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URGENT! Varroa drop 31 in 1 day! Very bad DWV. Help please!?

 
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saskclaud
New Bee


Joined: 12 Apr 2014
Posts: 3
Location: Bristol, UK

PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:59 pm    Post subject: URGENT! Varroa drop 31 in 1 day! Very bad DWV. Help please!? Reply with quote

Hello,

I have a very strong hive, but sadly it is hugely infested with varroa. I have sprinkled it with sugar, spaced out the frames to 10 in a national box, given it another super as a brood and a half for more space, and have begun the drone trapping technique.

Today I counted 31 varroa in one day Sad The DWV is so bad, that on a sunny day, there are around 30 bees with deformed wings on the grass.

I have been holding off and off from chemical treatments, but was told today that if I didnt use a chemical treatment, my bees would not see it through the summer. I was kindly given some acid today, however am so hesitant to use it, but would rather my bees live than die.

Can anyone give me any advise please? Apparently I need to act tomorrow!

Thank you!

Heather
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Bugscouter
Silver Bee


Joined: 19 Mar 2012
Posts: 808
Location: USA/California/ Sacramento

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Heather. Welcome to the forum. I'm very sorry to hear that your bees are having a rough time of it.

There are folks on this forum that will get upset with me, but I'll give you my two cents. One thing that you have to be able to accept in chemical free beekeeping is that there are going to be colonies that are not strong enough and are not going to make it. However, if you would rather treat than watch them die, then by all means treat. By "acid" I'm assuming you mean Formic Acid. I'm glad your concidering Formic Acid rather than a mitecide.

I do want to ask you about your sugar dusting though. You mentioned sprinkling sugar on them. If you don't mind, I'll share how it was demonstrated to me. The presenter had made a wooden frame about the size of the box and attached window screening to one side. She removed the top and placed the screen over the frames. She then poured a pound (about half a kilo) of powdered sugar onto the frame and pushed it around with a brush until it had all fallen inside. She then removed the upper box and repeated with another pound on the lower box. She also used a screened bottom so everything could fall through. The bees will move the sugar around and coat everything including the foot pads on the varoa. The varoa loose their footing and fall out the bottom.

One problem though is about 70% of the varoa are inside sealed brood cells and are uneffected by the dusting. So the process needs to be repeated again in a couple of weeks.

Heather, you've got a tough decision to make. Good luck and please let us know how things are working out.

Ron
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1492
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would be tempted to do the sugar treatment weekly for three weeks to try and really cut down on the damage they are doing.
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since you are on frames: it is necessary to divide the colony from the brood and wax. The brood and wax carries the viruses.

Do a shakedown. Shake down most bees, not all, and make an artificial swarm. Put that swarm into a new hive and feed. Treat like a swarm.

The brood and remaining bees (who will care for the rest of the fresh brood) you take away to a distant location. This is necessary or the varroa will drift back to your new hive.

Treat the swarm with oxalic acid one time, dribbling. Treat the brood hive in the distant apiary three times 7 days apart. After 7 days break all queen cells. After 21 days all brood is hatched in the brood hive, after the last treatment you can recombine the bees with the new swarm. Just shake them down, transport as a swarm and dump them on the landing board at the evening. They'll walk in happily.

Destroy the old combs, make candles or so.

It is the most effectice and efficient way to sanitize a hove.
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sugar dusting doesn't help in such emergencies. Think of the viruses.

What bees do in nature: an emergency swarm. So do I and it works very well.
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andy pearce
Silver Bee


Joined: 30 Aug 2009
Posts: 663
Location: UK, East Sussex, Brighton

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So Bernhard, you wouldn't just do a straight forward shook swarm and into a new box on the same site and destroy all the wax and brood from the original hive and treat the hive once with oxalic acid and let them start again? If not why not. I understand it might put them back a few weeks toward the main nectar flow. So, this is OK to do now, this early in the season, as long as you syrup feed them to get them going again? Under these circumstances you wouldn't shake them out and as soon as there are eggs, put some commercially available thymol preparation on them?

I ask as some people do not have alternative sites and a single highly intrusive fix might be their only option. I will not answer this post with advice as this is a little beyond my direct experience but if I cannot get reasonable varroa control on one of my hives that has been elsewhere for a while, with sugar dusting will be looking at shook swarm.

A
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't understand what you want, Andy.

Shook swarm is the best to sanitize such a problem. I would save the brood though, as described above.

Sugar dusting and thymol is a long term treatment. It won't help in an emergency situation where you need a fast knockdown. Also thymol would rather lead to a robbed hive, because varroa weakened hives do get robbed easily.

Formic acid would kill a weakened hive, once the colony got very weakened. Although it acts fast, it creates it's own problems.

So a shakedown is the best I can recommend in such a situation. Colonies thrive after that. Seen it quite some times. You also get rid of the viruses in the combs.
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Garret
Golden Bee


Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 1681
Location: Canada, BC, Delta

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Shook swarm is the best to sanitize such a problem. I would save the brood though, as described above
.

I think this is good advice. If you really don't want to treat with chemicals, I would suggest removing all the brood leaving one comb of open brood removing it when it has been capped. This will help catch a good portion of the remaining varroa.

Something to consider when a colony is highly infested is that a good portion of the brood will emerge in a very weakened state and be short lived not being of much value. When a colony gets to this point it may be best to view it as having a brood disease.
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andy pearce
Silver Bee


Joined: 30 Aug 2009
Posts: 663
Location: UK, East Sussex, Brighton

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good advice from Bernhard and Garret.

Bernhard thanks for your advice to my questions as usual it is very good advice.
A
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Lacewing
Guard Bee


Joined: 08 Sep 2012
Posts: 96
Location: Powys, Mid Wales

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bernhard - Please can you tell me - will freezing comb destroy these viruses on it?

Last edited by Lacewing on Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:27 am; edited 1 time in total
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, won't. As far as I know. I simply burn it. Bees are good in making nice fresh combs, so no worries of keeping every flake of wax.
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Lacewing
Guard Bee


Joined: 08 Sep 2012
Posts: 96
Location: Powys, Mid Wales

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Bernhard - Was going to try and give a shook swarm and maybe a bait hive a helping hand with last summer's clean and innocent-looking pale comb, but now I won't!
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Garret
Golden Bee


Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 1681
Location: Canada, BC, Delta

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lacewing, a little sun light on those combs will go a long way in killing viruses and nosema. Freezing and sun light works well for nosema. Sun light and air for viruses. A couple of days of sun without melting them should clean enough to be useable.
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Lacewing
Guard Bee


Joined: 08 Sep 2012
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Location: Powys, Mid Wales

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that Garret!
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saskclaud
New Bee


Joined: 12 Apr 2014
Posts: 3
Location: Bristol, UK

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much everyone.

I don't have an apiary site other than my garden unfortunately - will this majorly affect my ability to keep the varroa down? I can max manage about 5 meters.... is this too small a distance? I only have formic acid... but can of course purchase oxalic acid if this is advised instead.

I have some drawn out comb from the hives from last year - is it ok to leave these in the sun for a while and then use these are the new? I do have completely new ones but at least they dont have to use energy making lots of new comb.

Thank you so much everyone.

Heather
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Garret
Golden Bee


Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 1681
Location: Canada, BC, Delta

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I don't have an apiary site other than my garden unfortunately - will this majorly affect my ability to keep the varroa down?


The garden shouldn't be an issue.

Quote:
I have some drawn out comb from the hives from last year - is it ok to leave these in the sun for a while and then use these are the new? I do have completely new ones but at least they dont have to use energy making lots of new comb
.

I would use the comb if clean with no evidence of AFB.
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