Concerning Developments in Canada

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Alastair

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OK back home. Re your treatment schedule of October and January, the January treatment would obviously require a lot of heavy lifting, why do you not do the second treatment at about the time the first treatment would have been chewed out, ie, say towards end of November?

Some thoughts on this are you are treating at a time the hives are very strong, where I have been treating much earlier, being August / September. Do you think that could be part of my problem?
 
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OK back home. Re your treatment schedule of October and January, the January treatment would obviously require a lot of heavy lifting, why do you not do the second treatment at about the time the first treatment would have been chewed out, ie, say towards end of November?

Some thoughts on this are you are treating at a time the hives are very strong, where I have been treating much earlier, being August / September. Do you think that could be part of my problem?
Not too much heavy lifting, as we take excess honey off the hives every 2 to 3 weeks, dependent on what the season brings. Hives have only 2 3/4 honey boxes that way. Hives are very crowded in January and that seems to work for the treatment. The most advanced hives have about chewed it out about now, so in January we take out the left overs and insert new ones.

I don't really see the purpose of treating in early spring. If the hives had a good treatment in Autumn/Winter period, then there should be no need for early spring treatment. To get a good autumn/winter treatment, I put the Apivar in rather late (say end of March); that way I should end up with very low mite counts in early spring. The spring build up was good, no trouble.
 
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3 strips per brood box (hive)
As stated end October and early January
apologies i'm a little under the weather at the mo, please excuse me if i miss read things.

so your basically doing a mid season treatment which pushes out the time needed for the autumn treatment. i see a bit of that in the far north.
its an excellent method. mite suppression during build up (when mites are also breeding the most) pays off in the long run.

thanks for the excellent info, its very helpful.
 
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I’m reading all this stuff about O/A with interest.
We had a baptism of fire with the stuff a few years ago, and lost a lot of hives….
But have persevered…. And seem ti be succeding.
The recipe is synthetic in the autumn… one year Bayvarol, next year Apivar…. Then O/A right through the spring…. Keep feeding the strips in…. And then a final knockdown as we super up woth shop cloths.
Hey presto…. Strong hives ready to make honey.
 
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I’m reading all this stuff about O/A with interest.
We had a baptism of fire with the stuff a few years ago, and lost a lot of hives….
But have persevered…. And seem ti be succeding.
The recipe is synthetic in the autumn… one year Bayvarol, next year Apivar…. Then O/A right through the spring…. Keep feeding the strips in…. And then a final knockdown as we super up woth shop cloths.
Hey presto…. Strong hives ready to make honey.
James whats your shop cloth recipie? pic of roll of cloths looks dry on top n wet on bottom, you soaking them in the roll?
 
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James whats your shop cloth recipie? pic of roll of cloths looks dry on top n wet on bottom, you soaking them in the roll?
Yeah .... it's not very scientific ..... and you are right they look drier on the top than the bottom. They were a rush job and did'nt get long enough to drain.
We've been pulling honey today ... and doing mite shakes prior to blowing bees for SJA .... and the towels still have a sting in them. How do I know ?
Girl commented that the cut in her hand stung like crazy after pulling a towel out.
And the mite counts ..... we 've have'nt washed out one yet .
 
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I would think that proactive beekeepers that have properly explored treatment options other than amitraz and synthetic pyrethroids will be just fine. There are other ways to keep Varroa in check. I have not used either of these for over three and a half years now and cannot see my self using them again.
Would that mean u are rotating between thymol, formic and oxalic acid ? How many treatments of each per year or season are you doing.. if u don't mind me asking..Thanks
 
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agreed, but its not as simple as that.
all those treatments have their own issues to deal with and generally lower efficiencies.
at small scale you can often work around that, but that becomes problematic to do at larger scales.
also there is the complication factor ie they are harder to do and requires more skill. so different beeks can get different outcomes.

for eg i'm trailing OAE at the moment and already found a major issue which stops us from using it.
What is the major issue that stopped u from using oxalic acid?
 
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What is the major issue that stopped u from using oxalic acid?
i have mentioned in in another thread.
the bees start eating out the cardboard strips in 4 weeks. most likely why randy oliver replaces the strips at the 4 weeks mark in his trails.
it means you have to go back in 4 weeks to replace them. that doubles the basic cost of the strips plus adds labour and most importantly you have to get there on time. you need at least 8 weeks of treatment for a full treatment.
i have tried Swedish sponge between two brood boxes, and they where fine when i pulled them out at 12 weeks.

however on the plus side, you can just leave the strips in and bees will remove them.
that makes it quite good for a mid season treatment where your not trying to get a full treatment.
 
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We have used O/A strips with great success for the last few years . We work the application of them into our normal routine as we get around the hives every three weeks. Some get chewed out, some don't, so we generally add another two to keep things topped up.
Then as we super up we give them a final knock down with a shop cloth placed below the queen excluder to carry them through the flow with low mite numbers.
Late summer mite testing has been interesting. The majority of the yards have zero to three mites in a meth wash. Some of the exceptional yards have upto 20.
Autumn treatement this year has been Apivar .
So yes, with O/A you have to be continually adding and monitoring , but thats just part of being a responsible Beekeeper, right?
We have some nice looking hives going into winter.
 

Dansar

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We have used O/A strips with great success for the last few years . We work the application of them into our normal routine as we get around the hives every three weeks. Some get chewed out, some don't, so we generally add another two to keep things topped up.
Then as we super up we give them a final knock down with a shop cloth placed below the queen excluder to carry them through the flow with low mite numbers.
Late summer mite testing has been interesting. The majority of the yards have zero to three mites in a meth wash. Some of the exceptional yards have upto 20.
Autumn treatement this year has been Apivar .
So yes, with O/A you have to be continually adding and monitoring , but thats just part of being a responsible Beekeeper, right?
We have some nice looking hives going into winter.
Have you worked out what the initial high failure rate you had when first using them was?
 
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We have used O/A strips with great success for the last few years . We work the application of them into our normal routine as we get around the hives every three weeks. Some get chewed out, some don't, so we generally add another two to keep things topped up.
i think thats not a good practise as such. i also disagree with the 3 staples a bit that many use unless its running low amounts of brood.
the reason is simply oxalic breaks down very very fast. its not like chemical strips where the fairly stable chem gets onto the bee and then spread from that bee to other bees. so you can have two strips and the chem gets spread around all the bees easy enough. oxalic is less spreading because it doesn't last, so you need more bees contacting the strips, hence more strips. but also bee activity dictates how much contact the bees get.

so if bees are active on frames that don't have treatment then they don't get treatment. ie you need strips placed in every frame gap that has brood. 8 frames of brood 4 staples (8 strips). dose level is more about strip width.

so adding few strips later doesn't really help, having a few old ones and a few new ones is not good because some will get enough dose, others will get an ineffective dose. when you need all to get an effective dose. 2 new strips is not spread across all the bees, its only going to effect a few of them.
so all strips need to be replaced with new ones.

i suspect some of the issues are caused by oxalic being promoted as cheap and beeks trying to use the less staples they can, instead of error on the side of caution and using the max they can.
 

Alastair

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Nah … Bare hands…. Lifes too short and we like to live dangerously.

About that. One of the things I really hated about OA strips when I was using them was having to hassle with gloves. and then you get OA and GL over everything. Smoker, boxes slippery to lift, and whatever else. So in the end I just used to go bare handed and wash my hands afterwards, I always have hand washing water on the truck.

Never had any side effects I was aware of but always wondered if it was doing something nasty to me. Any scientific types here know if it can do you any damage?
 
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Never had any side effects I was aware of but always wondered if it was doing something nasty to me. Any scientific types here know if it can do you any damage?
the main one is it forms kidney stones.

while OA is "mild" its still risky. its all down to dosage. for a few strips it wouldn't do much but handling it constantly will do damage.
 
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Have you worked out what the initial high failure rate you had when first using them was?
Yes .... we used them in the summer as we were taking honey off, after hav ing used them in the spring .....in previous years as the honey comes off the Apivar or Bayvarol go in .... set and forget until we start wintering in April. So we did the same with the O/A strips . Three months for a strip is waaaaaay toooooooo long , which I guess is why we lost so many hives.
Steep learning curve !
So, while Trisatn may disagree with our spring modus operandii with strips ..... the proof is in the pudding that we get a honey crop and have no collapsing hives in the the late summer due to mites. What more c ould you want ?

Shop c loths before the honey flow ..... it's more of a feel good ..... very cheap .... and a b it like a condom, still gives a Happy ending 😊

It works for us and saves us a heap of dough.
 


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