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Thread: Mite levels autumn 2018

  1. #11

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    a bee landed on my knee resting, at the beginning of the week , with a varroa on its back

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  2. #12
    Senior Member fatshark's Avatar
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    Not one of mine ... mine refuse to go "Norf of the river".

    However, I've now completed my treatments and mite levels remain vanishingly low.

    On a related point ... as part of my day job we've also looked at viral loads in lots of colonies and they're some of the lowest we've ever seen. In some they're bordering on the limit of detection. We're pretty sure this is because the Varroa levels are so low, but still don't have a rational explanation for this. Our management has been the same as previous years - early autumn treatment, midwinter dribble and some drone brood removal (though the latter primarily to make space *, rather than manage mites).

    * I use a lot of foundationless frames. Currently I favour those with vertical bamboo skewers. The bees initially build three panels of comb, often alternating worker and drone. During the swarming season I repeatedly cut out and discarded the drone brood. This gave the colony something useful to do and may have helped lower mite levels. The "three panel" foundationless frames make this particularly easy to do ... much easier than those with horizontal wires or nylon ... though they're a bit more fragile in the early stages of being drawn.

    It may even have helped delay swarming in some of the colonies though I'm aware of a couple that made a successful escape.

    Mite levels are low in colonies from which we removed no drone brood as well.
    Last edited by fatshark; 06-09-2018 at 02:19 PM. Reason: Added final line for clarification

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatshark View Post

    However, I've now completed my treatments and mite levels remain vanishingly low.
    Not started treatment yet as just bringing hives back from the moors. Drop counts (inaccurate I know) have been extremely low, so expecting to find similar to most.
    Spring was at least a month late around us and I've got no idea how long varroa can exist in the phoretic state. Perhaps this killed many off.
    And then followed by a summer that has been one of the hottest on record. Isn't there some guff somewhere about varroa not being able to breed as succesfully in elevated temperatures?
    I recall a heated hive being marketed as the "answer" to varroa.
    Obviously it wasn't...but perhaps extended heating might be an avenue to explore?

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