Friday, October 15, 2010

Fall Treatments for AFB, Nosema and Varroa Mites

My mite counts have been high. Really high. It was scary looking at the mite boards a few weeks ago.

Just about every round dot on the sticky board from the bottom of the hive was a mite.

The count would have been well over 300 in a week. Easily that many. Damn. Or I should say Damn Mites.

My poor hard working bees. I knew they needed some help.

I certainly prefer to use Formic Acid over other chemicals but for this fall treatment I opted to use Apivar strips.

The strips are made of plastic with a v-point cutout at the top of one end. They slide down vertically between the frames of the brood chamber. The v-point catches on the top of the frame which holds it in place.

The instructions advise to place the strips at a maximum of 2 frames apart and to put them in where the bees are clustering, where the brood are.

This pesticide works via contact, unlike Formic Acid which is a vapour. With Apivar, the bees brush past the strip and that's how the treatment is applied to the bees.

I recharged the sticky boards and have done a 'before' mite count so that I can compare the 'after' treatment mite count.

I also gave the bees an AFB treatment, mixed with fruit sugar and sprinkled on wax paper. A few weeks ago I also gave them baggies of sugar water, placed on top of the frames, with Fumagilin to combat Nosema.

I notice that my one hive (#1) takes down all the medications right away whereas the other three hives are slower to eat up theirs.

Of course, no honey supers are on the hive at this time while this chemical is in the hives.
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