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Is it too late to treat Varroa

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Floyd 

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Hello,

I have just checked my OMF and have found mites around 2-3 a day. Is it too late to treat at this time of year and if not what would you recommend.

I live in the scottish highlands, it has been rather cold recently but has warmed now.

I am very new to Beekeeping having been gifted a package of bees during the summer.

I understand that the hive should not be opened during this time of the year but if treatment is required is this ok.

I have many questions and sadly live in such a remote area requiring a boat crossing that attending an association is not easily achieved.


Many thanks

Lee
 

Hivemaker. 

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Hi Floyd.
no its not too late,but needs doing in the next few days,oxalic treatment, only takes few seconds to do. do you have resistant mites up there? look at honey be health topics
 
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Poly Hive 

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the Inverness association is pretty good Floyd if you are anywhere close to them?
 

Floyd 

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I am about 70 miles away, but as most meetings are in the evening it would be very difficult for me to cross the loch in the dark. My only other option would be to walk out (we have no roads as I live on a peninsula) however this walk would total 7 miles!

I believe there is an association in Dingwall, I was thinking of approaching them and hopefully there maybe someone closer that would like to take my under their wing.

I will order the OA from fragile planet as it seems to be ready mixed.
 

jimbeekeeper 

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Hi Floyd

If you are some distance from any association I am sure you can use this forum as a virtual association? That way you will have many people take you under their wing.

I know its is hard via the web/email but you will generally get a fairly quick reply from people on the forum.

As for the OA, I bought the ready mixed solutions for 2008 treatment, they cost just over ?2 for 2 hives + P&P. But I have just bought a box of powdered OX for just over ?6 +P&P that when diluted (as per instructions on this forum http://www.beekeepingforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=20 ) can make enough solution for 500+ hives.

Obviously you don?t have to make it all up at once, the powder will last indefinitely if stored well, liquid should only be made up as required and any extra disposed of safely.

Jim
 

Floyd 

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Jim,

many thanks for the info and the offer of advice.

maybe a new section is needed for "lee's Quuestions" as I feel there may be a few.
 

Floyd 

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Is there an organic method of control of varroa?

For once treated my bees may be free range but not organic!!
 

jimbeekeeper 

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Yes.

Sugar dusting, drone culling and open mesh floors. Aslo consdier speaking to Tony350i on small cell foundation.


Jim


PS Oxalic acid is "organic" (!!!) it is just what is found in rhubarb....or am I just talking rhubarb!

The word "organic" is so freely and used and so miss understood by so many people!
 
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Heather 

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I think OA can be classed as organic as, yes, it is in Rhubarb, and so is a natural resource . And the correct dilution is not harmful, but only for 1 treatment a year, apparently, as it can irritate the pharynx.
 

Bcrazy 

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By the way the pharynx is the mouth of the honey bee.

Regards;
 

Finman 

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I find this article quite useful with regard to varroa control.
David

It is really too complex to follow that man's thinking.
I cannot see any scientic in his report.

Varroa is very simple to control if you trust the latest concepts: thymol, formic acid and oxalic acid. Others are unnecessary.
 

gavin 

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Randy Oliver's site is really excellent, I'd strongly recommend it.

On the topic of drone trapping, I have done this some years. Randy's method might be more complex due to the uniformity of frames sizes in the boxes. With a National I just add a shallow super frame to each side of the broodnest when it is on the point of starting a build-up of drone rearing (often early May). If the brood nest had little drone comb, then they will build drone comb under the shallow frames, and once it is sealed you just slice it off with a hive tool.

Drawbacks: you reduce your local drone population.

Advantages: you can selectively reduce drones from colonies you don't want to breed from!

Stronger colonies are more likely to strongly amplify Varroa numbers, and if you are using a once-a-year method like oxalic it can be really useful.

G.
 

gavin 

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Well, there's too diametrically opposed views:

- don't think, just hit them with chemicals
- think about it, read a lot, don't rely on daft ideas but incorporate the best of them in a way that is safe for your bees and doesn't risk their health

The second way is called IPM - integrated pest management.

all the best

G.
 

gavin 

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Is there an organic method of control of varroa?

For once treated my bees may be free range but not organic!!
From: http://www.defra.gov.uk/FARM/organic/standards/pdf/compendium.pdf

6.3 The use of veterinary medicinal products in organic beekeeping shall comply with the following principles:

(a) they can be used in so far as the corresponding use is authorised in the United Kingdom in accordance with the relevant Community provisions or national provisions in conformity with Community law;

(b) phytotherapeutic and homoeopathic products shall be used in preference to allopathic products chemically synthesised, provided that their therapeutic effect is effective for the condition for which the treatment is intended;

(c) if the use of the above mentioned products should prove or is unlikely to be effective to eradicate a disease or infestation which risks destroying colonies, allopathic chemically synthesised medicinal products may be used under the responsibility of a veterinary surgeon, without prejudice to the principles laid down in paragraphs (a) and (b) above;

(d) the use of allopathic chemically synthesised medicinal products used for preventive treatments is prohibited;

(e) without prejudice to the principle in (a) above, formic acid, lactic acid, acetic acid and oxalic acid and the following substances: menthol; thymol; eucalyptol or camphor can be used for infestation with Varroa jacobsoni.

You'll be stuffed if you need to treat Varroa destructor then!

I think that the Soil Association have more exacting standards than these EU ones, maybe the Varroa treatment means that the colony is not certified for that year?

G.
 

David P 

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Hi Gavin. It depends if you keep bees for honey or for mites.

Maybe a little simpler than that.
I keep bees in order to keep bees, its a hobby. A crop of honey is a nice bonus.
I can quite see that for anyone with a large number of hives then drone culling, sugar dusting etc etc could and would be a pain in the neck.

If you like its the main difference between a commercial and a Hobbyist beekeeper. Anyone who is a commercial beekeeper knows that his or her time has a definate and quantifiable value in hard currency.
For the hobbyist its their own free time which is far more valuable than any amount of currency and if they choose to spend it looking after bees then all well and good.


David
 

gavin 

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Chemical treatment = honey, and
Combinations of treatments = only mites ...

... if that is what you are saying then it doesn't make sense to me! A treatment is a treatment. The all have good points and bad points, and now we usually need to be flexible and combine treatments. Of your chemical treatments I would not advise people to use formic (too risky for those not used to handling acids) and some say thymol taints the honey. Winter oxalic alone might be enough for 12 months, but it might need help - so something else in summer (ideally non-chemical as that is the honey season) is very wise.

I'm sure that there are many on here who would confirm that sort of regime doesn't replace honey with mite breeding.

G.
 

Floyd 

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Thanks to everyone. Once again an extremely concise answer and viewpoints. This is a very helpful community
 

Finman 

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What I have treated mites 21 years, I would say that there are old methods and new methods and better and worse. Methods are tens, if we draw together what folks use in Europe. And beekeepers are happy with they systems.

Oxalic acid in broodless hives is best of all. It is more harmles to bees or to honey consumers than any organic method. It is quick and almost free.

Thymol and formic acid takes some time to make over. They need summer temperture.

Yes, there are tens of other methods, like drone culling or sugar shaking or mesh floor which are not efficient at all. If you know Russian language you surely will find the most wonderfull system which works fine.

The best is of course do-nothing -method.

Young beekeepers are so anxious to spend their time with that stupid creature named varroa. :) I cannot understand what amazing folks see on that.
 

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