Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Fall Varroa Mite Treatment

Fall is the most crucial time to treat for varroa. The mite population is increasing as the bee population begins to decline. The bees go into the winter with  much fewer numbers and the winter bees are the ones who will be hatching in the fall. Those winter bees will be cooped up inside the hive until the weather warms up in late winter/early spring. If there is a large mite population in the hive during the winter it can really weaken the bees. Even if you don't see any mites in your hive, they are there. By the time I noticed them in my hives, which was after their 2nd winter, they were heavily infested. One of the hives was weakened enough that they developed nosema and dysentery. I was able to rectify the situation using HopGuard but the bees took all summer to recover. This seriously effected my honey harvest.

This year I am going to treat both fall AND spring. I use HopGuard, 3 applications, 7 to 10 days apart. I put solid boards, smeared with Vaseline, under the screened bottom boards to catch the dead mites. These are the mites that were on the board after 24 hours.

Close up of mites. They are the blood red ovals.

I will treat twice more this month. Meanwhile I am feeding them 2:1 syrup and giving them pollen patties. I want to make sure they have plenty of food to get them through the winter and raise their winter brood.

No comments: