Too late for Varroa treatment?

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

Boston Bees 

Bumblebee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
1,524
Reaction score
1,507
Location
West Yorkshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10-20
...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..
He didn't, I am sure, mean that anyone should decide whether or not to treat their hives in September based on a varroa sample done in July.

But yes, even if I did an alcohol wash in September, and found few mites, I would treat anyway, I admit it. Which is why I don't do alcohol washes.

Maybe if I did a series of three or four weekly alcohol washes, to capture mite levels over a whole brood cycle, I might trust the results. But I don't really want to kill over a thousand bees in each hive .......
 
Last edited:

Beebe 

Gunslinger
***
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2021
Messages
998
Reaction score
838
Location
Scotland
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Somehow it's escalated to seven.
From watching his previous videos, I don't think the U.S. necessarily follows our fairly well-defined timetables for treatment. Around the time of posting the original video showing low mite levels, which I think was late summer, Bob was also showing how he applies Apiguard. The assumption I made was that he ddn't waste the treatment on this apiary, but that maybe if it had been applied it wouldn't be a waste.

Anyway, as he said, in scientifically testing an as yet unapproved treatment for mite, it will be useful to know that the colonies have a"decent" infestation.
 

bobba 

Field Bee
***
Joined
May 2, 2019
Messages
537
Reaction score
303
Location
UK - Hampshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
4
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 !

You raise a very interesting point.

If we had never treated the mites, than the bees may have adapted of their own accord by now. And so long as we keep treating, they never will.

But that's not necessarily the case. The relationship could also have ended up like Pandora Fungus and Aphids. Pandora Fungus can kill a very high % of aphids until the population cashes and dies. But it never seems to infect and kill all the aphid at once. Just an area at a time. So in a bee veroha equivalent, imagine if veroha flared up, killed all the hives in Hampshire, then seemed to go away!

There is no saying how it would have worked out.

An interesting experiment would be to put wild bees and veroha on an island, and see what happens.

The whole thing reminds me of a vaccine debate for a certain human virus!
 

Boston Bees 

Bumblebee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
1,524
Reaction score
1,507
Location
West Yorkshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10-20
An interesting experiment would be to put wild bees and veroha on an island, and see what happens.
Funnily enough, someone already thought of that. The Gotland experiment is quite famous in beekeeping:

PDF/05/m6039.pdf.url (apidologie.org)

Colony mortality was catastrophic, but some have survived and (as far as I know) appear to be able to "live with" varroa (in a similar way to the Arnott Forest bees).

But, when reading this, remember that these hives were not managed at all. They were just infected with varroa, and left alone to see what happened. Some of the attributes of the resultant colonies (small size, high swarming rate) are precisely the opposite of those which many beekeepers aim to achieve. As such, you need to be very careful in assuming that what happened on Gotland is the same thing that would happen if beekeepers all went treatment free.

Happy reading!
 
Last edited:

pargyle 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
***
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Messages
13,813
Reaction score
4,085
Location
Fareham, Hampshire UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
6
He didn't, I am sure, mean that anyone should decide whether or not to treat their hives in September based on a varroa sample done in July.

But yes, even if I did an alcohol wash in September, and found few mites, I would treat anyway, I admit it. Which is why I don't do alcohol washes.

Maybe if I did a series of three or four weekly alcohol washes, to capture mite levels over a whole brood cycle, I might trust the results. But I don't really want to kill over a thousand bees in each hive .......
Which is why sugar rolls (which don't kill the bees are just as accurate as alcohol washes) are the better option for varroa testing ... dead easy with the Abelo 3 in 1 device.
 

Hebeegeebee 

Queen Bee
***
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
2,132
Reaction score
137
Location
S.E. Norfolk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
12 on a good day, often more..
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.
But if the strip has gone in, it will be wasted if removed, so once it's in, it might as well stay there. Unless there's a concern about chemicals getting into wax.
 

Boston Bees 

Bumblebee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
1,524
Reaction score
1,507
Location
West Yorkshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10-20
But if the strip has gone in, it will be wasted if removed, so once it's in, it might as well stay there. Unless there's a concern about chemicals getting into wax.
I am sure Pargyle didn't mean it the way it sounded.

Apivar can't be used as a test of varroa infestation levels. If used at all, the full proper dose must be administered (usually 2 strips per brood box), and it must be left in for the full application period (6-10 weeks depending on the size of the colony), regardless of what drops you get.

Using it in any other way will accelerate the development of Apivar-resistant mites.
 

Mabee 

New Bee
Joined
Feb 4, 2020
Messages
50
Reaction score
31
Location
Scotland
Hive Type
other
Number of Hives
4
Funnily enough, someone already thought of that. The Gotland experiment is quite famous in beekeeping:

PDF/05/m6039.pdf.url (apidologie.org)

Colony mortality was catastrophic, but some have survived and (as far as I know) appear to be able to "live with" varroa (in a similar way to the Arnott Forest bees).

But, when reading this, remember that these hives were not managed at all. They were just infected with varroa, and left alone to see what happened. Some of the attributes of the resultant colonies (small size, high swarming rate) are precisely the opposite of those which many beekeepers aim to achieve. As such, you need to be very careful in assuming that what happened on Gotland is the same thing that would happen if beekeepers all went treatment free.

Happy reading!
In addition to that, and I may be wrong, but I thought the bees which were brought back to the mainland and got reinfected with varroa, died, the varroa strain on the island were particularly weak specimens and therefore the experiment wasn't conclusive, unfortunately.
 

Boston Bees 

Bumblebee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
1,524
Reaction score
1,507
Location
West Yorkshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10-20
In addition to that, and I may be wrong, but I thought the bees which were brought back to the mainland and got reinfected with varroa, died, the varroa strain on the island were particularly weak specimens and therefore the experiment wasn't conclusive, unfortunately.
Sounds likely. Thanks for the update
 

Beebe 

Gunslinger
***
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2021
Messages
998
Reaction score
838
Location
Scotland
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Somehow it's escalated to seven.
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.
The tabs are excellent. Perhaps you're trying to hang the tab over the top bar? They are designed so that you just push the strip down between frames and the backwards curve of the "V" just wedges the strip in place with nothing sticking above the bars.
 

Jen Hen 

New Bee
Joined
May 4, 2021
Messages
4
Reaction score
5
Number of Hives
2
I treated in sept/Oct with apilite var.Quite a drop overall during treatment. Today I saw a few bees with deformed wings and also saw a couple of VM. Can I treat with OA at this time of year?
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

International Beekeeper of Mystery
***
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
28,587
Reaction score
6,435
Location
Glanaman,Carmarthenshire,Wales
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Too many - but not nearly enough
I treated in sept/Oct with apilite var.Quite a drop overall during treatment. Today I saw a few bees with deformed wings and also saw a couple of VM. Can I treat with OA at this time of year?
you talking trickling or vaping?
 

mbc 

Queen Bee
***
Beekeeping Sponsor
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
Messages
6,258
Reaction score
966
Location
bestest wales
Hive Type
national

Erichalfbee 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
24,735
Reaction score
6,160
Location
Ceredigion
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
13

Erichalfbee 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
24,735
Reaction score
6,160
Location
Ceredigion
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
13
Not sure I like "all the time" as an idea, about three brood cycles should do.
Randy Oliver has tried it? I'm sure I read that somewhere
 

Latest posts

Top