POST OXALIC VAPOUR MITE DROP

I treated the hive with the mesh floor and tray on 30th December.  Until then the typical mite drop was about 3 per day.

On 31/12 there were 17 mites on the tray; 2nd Jan 21; 3rd Jan 11; 4th Jan 26; 5th Jan 18, 9th Jan 24, 11th Jan 6.  So after a surge, the drop has returned to about 3 per day.

What does this mean?  The short answer is dunno!  As the mite drop is now the same as it was before, maybe it has been a waste of time, despite about a hundred extra mites having been killed.

Why has the drop dropped back to 3/day so suddenly?  Have most of the remaining mites found brood to hide behind and reproduce upon? Have the bees got rid of all the oxalic and now aren’t bothering (although one of today’s mites was dented as if by bee mandibles)?

I’m undecided at present what to do next and would welcome suggestions.  I might repeat the vapour treatment and see how the figures compare. Alternatively, I could give a trickle treatment and compare.  Anyway, it will have to wait for a while as I’m about to take a holiday.

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About chrissladesbeeblog

I have been keeping bees since 1978 and currently have about a dozen hives. I am a member of the BBKA where for many years I represented Dorset at the Annual Delegates' Meeting. I am the co-author (with Dave MacFawn of of S. Carolina) of "Getting the Best from Your Bees" and am working on a book of my own poems : "Bee People".
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One Response to POST OXALIC VAPOUR MITE DROP

  1. The Apiarist says:

    I suspect it means that you teated when there’s brood present Chris. The little burst of dead mites is pretty typical for a few days after treatment. It then tails off as the deposited OA dissolves or otherwise loses efficacy. The continuing drop probably comes from emerging brood, though the restore the original levels it suggests that there’s quite a bit in the colonies. I’d treat again, but I’m a believer that repeated treatments are not harmful (http://theapiarist.org/sublimox/). Some of my colonies received four treatments at 5 day intervals (to intercept mites on emerging brood, taking account of the likely phoretic period in the mites’ life cycle). Most had less than this after mite drop stopped … but I treated after an extended cold period when there was little or no evidence of brood uncapping on the trays.

    Some people have treated at weekly intervals for very long periods. There are threads on the Beesource forum with 20+ repeated treatments.

    If mite levels continue to look too high you could always consider a shook swarm and vaporisation treatment at an appropriate time early in the season. You might miss the early season crop, but you’d be in a good state for the main flows.

    Have a good holiday.
    David

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