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Use mite away and bees are not happy - urgent

 
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Uwe in USA
Guard Bee


Joined: 08 May 2013
Posts: 69
Location: Arlington, Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:11 pm    Post subject: Use mite away and bees are not happy - urgent Reply with quote

dear all. I finally found a beekeeper near me. Seems he is into perfection because he has all kinds of treatment for mites.
I build a hive part for him so he wanted to help me treating my bees which I received 4 weeks ago. Since I haven't treated them he suggested that I should do something to treat since June is Mite treatment month. Here in Virginia. we all should do it at the same time.
So I went ahead and we put in one stripe of mite away in each of my TBH.
I did this yesterday and the bees were not happy, they behaved very strange and bearding on the outside. So I went and moved the stripes far away from the bee action and that change a little, i also opened all the vents I have.
Since I am a newbe I believe experienced beekeepers but I think this is not right. it kills bees as well and maybe the queen. There must be better ways to treat for mites.
I think today when I come home from work I will take the stripes out.
I read some reviews and many suggested not using mite away because they lost lots of bees and some abandoned the hives.

Any suggestion would be most welcome.

Regards

Uwe
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mannanin
Scout Bee


Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 260
Location: Essex. UK.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know everyone has their own approach to mites. I have not treated my Kenyan TBH for eight years and the colony seem very happy and healthy. So fit and healthy that as they do nearly every June, they swarmed yesterday. For me, I would throw the miticide strips in the bin.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1525
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@mannanin

Unfortunately the OP has had problems with colony failures in previous years, which may well be due to varroa, because he was under the misunderstanding that keeping them in a TBH would mean they automatically didn't need treating, which is of course an huge over simplification of the situation.

The OP is starting his colonies with commercially produced package bees. These bees have almost certainly been stressed to the limit by the pollination industry that supplies them. They also usually have an unrelated AI queen and of course they have been fed a significant amount of syrup.... they are unlikely therefore to be particularly healthy and vigorous and be able to survive treatment free for some time in my opinion.

Of course the treatment also stresses them but it should also kill the mites. Like most medication, there is a bitter taste or an unpleasant side effect. I am not advocating the use of "Mite Away" strips but we have to understand that different circumstances need different approaches.

When varroa first arrived in my area, my bees would have died out without treatment, I am certain of that. I remember doing inspections where phoretic mites were so numerous, you didn't need to look for them, they were everywhere and many baby worker bees with DWV were on every comb. It takes time to get bees to the state where they can survive treatment free, particularly when they have been used to being propped up with chemicals because of their unhealthy lifestyle.

Buying local healthy bees or starting with a swarm would be a better option but Uwe now has his package bees and needs to look after them as best he can, bearing in mind he has already lost at least 2 colonies from packages purchased previously.

@Uwe in USA

Assuming the treatment has been applied properly, I would leave it to do it's job, but not treat again unless, you see signs of varroa mites building up....this is how I became treatment free.... only treating when necessary rather than routinely. Eventually, they just didn't need treating, but of course my reduced intervention and changed philosophy towards swarming most likely also played a part.

Good luck with them.

Regards

Barbara
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AndyC
Scout Bee


Joined: 04 Jul 2014
Posts: 261
Location: Uk/Horsham/RH13

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I treated all my hives last December with an oxalic acid vaporiser, one shot only.

The girls seemed pretty unconcerned at the time and I put drop boards in the nationals over a cooler night and no mites seen.

The tbh we treated the same at our club apiary is BOOMING.
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andy pearce
Silver Bee


Joined: 30 Aug 2009
Posts: 663
Location: UK, East Sussex, Brighton

PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andy...what vaporizer are you using?

I have heard that MAQ strips need to go into big healthy colonies and there is a risk of queen death.

If you need to treat for mites it seems that, reading around the whole subject, that Oxalic acid vaping is the best option. But one needs to keep away from the vapors

A!
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AndyC
Scout Bee


Joined: 04 Jul 2014
Posts: 261
Location: Uk/Horsham/RH13

PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Andy

I picked up a Varrox at a boot sale, almost new, no box and the guy thought it was an aromatherapy oil warmer.

I also bought the pure tabs off eBay as I didn't like he look of the residue from the other stuff and cleaning it every time.

Yes a decent mask, goggles and gloves are sensible in regard to the risk.

Commercial beek videos I have seen suggest they don't seem so concerned.
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