question. Gaslighting is not helpful.

BTW it should be "If I were a thinking beekeeper..."
 

drdrday 

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Rather than colours of hives, or strains of bees, I would consider variations in varroa loads between my hives to be much more likely due to what has happened to an individual colony over the season, assuming of course that the major variables are the same (location, housing, medications etc).
Primarily, did any of them have a brood break, were they queenless for any period of time?

Last year I had a big discrepancy in varroa counts across two hives, but this seemed to make perfect sense when I considered that the colony with the low count was without a queen for a portion of the season, whilst the colony with the high count was queenright and brood rearing throughout.

This year all of my colonies seem to have pretty manageable levels, and I correlate that (not necessarily correctly, but with at least a basis for my theory) with the fact that every colony had a break in brood rearing at least once this season for one reason or another.

Of course this year I probably compounded that correlation and distorted my minuscule data sample by taking the opportunity to vape one of the hives whilst they were broodless too. Not that I'd ever pass up that opportunity.

Sometimes it's easy to overlook the more likely reasons for a particular result in favour of the more visible.
 

madasafish 

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My varroa counts this year were - from eyesight only as I do not count- negligible.

But as there were frequent weather related brood breaks - and all hives behaved differently - I just acknowledge it and treat anyway.
 

Beebe 

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Somehow it's escalated to seven.
Pink is the way to go.
My pink hive colony appears to be dropping a sum total of zero mites;); I think you're onto something. Mind you, the bees inside are quite dark. ;)
In the absence of any amateur beekeeper having the resources to provide scientific evidence to support their observations, maybe we should all keep our thoughts to ourselves???
 

echidna 

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I had very high counts last year:


Am starting this years treatments soon.
Have just read that epic post from last year. It's encouraging that the hive did survive both the extreme mite levels in autumn and all the oxalic acid. Thanks for continuing to update your progress. I was also interested to read about robbing as a possible explanation. I thought maybe mine were the opposite of a hygienic strain but I have struggled to see how the numbers always got so high so quickly even though I am familliar with the concept of exponential growth.
I really hope I don't end up having to do 12 vapes. I have got apivar in as well. My reason for doing oxalic simultaneously was there was no clear decrease in fall after the apivar had been in through a whole brood cycle. That suggested to me that a lot of mites were surviving on emergence from cells and subsequently reproducing, so the numbers weren't going to get low enough within the winter bee production period.
 

Olbe 

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I have a range of colours of bee boxes , and in early spring ( August here in NZ ) I have a couple of times passed a laser thermometer over the sunny side of my home apiary and the pink boxes are always between 2 & 5 degrees C higher than the other boxes ,don't know whether the internal temp is also higher as I have never tried to take that temp. I had always thought the darker coloured boxes would have warmed up more than the pink boxes , just goes to show you should never assume anything in beekeeping
 

Little_bees 

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I have a range of colours of bee boxes , and in early spring ( August here in NZ ) I have a couple of times passed a laser thermometer over the sunny side of my home apiary and the pink boxes are always between 2 & 5 degrees C higher than the other boxes ,don't know whether the internal temp is also higher as I have never tried to take that temp. I had always thought the darker coloured boxes would have warmed up more than the pink boxes , just goes to show you should never assume anything in beekeeping
My hive with the super high count is dark blue. The others are light colours, mostly green. Maybe there's something in this after all?!😉
 

The Poot 

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Just to throw a curve ball into the fray - I have a colony of dark/black bees with a very high varroa load and a colony of ginger stripey locals with a neglible drop. Each has been in a cedar brood base with green poly brood above. Neither has had a brood break of any note, this year.
The locals have out performed the blacks and forage for longer.
 

Boston Bees 

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Just to throw a curve ball into the fray - I have a colony of dark/black bees with a very high varroa load and a colony of ginger stripey locals with a neglible drop. Each has been in a cedar brood base with green poly brood above. Neither has had a brood break of any note, this year.
The locals have out performed the blacks and forage for longer.
Good stuff. Sounds definitive. Ginger stripey bees with a green upper brood box is the way to a varroa free life. :)
 

madasafish 

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I have a range of colours of bee boxes , and in early spring ( August here in NZ ) I have a couple of times passed a laser thermometer over the sunny side of my home apiary and the pink boxes are always between 2 & 5 degrees C higher than the other boxes ,don't know whether the internal temp is also higher as I have never tried to take that temp. I had always thought the darker coloured boxes would have warmed up more than the pink boxes , just goes to show you should never assume anything in beekeeping
I assume it's cool in Spring.
The pink boxes will lose less heat through radiation . So you have (say) one wall collecting heat from the sun and the other three radiating heat. So in cool conditions the dark hives will be cooler to start with overnight.
 

Nannysbees 

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Another varroa check yesterday numbers still relatively low compared to last year, one slightly higher could be that the number of bees in this colony is much bigger than the other three, about 11 days left before the apiguard is removed.
 

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