Too late for Varroa treatment?

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Philren 

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Hi
I’ve just joined the forum as a new beekeeper. Is it too late to apply Apivar here in Hampshire?

TIA
 

mbc 

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Hi
I’ve just joined the forum as a new beekeeper. Is it too late to apply Apivar here in Hampshire?

TIA
Apivar isn't really time sensitive in the way some organic treatments are, get it in and leave it for ten weeks before removing is pretty standard advice if you're going to use an amitraz based product
 

Curly green finger's 

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I like to check on apivar strips after three weeks because sometimes the colony have moved away from the strips, I scratch the strips and then reinsert them.
Definitely not to late good luck.
 
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Philren 

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Thanks to all of you
Tomorrow, if it’s not raining, we’ll be doing it
Thanks again
 

Curly green finger's 

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Thanks to all of you
Tomorrow, if it’s not raining, we’ll be doing it
Thanks again
Also stick a nail through the strips instead of using the horrible tabs, imo there should be a hole through the top of the strips instead it would make life a lot easier.
 
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Boston Bees 

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Hi
I’ve just joined the forum as a new beekeeper. Is it too late to apply Apivar here in Hampshire?

TIA
In one sense, yes, you're about 2 months late. Most of the winter bees will already be either emerged or under cappings, so adding Apivar now will be no use in terms of reducing the amount of viruses they have been exposed to. If you're unlucky then the colony may fail over winter due to these viruses.

On the other hand, better now than never. It will still do some good for the uncapped larvae, and those eggs yet to be laid. And it will of course be useful in significantly reducing the overall mite population that is there over winter.

Remember though that you MUST take them out again after 6-10 weeks (depending on colony size), and this means you'll be doing this in December. You must not leave them in over winter.
 
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pargyle 

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Hi
I’ve just joined the forum as a new beekeeper. Is it too late to apply Apivar here in Hampshire?

TIA
How long have you had your colony ? Was it a Nuc or a full hive ? Have you had any indication of the varroa levels (DWV for instance) ? Have you actually checked for varroa ? Did the seller tell you whether they had been treated before you bought them ? Were they a swarm you collected and were they treated then ?

So many questions unanswered before advice is given.

I don't treat my bees for varroa - and I'm not in any way sugggesting you should follow my path but - from my viewpoint we should only be treating for varroa if there is an infestation.. There are always going to be mites in a colony and in some colonies they seem to proliferate very quickly, in others they seem to be constantly low levels. I do wonder whether the current propensity for treating our bees to the nth degree with the likes of Apivar without actually knowing whether they need treatment actually weakens a colonies ability to cope. Just saying ....tin hat on, my skin is thick !
 

Wilco 

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How long have you had your colony ? Was it a Nuc or a full hive ? Have you had any indication of the varroa levels (DWV for instance) ? Have you actually checked for varroa ? Did the seller tell you whether they had been treated before you bought them ? Were they a swarm you collected and were they treated then ?

So many questions unanswered before advice is given.

I don't treat my bees for varroa - and I'm not in any way sugggesting you should follow my path but - from my viewpoint we should only be treating for varroa if there is an infestation.. There are always going to be mites in a colony and in some colonies they seem to proliferate very quickly, in others they seem to be constantly low levels. I do wonder whether the current propensity for treating our bees to the nth degree with the likes of Apivar without actually knowing whether they need treatment actually weakens a colonies ability to cope. Just saying ....tin hat on, my skin is thick !
Whilst I currently lean towards treating, I think there is an argument to be made along the lines of natural selection-- I've also got colonies which seem to build up varroa levels rapidly and others where they seem not to. With farming a large number of treatments such as anthelmintics should be used when indicated rather than blanket use. This principle is a good one, so I guess the question is what cutoff we use to determine when it's indicated for bees... Is it akin to fly treatment for sheep or should we discuss more targeted use and use of an integrated approach (e.g. Some of the evidence talking about humidity levels affecting varroa survival etc.). Anyway, slight digression from the OPs question.
 

Philren 

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Thanks for all your comments
Long story cut short; my mentor has been unable to support this year. So it’s been books and YouTube.
It’s my first hive and was a nuc in the spring with a super put on early summer. Lots of laying and storing and they look to have enough stores (?).
Did varroa treatment this morning using the tips you’ve given.
In one sense, yes, you're about 2 months late. Most of the winter bees will already be either emerged or under cappings, so adding Apivar now will be no use in terms of reducing the amount of viruses they have been exposed to. If you're unlucky then the colony may fail over winter due to these viruses.

On the other hand, better now than never. It will still do some good for the uncapped larvae, and those eggs yet to be laid. And it will of course be useful in significantly reducing the overall mite population that is there over winter.

Remember though that you MUST take them out again after 6-10 weeks (depending on colony size), and this means you'll be doing this in December. You must not leave them in over winter.
I will take them out as advised, out of interest, what problems would arise?
 

Boston Bees 

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Thanks for all your comments
Long story cut short; my mentor has been unable to support this year. So it’s been books and YouTube.
It’s my first hive and was a nuc in the spring with a super put on early summer. Lots of laying and storing and they look to have enough stores (?).
Did varroa treatment this morning using the tips you’ve given.

I will take them out as advised, out of interest, what problems would arise?
The chemicals in the strips would become too weak to still kill mites, so the mites still in the colony could develop resistance to Apivar. Which is what we are very much trying to avoid.

It's similar logic to why we try not to use too many antibiotics in humans
 

Philren 

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The chemicals in the strips would become too weak to still kill mites, so the mites still in the colony could develop resistance to Apivar. Which is what we are very much trying to avoid.

It's similar logic to why we try not to use too many antibiotics in humans
Thanks, that makes sense
 

pargyle 

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The chemicals in the strips would become too weak to still kill mites, so the mites still in the colony could develop resistance to Apivar. Which is what we are very much trying to avoid.

It's similar logic to why we try not to use too many antibiotics in humans
This is probably the wrong section to be discussing resistance to Apivar but for those not asleep on a Sunday afternoon this is a good read and very much echoes my post #10 above.

 

Boston Bees 

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Just as a thought to a new beek, re treatment, do you actually have an issue with varroa?? If no issue, do you need to treat??
An easy question to ask.

But perhaps not so easy for Philren to answer?

Inspection board drops are certainly not a reliable guide. I sold quite a few nucs in spring to beekeepers who got their first hive in 2020 and didn't treat because they "hadn't seen any varroa"

An alcohol/sugar roll would probably be quite accurate. But are you advocating doing one of these now?
 

pargyle 

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An easy question to ask.

But perhaps not so easy for Philren to answer?

Inspection board drops are certainly not a reliable guide. I sold quite a few nucs in spring to beekeepers who got their first hive in 2020 and didn't treat because they "hadn't seen any varroa"

An alcohol/sugar roll would probably be quite accurate. But are you advocating doing one of these now?
Yes ... it's a difficult one this late in the season ... stick a strip in and see what the drop on the inspection board is like ? Apivar, initially, is very effective on killing the phoretic mites and will give a good indication of the infestation level ... if there's no appreciable drop - take the strip out ... significant drop - leave them in for the six weeks.

For the future, start earlier and sugar roll for an accurate check.
 

milkermel 

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An easy question to ask.

But perhaps not so easy for Philren to answer?

Inspection board drops are certainly not a reliable guide. I sold quite a few nucs in spring to beekeepers who got their first hive in 2020 and didn't treat because they "hadn't seen any varroa"

An alcohol/sugar roll would probably be quite accurate. But are you advocating doing one of these now?
I'm just wondering how many treat regardless of issues, so just putting the thought out there, it a bit like being told by your bet to treat monthly for fleas,. If there isn't an issue why chick unecessary chemicals into your hive. I know I did in the early years.
 

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