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Many old bee keepers have knowen this for years and is why we treat. Not all states can use the same treatments unless they buy into the section 18 process.

Then there are a lot of bee keepers not wanting to spend the money for the approved treatments and use stuff on those heavy duty paper towels thrown in the hives.

We started with these a very long time ago.


Problem was many northern bee keepers put them on so late in the year that when they were supposed to be removed it was to cold to open the hives and the strips lost strength so the mites became imune to them.

After about 5 years we switched to check mite strips.



Again many bee keepers left them on the hives to late in the fall into winter and again the weaking strips allowed the mites to be come emuine.

About 2005 we started useing a Canadain method of mite control. Formic Acid on pads like are under the meat in trays.
Fumes were bad for people as well as the mites and you had to apply them 3 times for a week. Required a resperator, rubber gloves and plastic tongs to handle the soak pads.
Death rate for the mites was 98% by out sugar roll test and sticky board counts.
Company in the stated came out with a pad with formic acid but was a Pain as you had to have 1/2 inch sticks to keep them off the frame top bars.
Along about 2010 they finally got it right and you got a pad with formic acid that you laid on the frame cross bars just like we did the Canadain method.

Works a lot better than any thing, in a package easy to buy.
We still do 2 powder sugar dustings a year, and drone comb is switched out ever 20/21 days and froze.

Powder sugar dusting happens when we pull the first honey mid to late June. Again last week to first week of Sept when we pull the hiney supers for the last time.

Over the Years many have tried to breed a mite resistance bee and some go a good job with it. We also do our own breeding with stock that has made it thru at least two Michigan Winters.


:D Al
 
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This has been a tough year for us in the mite wars. We have several bee keepers in the area that don't do any mite control. So we've done formic and oxalic but the mite number are not really going down like we would like. We are hoping the weather will get cold enough that the other bees will not be visiting our hives.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Its difficult if local beekeepers don't want to get on board with natural or any methods of control. In CA I realised that was what I was up against whatever I did My hives would be reinfected in the almonds or during queen rearing/mating. IF and its a big IF you can get them through that first season you have a good chance. My own hopes for defeating the Varroa Destructor lay in long cold winters where there is enough cold weather to break the brood and mite cycles. Also stay away from other bees so i can develop a surviveable strain.
 

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We use Apivar when we bring our bees back up north in the spring. Cleans everything up. Then formic as /when needed. Played around with 20 hives in a separate area, not crazy about oxalic. We alcohol wash on the 1rst and 15th of each month while they are up here in Ohio. Tried sugar wash and did an alcohol after and found it had much better results. Still keep up on oxalic and believe it may be beneficial down the road. The study in Va that mimicked Randy Oliver's test had completely different results.
 

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Its difficult if local beekeepers don't want to get on board with natural or any methods of control. In CA I realised that was what I was up against whatever I did My hives would be reinfected in the almonds or during queen rearing/mating. IF and its a big IF you can get them through that first season you have a good chance. My own hopes for defeating the Varroa Destructor lay in long cold winters where there is enough cold weather to break the brood and mite cycles. Also stay away from other bees so i can develop a surviveable strain.
I feel for ya taking your bees to Cali, doesn't seem like a great area for healthy bees, good pollen and poor nectar correct, along with lots of chemicals on the almond orchards. Don't think those who take bees out there get paid enough, most leave with bees much sicker than they should. I think your best shot at better queens is to try to find a breeder that has better control of mating yards, I don't know how good of areas that you have for mating when you leave Cali. I've been lucky, I've got great forage and decent genetics and have never had to treat for varroa. Only method I use is screened bottom boards, and when I get even better genetics, would like to eliminate those also.
 

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Mites have been here 30 years and we are still dicking around with them. There are hundreds if not thousands of beekeepers, keeping bees without treatment for varroa and are getting better pollination and honey production cause the colonies are healthier. There are many beekeepers (many commerical) that still don't have good beekeeping practices. Been keeping bees for eight years and never treated, never needed too and having lots more fun keeping them that way.
 

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I feel for ya taking your bees to Cali, doesn't seem like a great area for healthy bees, good pollen and poor nectar correct, along with lots of chemicals on the almond orchards. Don't think those who take bees out there get paid enough, most leave with bees much sicker than they should. I think your best shot at better queens is to try to find a breeder that has better control of mating yards, I don't know how good of areas that you have for mating when you leave Cali. I've been lucky, I've got great forage and decent genetics and have never had to treat for varroa. Only method I use is screened bottom boards, and when I get even better genetics, would like to eliminate those also.


South not Cali
 

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Mites have been here 30 years and we are still dicking around with them. There are hundreds if not thousands of beekeepers, keeping bees without treatment for varroa and are getting better pollination and honey production cause the colonies are healthier. There are many beekeepers (many commerical) that still don't have good beekeeping practices. Been keeping bees for eight years and never treated, never needed too and having lots more fun keeping them that way.

Please give a source for your information, thinking this is a feeling not a fact. Not denying that it can be done, but believe it is almost impossible in some areas depending on variable. Anyway, always interested in good solid research.
 

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I feel for ya taking your bees to Cali, doesn't seem like a great area for healthy bees, good pollen and poor nectar correct, along with lots of chemicals on the almond orchards. Don't think those who take bees out there get paid enough, most leave with bees much sicker than they should. I think your best shot at better queens is to try to find a breeder that has better control of mating yards, I don't know how good of areas that you have for mating when you leave Cali. I've been lucky, I've got great forage and decent genetics and have never had to treat for varroa. Only method I use is screened bottom boards, and when I get even better genetics, would like to eliminate those also.

What better genetics do you need if you have no mite problem. Those genetics are worth a fortune.
 

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Mites have been here 30 years and we are still dicking around with them. There are hundreds if not thousands of beekeepers, keeping bees without treatment for varroa and are getting better pollination and honey production cause the colonies are healthier. There are many beekeepers (many commerical) that still don't have good beekeeping practices. Been keeping bees for eight years and never treated, never needed too and having lots more fun keeping them that way.

According to the USDA article I seen that there are more than 20,000 beeks with less than 5 five, that doesn't include sideliners or commercial, (or the Addee family that runs from 80 to 100000 every year). Despite what some folks want to make commercial beekeepers out to be lets look at the facts. Ask any one running commercial if they would rather pay for treatment as well as man hours and not even mentioning trucks, fuel equipment wear and tear or sit back and do nothing for free. Don't think you will find a single one that jumps up and says "I do". The folks with under 5, seriously doubt that any one that that has lost bees for 2 or 3 years for not treating would agree. You say hundreds maybe thousands, I say there are more knowledgeable, informative folks that would love to do so, but to protect their hives as well as their neighbors they put the time and money into doing so.

For the record, yes, I believe it can be done and know folks that do. However, even they say have a back up plan. P.S., not one of the folks that I know or read about have said it is only screened bottoms and genetics. (agree , genetics are essential ). Screened bottom board is a whole different debate. Bell Bottoms or Straight Legs.
 

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Its difficult if local beekeepers don't want to get on board with natural or any methods of control. In CA I realised that was what I was up against whatever I did My hives would be reinfected in the almonds or during queen rearing/mating. IF and its a big IF you can get them through that first season you have a good chance. My own hopes for defeating the Varroa Destructor lay in long cold winters where there is enough cold weather to break the brood and mite cycles. Also stay away from other bees so i can develop a surviveable strain.
Locally a beekeeper is doing the same. No package bees and catching wild swarms. He doesn't treat for Varroa. He has several bee locations in the county.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
What better genetics do you need if you have no mite problem. Those genetics are worth a fortune.
smaller meaner bees have no mite problem like the African honey bee and to a lesser extent the Russian.Which both have problems when it comes to having strong hives for almond pollination.
 

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The man is somewhat of a contrarian when it comes to beekeeping. He has studied what helps survival through the winter and how swarming is beneficial. His articles are interesting from the aspect of working with nature and cycles rather than impose something that hinders the natural aspects of bees.
 

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smaller meaner bees have no mite problem like the African honey bee and to a lesser extent the Russian.Which both have problems when it comes to having strong hives for almond pollination.

We run a small group of Russians. Couldn't agree more about not being the perfect bee for almonds. While they have less problem with varroa, one still needs to remain vigilant. Varroa will destroy a colony of Russians is not kept in check. Must say, I do like my Russians.
 

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I heard a lot good about top bar or other hives where the ladies have to build their own cell sizes since the foundation ones tend to play for the mites.
Any reliable studies about that around that someone knows?
 

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I heard a lot good about top bar or other hives where the ladies have to build their own cell sizes since the foundation ones tend to play for the mites.
Any reliable studies about that around that someone knows?
Interesting idea, but wouldn't those that run foundation less frames have the same advantage? My guess (and it is a guess) is that there isn't much difference or many people would be doing it.
 
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The "problem" with the foundation less bee keeping is, that the bees produce less honey since they are more busy with building and maintaining the cells...
But i am happy about that
 
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