Too late for Varroa treatment?

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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.
Well, in the position Philren is in, if he doesn't treat, it could lead to his colony dying, and if he does treat, at worst he's used £5 of strips without needing to. That's why
 

Erichalfbee 

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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.
I have always adviced beginners to treat and get their heads round whether they should or not the following season.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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I have always adviced beginners to treat and get their heads round whether they should or not the following season.
:iagree:
It's always better for a beginner, who has a heck of a lot to learn anyway, to treat 'just in case' rather for them to be convinced there's no need to treat and for them to lose their first colony through ignorance.
 

Moobee 

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:iagree:
It's always better for a beginner, who has a heck of a lot to learn anyway, to treat 'just in case' rather for them to be convinced there's no need to treat and for them to lose their first colony through ignorance.
Can’t tell you how many beginners I’ve spoken to (I am also one) or seen on Facebook groups who don’t treat because they’ve ‘never seen any varroa’. It’s quite depressing that so many have relied on YouTube, BBKA advice to just check mite drop or advice from other newbies (often a case of the blind leading the partially sighted).
 

pargyle 

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Can’t tell you how many beginners I’ve spoken to (I am also one) or seen on Facebook groups who don’t treat because they’ve ‘never seen any varroa’. It’s quite depressing that so many have relied on YouTube, BBKA advice to just check mite drop or advice from other newbies (often a case of the blind leading the partially sighted).
I agree .... for the first year (or even two) it's by far the safest option ... sadly, even the beginners courses still seem to teach the inspection board and BBKA recommended mite counts and formula. I spoke to a beekeeper who was a self styled 'course instructor' a couple of years ago and in the course of the (my treatment free regime) conversation said that I did sugar rolls - the blank look I got in return told me he had not a clue what I was talking about.

We should teach all our newbies how to check properly for varroa rather than just telling them to blindly treat their bees ..... and I'm not saying that they should not treat - just that it's so easy to do sugar rolls that they should be aware of what they are treating for ....
 

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i was told sugar rolls kill open brood. Also they were not as accurate as alcohol washes?
 

Foxylad 

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You are thinking of sugar dusting treatment for varroa, not a sugar roll.

As to accuracy of sugar roll vs alcohol wash, no idea sorry
sorry is a sugar roll not the use of icing sugar. And the grooming dislodges the mites?
 

pargyle 

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sorry is a sugar roll not the use of icing sugar. And the grooming dislodges the mites?

Shows a sugar roll using a proper bit of kit (I have one - very good) - but a kilner jar with some varroa mesh in place of the metal insert will do the same job for a couple of quid....
 

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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?
Take a pair of pliers with you when you go to remove them, they can get quite stuck with brace and propolis.
 

hemo 

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I sugar rolled my colonies this year from April to July at each check the roll show zero mites. I still vaped my bees as a soft option all returned mites as expected most < 50 per vape bar one which had 250ish per vape.
Even with low mite counts one can't be 100% sure they will be safe, at least the winter brood should be strong.
 

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Sugar roll and alcohol wash seemingly produce similar results with alcohol having a slight edge on accuracy
In the current Bob Binnie video update about the huge, "new-approach," oxalic strips, Bob is surprised to find an apiary where the hives tested low to zero on mites when using an alcohol wash earlier in the summer were showing big mite loads two months later. The advice on this forum varies, as above, between carefully checking for mite infestation levels before thinking about treatment, to "just treat...you'll have mites anyway.

I'm reading that at least one person here does regular checks on varroa levels but has never yet needed to treat and that many people either check or don't check and treat in any case.; from that it could be argued that treatment makes mite levels worse. ;) (PS. All my bees have been Apivared).
 
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Bob is surprised to find an apiary where the hives tested low to zero on mites when using an alcohol wash earlier in the summer were showing big mite loads two months later.
Is this that surprising?
  1. An average mite population, by definition, will increase at a high, exponential rate (one mite goes into a cell, two mites come out a couple of weeks later, etc etc).
  2. Sampling 300 bees in a wash is a pretty good method but obviously, as any opinion pollster knows, can give misleading results if you are unlucky with your sample.
  3. Two months is a long time given the short brood cycle of honey bees, and late summer is when we know that varroa loads skyrocket
Combine an alcohol wash which happened to select bees with few mites on, and two months of frantic varroa reproduction during the peak season, and you shouldn't be shocked by a high varroa load?

EDIT - from memory, Vino Farm on YouTube showed this in a few recent videos. Alcohol washes showed very few mites only a couple of months ago, in most of his hives. Then more recently he stuck Apivar in, and got huge numbers of mites on the inspection boards.
 
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Beebe 

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Is this that surprising?
  1. An average mite population, by definition, will increase at a high, exponential rate (one mite goes into a cell, two mites come out a couple of weeks later, etc etc).
  2. Sampling 300 bees in a wash is a pretty good method but obviously, as any opinion pollster knows, can give misleading results if you are unlucky with your sample.
  3. Two months is a long time given the short brood cycle of honey bees, and late summer is when we know that varroa loads skyrocket
Combine an alcohol wash which happened to select bees with few mites on, and two months of frantic varroa reproduction during the peak season, and you shouldn't be shocked by a high varroa load?

EDIT - from memory, Vino Farm on YouTube showed this in a few recent videos. Alcohol washes showed very few mites only a couple of months ago, in most of his hives. Then more recently he stuck Apivar in, and got huge numbers of mites on the inspection boards.
...it was to Bob Binnie. My point is something that it seems likely you would agree with; a decision not to treat made on the basis of the best tool available to us is quite likely to be a bad decson..
 

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