Varroa treatment in spring?

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Amari 

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Simon the Beekeeper on this month's video advises treating for varroa this month (Apivar etc). I get the impression that most of us on here treat in early autumn and at New Year, not spring. Any views?
 

Murox 

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I received that email too ~ I assume its all a part of the same sales/marketing pitch.
 

domino 

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I'm trying to monitor varroa more this season rather than treating to a date - but I say that every year
 

gmonag 

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I suppose it depends on your weapon of choice. I spent the autumn and winter treating with OA, so the mite load is ~0 ATM. No need to treat now.
 

Amari 

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I suppose it depends on your weapon of choice. I spent the autumn and winter treating with OA, so the mite load is ~0 ATM. No need to treat now.
Same here. Varroa drop 0-1 - but some on current threads advise against counting drops because unreliable and misleading.
 

Ian123 

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Over the years I’ve simply found a winter treatment sufficient enough to see the vast majority through till autumn. I don’t know anyone with a reasonable number that counts mites in all their hives, maybe just a sample. With the ease of vaping that’s obviously easy to do.
 

Repwoc 

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Simon the Beekeeper on this month's video advises treating for varroa this month (Apivar etc). I get the impression that most of us on here treat in early autumn and at New Year, not spring. Any views?
The cynic in me thinks he has a shed load of unsold varroa treatment in stock. Maybe that's too unkind.
 

Parsonage Bees 

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Try not to use Apivar (don't like 'hard' chemicals) and I don't do OAV (don't want to risk breathing it myself). I'm thinking MAQS in April, before supers, when weather is reliably warm enough. ?
I missed out the autumn treatment as it didn't seem necessary but drop after December OAD was huge in some colonies. With 95% kill rate OAD will have left too many mites to miss a spring treatment. (that is if they make it).

So MAQS when daytime temperature is consistently over 12-15degC ?
 

Erichalfbee 

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Simon the Beekeeper on this month's video advises treating for varroa this month (Apivar etc). I get the impression that most of us on here treat in early autumn and at New Year, not spring. Any views?
Is he not demonstrating Apilife not Apivar?
 

Erichalfbee 

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bobba 

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I monitor my mite counts early in the year by vaping with OA as soon as the weather allows. It was about 2 weeks ago for me this year. If I get a high might count, I will continue vaping at 5 day intervals, if not I will stop. I figure the sooner I treat after winter, the fewer brood there will likely be, and the longer the interval until the supers go on.

I will not check again until the supers come off. Well - that's what I did last year! I know I should monitor throughout the summer, but I curently only treat with OA, and would not use it why supers are in place. So I figure, no point in monitoring if I am not going to treat.

If I get a swarm I will vape them, or if I have a hive that has swarmed and is thereabouts broodless with no honey prospect, they may get a vape too.

As others say, drop counts can be misleading. I don't like the sample 100 bees in a cup technique and don't want to open hives unnecessarily, especially this time of year.

I know hitting them with one vape to gauge the situation has its + and - points. But when I factor time/cost/disruption to the hive, etc, its what works for me.

I know my whole treatment plan is in some ways questionable, but in other ways good. So I see it as a fair middle ground.

It will probably have been changed before the year ends anyway....
 

beeno 

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I monitor my mite counts early in the year by vaping with OA as soon as the weather allows. It was about 2 weeks ago for me this year. If I get a high might count, I will continue vaping at 5 day intervals, if not I will stop. I figure the sooner I treat after winter, the fewer brood there will likely be, and the longer the interval until the supers go on.

I will not check again until the supers come off. Well - that's what I did last year! I know I should monitor throughout the summer, but I curently only treat with OA, and would not use it why supers are in place. So I figure, no point in monitoring if I am not going to treat.

If I get a swarm I will vape them, or if I have a hive that has swarmed and is thereabouts broodless with no honey prospect, they may get a vape too.

As others say, drop counts can be misleading. I don't like the sample 100 bees in a cup technique and don't want to open hives unnecessarily, especially this time of year.

I know hitting them with one vape to gauge the situation has its + and - points. But when I factor time/cost/disruption to the hive, etc, its what works for me.

I know my whole treatment plan is in some ways questionable, but in other ways good. So I see it as a fair middle ground.

It will probably have been changed before the year ends anyway....
Just remember that the OA crystals from vaping will be absorbed in the honey in the brood box. Most honey in the supers come via the brood box.
 

pargyle 

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Just remember that the OA crystals from vaping will be absorbed in the honey in the brood box. Most honey in the supers come via the brood box.
You are not suggesting that the bees make honey in the brood box and then transfer it to cells in the supers are you ? That's a completely new one on me ...they will re-store honey if you force them by uncapping and putting it somewhere they don't want it but as a matter of course during a flow ~ not sure that's right ?
 

bobba 

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Just remember that the OA crystals from vaping will be absorbed in the honey in the brood box. Most honey in the supers come via the brood box.
You are not suggesting that the bees make honey in the brood box and then transfer it to cells in the supers are you ? That's a completely new one on me ...they will re-store honey if you force them by uncapping and putting it somewhere they don't want it but as a matter of course during a flow ~ not sure that's right ?
I think maybe she means the bees walk through the brood box to get to the supers, and may pick up OA contamination along the way?

That is why I want the time interval between vaping at the start of the year and putting the supers on, to be as long as possible. I don't think significant amounts of OA will be adsorbed in capped honey or possibly surup. If the bees transfer the honey, some OA will be removed via evaporation and possibly adsorbed into the bees themselves.

As I have said my methods have their drawbacks, for example I vaped some hives recently that probably did not need it. But alternatively I may have done an inspection board count, saw some mites, then have still vaped, or could have disturbed the hive to cup sample.

I am still learning, so may find in a few years that I can be confident spring treatments are not needed. But for now I see my methods as a good middle ground.
 

Erichalfbee 

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I think maybe she means the bees walk through the brood box to get to the supers, and may pick up OA contamination along the way?

That is why I want the time interval between vaping at the start of the year and putting the supers on, to be as long as possible. I don't think significant amounts of OA will be adsorbed in capped honey or possibly surup. If the bees transfer the honey, some OA will be removed via evaporation and possibly adsorbed into the bees themselves.

As I have said my methods have their drawbacks, for example I vaped some hives recently that probably did not need it. But alternatively I may have done an inspection board count, saw some mites, then have still vaped, or could have disturbed the hive to cup sample.

I am still learning, so may find in a few years that I can be confident spring treatments are not needed. But for now I see my methods as a good middle ground.
This comes up year after year. There are figures somewhere....Randy Oliver maybe.... that show vaped hives do not have any more oxalic acid in the boney than the amount that occurs naturally. At the risk of incurring Beeno's wrath there is even a way of vaping with supers on in an emergency.
 

pargyle 

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This comes up year after year. There are figures somewhere....Randy Oliver maybe.... that show vaped hives do not have any more oxalic acid in the boney than the amount that occurs naturally. At the risk of incurring Beeno's wrath there is even a way of vaping with supers on in an emergency.
Yes .. I think that the major treatment in the autumn is the critical one and an early one in spring as an indicator appear to be the best options. I've seen an article somewhere that quotes the testing of hives for OA after treatment by sublimation and the residue in the hive of OA was neglible.

If treatment is required during the season I'd simply put a clearer board in, and either vape through the entrance or if vaping from the top remove the super for 24 or 48 hours before letting the bees back into the supers. If the bees need treatment at this stage because the infestation is overtly evident then they are not going to be great honey producers. Taking the supers out of action for a couple of days is not going to make a jot of difference.

I'm sure Beeno will be champing at the bit now to ask me why as a non-treater I know all this .... and in advance ... I don't treat my bees but I have experience elsewhere.
 

pargyle 

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I think maybe she means the bees walk through the brood box to get to the supers, and may pick up OA contamination along the way?
But that's not what she said.

" beeno said: Just remember that the OA crystals from vaping will be absorbed in the honey in the brood box. Most honey in the supers come via the brood box. "

The implication is that OA will be absorbed into the uncapped honey in the BROOD box and the honey then gets transferred to the supers. Which, as far as I know, is nonsense. Bees masticulate the nectar and combine it with enzymes and they do transfer it between bees and the final bit of the process is regurgitating it from the honey stomach into the cells for ripening and then capping. They put the nectar where they are going to store it ... not somewhere else temporarily. Whilst there is the potential for tiny amounts of OA to be transferred on the feet or body of the bees by the time this got transferred to the supers it would be so neglible it would be inconsequential. I'd be more worried about bees who seem to like trampling over dung and then flying into the hive and walking over the super combs ... but perhaps Beeno insists on them wiping their feet at the hive entrance ?

@JBM ... I can see another nice little earner for us here ... the BEEno Hive Doormat.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Judging by the colour of the porch area in my floors come summer the bees do indeed wipe their feet 😉
 

pargyle 

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Judging by the colour of the porch area in my floors come summer the bees do indeed wipe their feet 😉
Yes ... JBM ... definitely onto a winner this time ... the BEE No DISPOSABLE Hive Entrance Doormat ... Not just a one off ... we can sell packs of 10 and have the unsuspecting, gullible beekeepers changing them weekly. Beats the hell out of the Beehive Spring Clean Pack ...
 

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