Varroa Treatment – July 2012 – update 2

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Sad news from the apiary…. ..Glen Eden 1 has died. I saw a huge amount of wasps (yellow jackets) around the hive and opened it up to find NO Bees! Glen Eden 1 was the hive where we used three 3/4’s. There was plenty of nectar and honey – I even scored some for them to eat last week, no sign of brood before treatment. There was a cluster on Monday but it looked small so I took one level off as I thought this would help them guard the entrance better but the wasps must have cottoned-on already and…..today, Wednesday… this hive was the object of their desire. …it was too late for the Bees, they were all gone – I saw evidence of an attempt at a queen cell. I just don’t quite understand what happened. I will need to inspect some of the frames closer, but as there was no brood, very hard to detect any disease. Sweet Revenge – I set-up outside the hive with a vacuum-cleaner and sucked in about 1000 wasps! …then nicely sealed them in ; ) Maybe we should have reduced the hive sooner? Maybe I killed the queen when I did the treatment? Maybe once the wasps saw their weakness they plundered the hive? …they are so aggressive! Even today they were trying to intimidate me! I thought about the apiary and maybe the hives are too close together? Plenty of maybes : ( We didn’t have an updated kiwimana meshboard on Glen Eden 1, the hive sits on an older style meshboard – I watched the wasps which flew in from the rear of the hive, then flew underneath and surprise attacked the Bees by flying straight in from both sides …with our latest meshboards the wasps can’t do this. Feeling very sad – this hive was a very large swarm we got last summer, they were tough and feisty, so this loss, is a real shock. Weather – Sunday 22nd, it was damp and overcast but temperature a lot warmer, just a couple of periods of sun peeking through. Swanson 1 This is one of the 3 hives which we haven’t yet treated. This hive has the kiwimana meshboard. This hive has the quilt level (field testing). Friday 20 July, I sprayed the inspection board (IB) with canola oil and put it in to do a 48 hour natural mite fall (NMF) count. Sunday 22nd, I took the board out, the count was 19 adult varroa! I was really amazed so I cleaned the IB and put it back in again for another 24 hour NMF. I saw a few drones entering this hive. No treatment conducted. Monday 23rd, Mite count = 0 (zero) : ) Whenuapai 1 …this is also one of the 3 hives which we hadn’t yet treated. This hive also has a kiwimana meshboard. Friday 20 July, I sprayed the IB with canola oil and put it in to do a 48 hour natural mite fall (NMF) count. I saw a Bee with deformed wings which had obviously been removed from the hive. . Sunday 22nd, removed IB and found mice droppings ! Saw some wax waste to the rear of the hive, so this indicates to me that the Bees are feeding on their honey stores. There were some wax moth worms. Found some pollen residue. Mite count = 318. Decided to treat this hive with oxalic acid – I used the same pre-mix solution as used on the other hives. I put the inspection board back in the hive to do another 48 hour NMF. Monday 23rd, after treatment ….mite count = 175, the fall was mainly in the centre so indicates it was the cluster grooming well, after the treatment. No mice droppings nor mice found in the hive. Wednesday 25th, reduced the entrance, due to the recent hive loss. Taupaki 1 …this is also one of the 3 hives with a kiwimana meshboard – which we haven’t yet treated. Sunday 22nd, sprayed IB with canola oil for 48 hour NMF count. Monday 23rd, removed IB. Found some Bee body parts, not a lot. Very little wax waste. There were no wax moth worms. There were bits of pollen. Mite count = 363. Replaced the IB for another 48 hour NMF. Not treated. Wednesday 25th, removed IB, count = 143. Reduced the entrance on this hive as well. Remuera 1 Due to the recent loss, also reduced the entrance on this hive. Summary Not sure how I feel about how things are going in the apiary. I sat out front of the other hives, watching the coming and goings… loving seeing the girls busy….and wasps were getting seen to! My hope is that the girls keep fighting and survive. The vacuum cleaner may prove an on-going tool in helping in the survival of our wonderful girls. It’s the days I work where I will be thinking if they are okay….. Bee healthy happy and love Bees : ) Margaret
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4 thoughts on “Varroa Treatment – July 2012 – update 2

  1. Liz Corbett says:

    Hi Margaret, Liz here from NOD Apiary Products in Canada! Need to get that MAQS registered in New Zealand! Darn that slow registration process! Your NMF is very high and I don’t know how often you’re treating with oxalic but it looks like mites are a big problem if you’re seeing deformed wings. It’s possible that the oxalic, which kills only the phoretic mites, may not be keeping ahead of them. I’m sure you realize all of this. We’ll keep pushing for the registration! Take care.

  2. Chris says:

    Sorry about your loss, but if this year is anything like last year, you wont have too long to wait to get another swarm!!

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