Author Topic: Dead mites  (Read 565 times)

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Offline tedh

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Dead mites
« on: August 10, 2019, 10:40:31 am »
I started oxalic treatments this week and at the last yard, while treating the hives there, I noticed several dead mites on the stand in front of each hive.  Is this a good or bad sign?  Is it normal and this is just the first time I've noticed it?  The sun had to be at the right angle to see them, kind of like eggs, so it would be easy to miss if you weren't looking.  Thanks, Ted
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Dead mites
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2019, 11:33:41 am »
The only good mite is a dead mite!  :eusa_clap:
tedh, one important thing to remember is that female varroa mites enter the cell to mate with their own offspring and lay eggs in with the larvae.  They go in right before the workers cap those cells.  Any varroa in capped cells will not be killed by OA treatments.  Be sure to follow up during a time when the queen has quit laying eggs and before the bees cluster.  In my area, that is usually November.
So, are dead mites at the entrance, prior to OA treatment, a good sign?  That is a good question.  I think it could mean one of two things.  You have an incredibly high mite count or you have hygienic bees.  Did you do a mite count test prior to treatment?  That would tell you if you had a really high mite count.  One year, early in my beekeeping adventure, I found mites on top of the inner cover.  I lost that colony and I am sure it was because of the heavy mite load and the deformed wing virus that came with it.  I hope others will give their opinion.

Offline tedh

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Re: Dead mites
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2019, 05:36:13 pm »
Thanks bakersdozen, I'm leaning towards a really high mite count.  I treat with oxalic once a week over a 21 day period.  May not be the best plan but it seems to work.  I do that spring and summer.  This spring I only got 2 treatments in because of the rains.  When I first spotted the dead mites I thought, oh boy this is great, they're grooming off the mites!  Not sure if anybody is that lucky but I know that I'm not.  I do wonder if this might be more common than a person might think.  If you weren't looking for them it'd be easy to miss.  I do check the bottom board entrance and hivestand in front of the hive before each inspection just...because.  I've never seen this before.  Thanks again, ted
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Dead mites
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2019, 10:57:19 pm »
  I treat with oxalic once a week over a 21 day period. 
I heard Dr. Juliana Rangel, Tecumseh's boss, speak about mite treatments.  She cautioned beekeepers from doing too many OA treatments.  Her logic is sound to me.  While we have most workers living about 6 weeks, our queen lives for several years.  The queen is exposed repeatedly to OA and it can be hard on the tender body parts like antennae.

Offline tedh

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Re: Dead mites
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2019, 08:19:40 am »
Good information!  Thanks for the heads up bakersdozen!
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Offline Jen

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Re: Dead mites
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2019, 04:42:41 pm »
Hi Baker, that is some profound oa queen info there. I always wonder about the bees eyes with the 21 day oa treatment.

Ted, for years I had the same Italian genetics, these queens were amazing layers. However, as the genetics kept repeating itself over the years, the swarming and cast swarming were getting out of control.. in addition to unexpected mite explosions a couple times a summer, which resulted in deformed wing virus. It was getting to be too much of a load to keep up with the hives. The seasoned beeks in our area kept telling me to requeen with new genetics. I'm stubborn and didn't pay much attention, I have a hard time pinching queens.

Last year was crazy so I decided to requeen  :'(  with some hybrid queens that come up from lower/upper Calif. The breeders selling point being hygenic, peaceful, winter hardy, gentle bees.

What A Difference! Not one swarm! and I have only detected 20 mites all summer. I watch my sticky board weekly. When I see ONE mite, I treat all my hives. So far I have only had to treat with oa twice. And that is just once not a series of 4 treatments. So the hives got one shot of oa … 2 times this summer. What a relief



There Is Peace In The Queendom

Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Dead mites
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2019, 09:56:03 am »
Jen, glad you found the solution to your trials and tribulations.