We are Conscientious Beekeepers Screened Bottom Boards Sticky Board Tests (delay treating until economic threshold is exceeded) Less Harmful Chemicals Drone Frames
As conscientious beekeepers we should: Know that varroa is still the #1 threat. If left untreated, infested colonies will die in 1 - 2 years. Continue to improve our skills in evaluating presence of pests and disease Make wise choices and be knowledgeable with our application. Use correctly to avoid resistance.
…..and evaluate first. What to look for: No - Not the Queen. Do not be too harsh on the queen at this time of the year. Now is not a good time to re-queen, especially if the hive is weak. Treat and regain control of mites. Stack if necessary and split later. Yes - Brood Viability
Yes, July is Fall This is fall. This is not fall. Many texts will tell you to medicate in the fall. Don’t wait until the leaves turn in October to treat!
Timing is Everything Evaluate hives now Treat declining hives as soon as possible. Now is a stress time of the year as mite levels will increase over the next two months as nectar flows decline and brood rearing slows down. Heavy mite loads over the next two months will put them over the edge and unable to recover before the winter months begin. Complete all treating before the September nectar and pollen flows begins. For us this means treating as close to August 1st as possible and allowing a month to get marginal control of the parasitic mites (varroa and tracheal). This allows the sick diseased bees, weakened and affected by the mites, to be replaced by a new healthy bee population which will survive the winter and be ready for growth in the spring.
Evaluation Hives will go downhill from now even if you don’t see evidence. Treat all hives for mites by August 1 st. This is the most important treatment of the year.
Indicators Sticky board tests. A good tool to use in late summer hive evaluations. Delaplane lists threshold as follows: mite populations: 3172-4261 ether roll levels: 15-38 overnight sticky sheets: 59- 187. Sticky board tests can show the degree of varroa mite infestation as well as the effectiveness of your medication. Sticky board testing before medication is your means to understanding the degree of infestation. Sticky board testing after medication measures the effectiveness of the mite treatment.
Powdered sugar quick test Induces hygienic behavior. Leave board in bottom for about one hour then count mites. My count was at about 40 after about 18 hours. I consider this to be high given the low number of bees in the hive.
Indicators Front Door Activity. A general indicator of nectar flow and hive strength.
Indicators Debris at entrance. Presence of numerous dead bees could indicate varroa infestation (could also be evidence of pesticide poisoning). Wax debris could indicate robbing, which could mean a weak population.
Indicators Quality of brood. Varroa infestation causes brood problems with symptoms resembling European foulbrood. And sacbrood. Severe infestations of Varroa mites within the cell (5 or more) can cause death to the pupa.
Indicators Bee population. A reduced population of bees could be an indicator of varroa infestation. The lifespan of newly emerged bees is reduced.
Indicators Appearance of bees. Symptoms of varroa infestation include crumpled wings on bees and varroa mites on adult bees. Emerged bees are smaller than normal, disjointed wings and shortened abdomens.
Indicators Appearance of brood. In hives with high varroa infestation, uncapped larva will appear slumped and abandoned. Uncapped larva will probably not be fed sufficiently and will, in time, die. Visual evidence of varroa mites on uncapped larva.
Medication Notes: Always follow manufacturers directions. If left in too long, the treatment can encourage resistance. Medications have different active ingredients and work in different ways to control the pest and/or disease. Using different products on a rotational basis may be effective in reducing resistance.
Temperatures Maximum and minimum outdoor temperatures are important when choosing your medication.
Using Apiguard Close screened bottom board and any other vent holes. Maximum daily temperature should be between 60 and 105 degrees F.
Apiguard When using Apiguard you must allow a ¼ inch spacing if you are using the meta tin container. Otherwise, put the medication onto a flat cardboard covered with foil and replace inner and outer covers.
Powdered Sugar Treatment A very good option, especially during colder months when other miticides would not be effective. Very time consuming.
Pesky Wax Moths Keep an eye on your bees. If you know a hive has died, IMMEDIATELY clean it out and store your equipment properly, or else…… Extensive wax moth damage is caused by neglecting to break down hives that have died. You could lose brood comb and several supers with drawn comb.
Mite Counting Screened bottom board with reusable metal slide. Solid bottom board with disposable sticky board.