Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Mite Testing

Now the harvest is over it's time to start testing and checking for mites.  I put sticky boards under all 8 hives and in a couple more days I'll pull them and do a 24hr count (i.e. take the 3 day total and divide by 3).

I hope that mites won't be a major issue as most of my hives have had a break in brood rearing either as a result of swarming or queens being superseded. 

However the  actual counts were as follows:

MOBOT existing: >80
MOBOT swarm: 72
Backyard west: 18
Backyard east: >80
Diane's yard: >66
Ladue east (existing): 27
Ladue nuc south: 5
Ladue nuc north: 1

So that's really mixed!  I'm very pleased the two nucs are in great shape although I'm surprised (but happy) that the other existing hive in Ladue is also good. I wonder if this us because they are aggressive and prodigious propolis producers? In any event I reckon there will be no need for treatments here at least for now. I will but test again in a month or so.

As for the other hives, well the mature hives that came through winter have been hardest hit which I guess is no great surprise, so I'll have to treat these. The garden hives both came through the winter and have the heaviest mite loads.

So how to treat?  I really want to cage queens, but I think I have a great set up for trying no treatment (in Ladue), Queen caging (at home and in Diane's yard) and soft chemical treatment (MAQS at the gardens). It will be interesting to see how they all do.

It looks like cooler weather is on the way (26C to 30C as of Wednesday July 24) for about a week - MAQS treatment to start then I reckon!

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