Need to treat for Varroa?

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malawi2854 

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Hello all,

I realise I am probably going to be lynched for asking this - but thought I'd give it a go anyway!

Is there any need for me to treat for varroa this year (my first year - with a nuc, started in May), if I don't actually appear to have varroa?

Now, I know you'll all be tutting away, thinking, "well, of course you have varroa, unless you live as a hermit on some distant scottish isle", but I'm afraid that all that I can see suggests I do not have varroa... or at least, not in any detectable quantity! :svengo:

I have the inspection tray that came with my Beehaus, and I've only cleaned it once this year so far, and can't see a single varroa mite on there at all. :confused:

So, any point in treating?
 

Skyhook 

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Is there any need for me to treat for varroa this year (my first year - with a nuc, started in May), if I don't actually appear to have varroa?

So, any point in treating?
I didn't think I had any. Turns out they were almost at colony collapse levels, I just wasn't seeing them.

I'd treat.
 

rae 

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Dust them with icing sugar, it normally gets a few on the board.

We were exactly in the same place last year. Nothing on the board, no sign of them. We Apiguarded anyway, and hundreds dropped.
 

Heather 

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Especially if this is a new colony to you- I would definitely treat. Then you start off with a confident Spring knowing you have minimalised the threat of varroa problems. Too late next year if you misjudged the problem - brood will be there and lots of new breeding ground!
Let us know how you proceed....
 

Monsieur Abeille 

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I'd seen no varroa drop throughout the year on either hive, but as soon as started the Apilife Var treatment they started to come down - luckily not in any huge quantity, but its vital your bees are as clear as possible going into winter. Treat.
 

Ruary 

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All I can do is repeat the advice given above. Treat but do not use icing sugar at this time of the year.
Ruary
 

Friar Tuck 

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I Had thought the same i had a nuc from hivemaker never seen any Varroa? now i'm treating with api, do have very few drop maybe 3 or 4 a day been treating for 2 weeks now :eek:
 

drstitson 

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varroa absence

I presume in peak season the mites are just recirculating through the brood and spending little time out/on bees.

Now we are treating at a time when drone brood is less common (and total brood decreasing) so presumably the buggers are having to spend more time "loose", especially as numbers have increased over then season.
 

Rosti 

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I presume in peak season the mites are just recirculating through the brood and spending little time out/on bees.

Now we are treating at a time when drone brood is less common (and total brood decreasing) so presumably the buggers are having to spend more time "loose", especially as numbers have increased over then season.
I'd agree with this, but extrapolating this comment, not just drone brood, all brood, we focus on drone brood for assessment because we can cull it or sacraficially inspect it without compromising worker numbers. That is why Jan oxalic is so key in my book, no brood, high mite exposure to the treatment and you can get a really good hit.
 

rae 

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8 and 3 nucs...it's swarm time...
Treat but do not use icing sugar at this time of the year.
Can I ask why not? I haven't noticed a problem with it, clearly I wouldn't use it if it was raining....
 

Rosti 

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Can I ask why not? I haven't noticed a problem with it, clearly I wouldn't use it if it was raining....
Icing sugar can help dislodge mites on adult bees. The issue is that most mites are on brood within cells. Icing sugar represents an isoltaed treatment event rather than a sustained treatment period that deals with newly emerged bees and any associated mite loadings. You need to captiure several brood cycles, unless you are icing every day for a treatment period - a month?????? you cant acheive this
 

Hebeegeebee 

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As bee numbers decrease at this time of year, the proportion of Varroa increases rapidly and will continue to increase until the parasite kills the colony.

Your choice:-
If you want to keep the bees, treat. If you want them to die, then don't bother!
:)
 

mel1of4 

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Can I ask what people would do in my situation. I got a nuc at the end of June which has built up well and is now occupying 2BB on OMF. It had been treated at the end of May with Apivar. I have been monitoring mite drop with a sticky board for 2 days each week and have seen numbers increase over the last couple of months from 1 per day to 5 per day. Looking at the FERA booklet they say that at this time of year those numbers merit no control necessary. My plan is to continue to monitor, and if things continue to rise, to treat with OA in Dec. Does this seem a reasonable plan?
 

Monsieur Abeille 

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Can't think of any excuse not to treat. I doubt if that statement relects FERA's current thinking. Small outlay for Apiguard or Apilife Var, even less for Hivemakers pads, vs potentially losing your colony over winter. No contest.

The Oxalic would be the one to question if you think they are in rude health.
 

Onge 

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I always Oxalic.

Not always Apiguard.

Thinking of just going just Oxalic.
 

Monsieur Abeille 

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. I doubt if that statement relects FERA's current thinking.
Just checked the FERA leaflet and I think it suggest that over 4 in Sept you should be applying some control now - either way you dont know how many mites may have blown off your board etc. Can't see its worth the risk
 

madasafish 

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5 a day?

My TBH had an average of 5/day. First Apiguard drop was 300+. Still dropping 25 a day into 5th week of treatment.. Colony looked and still is very strong.

Saw the same on our local apiary. Very strong colony had low mite drop. Not treated until mid August by which time numbers were declining. Mite drop first week was thousands - literally. Bee numbers have now reduced by 60%..


I distrust mite drop figures as too many variables#... Best test is a trial treatment and see what happens...

My second TBH has zero mite drop: I treated it and zero mite drop .

Unless you have zero drop over weeks, I do not believe mite drop on its own is meaningful as a guide to infestation levels...

# some bees hygenic, some not. Trays not properly sited etc etc..
 

mel1of4 

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OK, looks like my plan is pants. I thought that because they had been treated in early summer they would be OK.
So.. would Apiguard or Apilife Var be best at this late stage? We have been feeding for weeks so pretty full of stores?
Thanks!!!
PS Where can you buy Hivemakers pads or is that a homemade thing?
 

malawi2854 

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So.. would Apiguard or Apilife Var be best at this late stage? ... PS Where can you buy Hivemakers pads or is that a homemade thing?
Thanks for your help everyone - I will treat, just to be on the safe side - it would seem no dropped mites is no guarantee they aren't in there... crafty little buggers!

Can I repeat the questions from mel1of4 above?

Thanks!
 

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