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Thread: Varroa treatment with young queen

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    Default Varroa treatment with young queen

    Having done Demaree and Horsley board, I have sealed queen cells which will hopefully hatch and mate. Up to 8 days after she starts laying, I will have a colony with no sealed brood. I have the option of an apiary in a varroa-free area, and although I currently have no varroa in those colonies, I have varroa in others in the apiary (at very low levels) and would like to vapourise with ‘oxalic’. Is this advisable with a young queen, or should I wait (how long?) and vapourise a number of times (how many and how many days apart?).

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
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    I have no advice on oxalic acid treatment, Phil (besides which, you’re far more experienced than me) - but I do wonder whether any treatment will safeguard your colony from Varroa, as a female Varroa might just piggy-back into your colony just before you close them in to move to the Varroa-free area.
    Kitta

  3. #3

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    Thanks, mellifera
    Yes, treatment would have to be late evening, then keep them closed with travel screen ready to move next morning.
    But my worry is whether a young queen will be affected by the oxalic - not worried about a short term effect, but long term??
    If no one has experience of this, i might just give it a try!! And monitor every day in new location, just in case...
    Phil

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    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
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    I should have realised you’ll treat them and close them in at the same time!
    Kitta

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    Senior Member fatshark's Avatar
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    I've treated casts with virgin Q's with vaporised OA no problem. Far better to treat when all the mites are phoretic. I've no idea whether there are long-term effects ...

    However ... the big problem is that OA treatment will not be 100% effective. 95% is the best figure you'll see. Whether this is reached under 'normal conditions' is questionable. How certain can you be that the colony is Varroa-free at the moment?

    Personally I wouldn't trust this as a way of guaranteeing no Varroa. There's too much at risk. I'm in the same situation and will source local Varroa-free bees for the new apiary and then improve/change/expand the genetic pool by sourcing suitable queens (where I can visually inspect them to be sure).

  6. #6

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    Thanks, Fatshark.
    I agree with what you say, no (?) treatment is 100%. back it up with Varro-gard??? Or what else? But where do you source, or rather where can one source, varroa - free bees? The apiary will be shared with the house owner, who is very keen to have bees.

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    There has been a big upsurge in people wanting to keep bees here at the moment. But unfortunately we are struggling to supply enough local varroa free bees to meet the demand. Also we are actively pushing the don’t import bees message as well. It only takes one mite in a colony to change an area forever!😡 Isle of Man beekeepers or Andrew Abrahams on Colonsay might be able to supply varroa free bees.
    http://www.iomtoday.co.im/article.cf...earchyear=2018

    http://www.snhbs.scot/colonsay/
    Last edited by lindsay s; 19-05-2019 at 12:36 AM.

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    Senior Member fatshark's Avatar
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    If it's a Varroa-free area are there other beekeepers you could contact? As Lindsay says, the importation of mites is effectively irreversible. There are so few areas left that are Varroa-free that I think we have a responsibility to protect them if we possibly can. I'm sure the house owner is keen to have bees on the property but perhaps you can persuade him/her that a little patience now will allow the keeping of bees without chemicals.

    Personally I wouldn't trust any combination of treatments to make the hive mite-free.

    I've got colonies that gave a drop of ~25 mites over 6 weeks with Apivar early last autumn. These colonies have had fantastically low counts all last year. In midwinter they got oxalic acid/Api Bioxal ... and one or two more mites appeared.

    Perhaps you could persuade the house owner that, in the absence of mites, they could also get to see the occasional Braula

  9. #9

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    Thanks, Lindsay and fatshark.
    The site is in a hilly area at a height on the fringes of being able to keep bees, and no other known beekeepers within flying distance, so risk of infecting other colonies minimum to nil.
    I have site in a varroa area where I could put the colony and treat until no varroa drop before taking 'up the hill', but perhaps better to wait!
    Phil

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    In theory, you could get rid of all varroa but if you leave them for a day and they rob a hive with varroa, a piggy back ride undoes all the work you have done...

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