NZBF: Varroa - test or count after treatment?

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24
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Wellsford
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Should I check for varroa or use a paper strip on the bottom 24hrs after placing strips as an indication?
Am thinking testing is the best way forward and is there a right or wrong autumn treatment commencement date?
 
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maungaturoto
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mite drop numbers is not an exact thing, not as simple as placing paper strip (why paper? bees chew paper apart).
jar testing is far more accurate but runs risks.
overall this is a case of trying to sprint a marathon before you have learnt to walk.
it just makes things overcomplicated and you will make even more mistakes. stick to the strips and put them in for the right length of time.

once your skill and experience level is up then you can get into the more complicated things.
 
24
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Wellsford
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Apivar strips ordered. Was going to do the icing sugar test tomorrow on both hives. And add another brood box. On top of existing?
When is the right time to add the strips? If test shows high number - add strips now? in low numbers hold off for a month?
 

Mummzie

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Good call to have arranged the strips.
By all means, do the icing sugar test, but it is never as efficient as a correctly conducted wash test. What do you consider high or low numbers- to vary your response. Rhetorical question.
Just place the strips as soon as you get them. There is no question you will have varroa, and its population will be building fast. Now gives the new generation a chance to be free of the varroa and the associated virus.
If you are up for the challenge / want the knowledge / the point of the varroa tests is to see how effective the treatment has been, so a test before starting, and one at the end is required

I hope the new brood box will have drawn comb rather than foundation?
 
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If mite numbers are high then you need to treat immediately but even if mite numbers are low or very low it will soon be time to treat anyway and I find about 15 February is the ideal day for me and that means the strips can come out at the end of April.
Your strips need to be an early enough to control the autumn varoa and give the hives time to raise healthy bees for winter.
If you put strip in to early you don't get covered for late autumn reinvasion and if you put them in too late you not only risk high mite numbers you also need to take the strips out in early winter which is not an ideal time to be working hives.
 
24
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Wellsford
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Just to be sure... Am testing for mites today and adding another box for brood. On top or under?

I'm thinking I won't need to add strips to the new brood boxes I put on but in the spring I would need to treat both boxes by hanging double strips down?

Yes 2nd brood box will be Drawn comb. That's comb that's been harvested so 'wet comb?' is that ok?
 

yesbut

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Just to be sure... Am testing for mites today and adding another box for brood. On top or under?

I'm thinking I won't need to add strips to the new brood boxes I put on but in the spring I would need to treat both boxes by hanging double strips down?

Yes 2nd brood box will be Drawn comb. That's comb that's been harvested so 'wet comb?' is that ok?
Yes it is. In time you will discover that harvesting honey from old brood comb isn't ideal...but that's later.
 
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Ah oh, rookie mistake. Left a harvested super in the open without covering it up and when I checked before using as a second brood box found this. Suspect frames are now wintering in the freezer for a few days. However I did freeze then wrap in plastic to prevent this sort of thing happening another box which I have used.
Some pics for you Tristan-you wanted to see from other thread. The frame is randomly pulled out of the brood box. Hope this gives an indication you were after.
The jar is my icing sugar test. Don't know how many bees and taken off 3 different frames out of the brood box. Counted 12 mites approx with two lots of shakes.
Strips have arrived so will add those next week to the bottom box.
 

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Mummzie

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I would add strips to the new brood box. the treatment is in for 8-10 weeks, and that's at least 2 brood cycles. Your queen will be up there looking for bedroom space pretty quickly I think. You will want those brood protected also.

The strips are developed for FD boxes. With 3/4 boxes, I trim the ends off the strips so if the strip is longer than the frame, I'm not battling with trying to get it to hang thru 2 layers of frames. This is likely a controversial bit of advice, as its "off label use"

Hang your strips in the brood area and be prepared to move them as the brood moves.

Box on top.
 
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when I checked before using as a second brood box found this. Suspect frames are now wintering in the freezer for a few days. However I did freeze then wrap in plastic to prevent this sort of thing happening another box which I have used.
good move.
this is also why it pays to store them on a hive and let the bees look after it until its cool enough that wax moth will not get to it.

ome pics for you Tristan-you wanted to see from other thread. The frame is randomly pulled out of the brood box. Hope this gives an indication you were after.
nice brood.
just remember to remove no1 frame first, move the other frames over before taking it out. pulling it out of the centre like that risks killing the queen.

The jar is my icing sugar test. Don't know how many bees and taken off 3 different frames out of the brood box. Counted 12 mites approx with two lots of shakes.
this is why i say not to bother.
without knowing what the bee numbers are, it makes the test pointless. testing has to be done correctly otherwise you get false data.
you would typical use a measuring cup that you know holds a certain amount of bees.
you need good data to make good decisions from.

Strips have arrived so will add those next week to the bottom box.
not that simple.
don't put strips in the bottom box because they poke out the bottom and makes it under sized. but you also can't put them in the top when there is no brood there. so what you need to do here is rearrange the brood so its in the centre of both boxes. then put the strips in the top box. with a bit of luck it will line up with frames below. otherwise on a bit of angle will not hurt.

now the thing that will really scratch your head is that being to early can be as bad as being late.
if you treat to early you can pick up mites after treatment is done and they get a head start for spring.
you might want to hold off a little bit, let the bees get going in the 2nd box. maybe do the sugar test properly.
 
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good move.
this is also why it pays to store them on a hive and let the bees look after it until its cool enough that wax moth will not get to it.


nice brood.
just remember to remove no1 frame first, move the other frames over before taking it out. pulling it out of the centre like that risks killing the queen.


this is why i say not to bother.
without knowing what the bee numbers are, it makes the test pointless. testing has to be done correctly otherwise you get false data.
you would typical use a measuring cup that you know holds a certain amount of bees.
you need good data to make good decisions from.


not that simple.
don't put strips in the bottom box because they poke out the bottom and makes it under sized. but you also can't put them in the top when there is no brood there. so what you need to do here is rearrange the brood so its in the centre of both boxes. then put the strips in the top box. with a bit of luck it will line up with frames below. otherwise on a bit of angle will not hurt.

now the thing that will really scratch your head is that being to early can be as bad as being late.
if you treat to early you can pick up mites after treatment is done and they get a head start for spring.
you might want to hold off a little bit, let the bees get going in the 2nd box. maybe do the sugar test properly.
Thank you Tristan, yes completely forgot about removing side frame to allow more room to remove others. The sugar test does seem a little random but in saying this the number of mites did seem low? How do you remove the right amount of bees and from where within the brood box?
Re the Apivar it states the dosage rate is two strips per brood box. By doubling the brood boxes does this mean doubling the amount of bees? Or merely giving more room and as you mentioned reduces the incidence of swarming?
 
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The sugar test does seem a little random but in saying this the number of mites did seem low?
no idea without knowing how many bees in the sample.
bees are sampled off the brood frames. i used to shake the bees off into a tub then scoop them up with a measuring cup.
i can't recall the exact numbers at the mo, but a certain sized cup = a certain amount of bees. you can always check by tipping them out and counting. (tho i was doing alcohol wash which made it a bit easier.) of course not getting the queen is important.

Re the Apivar it states the dosage rate is two strips per brood box.
yes, but thats FD and with a certain amount of brood. being 3/4 and having it not packed out with brood, plus weaker hive, 2 strips is fine.
if it was both boxes wall to wall brood and a large hive, then i would do 4 strips total (2 in each box).
 
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Hamilton
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Ah oh, rookie mistake. Left a harvested super in the open without covering it up and when I checked before using as a second brood box found this. Suspect frames are now wintering in the freezer for a few days. However I did freeze then wrap in plastic to prevent this sort of thing happening another box which I have used.
Some pics for you Tristan-you wanted to see from other thread. The frame is randomly pulled out of the brood box. Hope this gives an indication you were after.
The jar is my icing sugar test. Don't know how many bees and taken off 3 different frames out of the brood box. Counted 12 mites approx with two lots of shakes.
Strips have arrived so will add those next week to the bottom box.
Fogging hive with sticky board that day,next day mite drop count ,more than 9 mite drop a day needs treatment,easy .
I have 80 mm spacer on floor ,with 22mm holes ,three on each side, with 400mm square plate on top,of spacer,protects bees, keeps mineral oil from burning the bees ,The spacer, vents, doing mites counts, and fogging, you have two sticky boards tin plates inserted in the hive for mites counts,
Are experimenting with the idea of using one sticky board,lease work checking
Happy beekeeping
 
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Grant

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Fogging hive with sticky board that day,next day mite drop count ,more than 9 mite drop a day needs treatment,easy .
I have 80 mm spacer on floor ,with 22mm holes ,three on each side, with 400mm square plate on top,of spacer,protects bees, keeps mineral oil from burning the bees ,The spacer, vents, doing mites counts, and fogging, you have two sticky boards tin plates inserted in the hive for mites counts,
Are experimenting with the idea of using one sticky board,lease work checking
Happy beekeeping
This advice is not really appropriate for a beginner.
For a start he he not fogging, he is using apivar, so you've taken him off topic, added in a complication and not really answered his question
2nd as @tristan said elsewhere
like with most alternative treatments, its just not that simple.
plenty of beekeepers have killed their hives with fogging, so its not something I would ever recommend to a beginner beekeeper.

Don't get me wrong, it has its place, but not for a beginner and not in this topic.
 
24
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Wellsford
Experience
Beginner
Haven't heard of fogging and won't be trying it out anytime soon.

There was a lot of activity on one of my hives the other day and thought I could be witnessing a robbing taking place. As it happened I had just attended the club meeting a night before and had picked up a couple of the new 'Beast Blockers' from Ceracell which I immediately installed and closed off the hive. (Yes I could have stuffed the entrance with grass or other but thought I may as well use what I just bought). The neighbouring hive was quiet by comparison. I opened up one door on dusk as there were plenty of bees milling around outside but in a calm fashion.
Checked the hive the next day and all seemed in order. I did notice the frames in the super were emptying a little.

Would this be from a possible robbing? I didn't notice any dead bees at the entrance apart from your regular clean-outs. Also no wasps.

However - staying on topic of mitesides - I did notice some bees with deformed wings. I know this is caused by varroa chewing away at them. Would this be an indication of a bad infestation or normal levels of infestation?

Apivar went in on the 24 Feb. Practical Beekeeping in NZ say 8 weeks I've heard chat of 10 weeks. Longer the better no?
 
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yesbut

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I believe Apivar's recommended application is 10 weeks. Google "Deformed Wing Virus'. Mites don't chew on the wings, but they do act as a vector for "DWV". Once a colony has DWV clearing all the mites out will not necessarily fix the virus if the Queen is carrying infected sperm picked up from infected drones.
 

Grant

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Apivar Instructions
 
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I believe Apivar's recommended application is 10 weeks. Google "Deformed Wing Virus'. Mites don't chew on the wings, but they do act as a vector for "DWV". Once a colony has DWV clearing all the mites out will not necessarily fix the virus if the Queen is carrying infected sperm picked up from infected drones.
Also, queens can become infected themselves . . .and then all eggs laid subsequently will be infected. Which is why some hives show symtoms and some hives can have high levels of virus but not show DWV.
We've just been testing some bees and individual varroa for DWV strains . . .from individual varroa, the levels of virus are scarily high ! (these are from hives where visual symptoms are seen)
 

Mummzie

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Also, queens can become infected themselves . .
can a queen carry the virus but not exhibit signs of DWV ? therefore lay infected eggs.
Or how does the queen get mated and then get infected with DWV ?

I suppose the question is - What are all the methods of transmission of DWV ?
 
24
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Wellsford
Experience
Beginner
I did ask at the recent club meeting about opened packs of Apivar. I have only 2 hives. That's 4 strips as I am running single brood boxes so can I use the remaining strips next season.

I have folded the top of the pack and wrapped wide sellotape around this in the hope i can reseal the pack.

Am I wasting my time or do I count my loss and throw the remaining strips.

In future I will make contact with another bk close by and see if they will split costs and packs.
 


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