Mite Alert

Oh no!

For the first time ever one of our hives very clearly has mites. We did a powdered sugar check just to see if mites may be an issue and sure enough we have a few of the buggers.

This is a totally new issue for us so if any of you fellow beekeepers have any suggestions for organic mite removal please do let us know!

abbotbees-092213 photo 3 photo 2

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5 thoughts on “Mite Alert

  1. Emily Heath says:

    You will always have had mites, but levels must have become higher if you’re starting to notice them now. Ideally you should plan treatments throughout the year rather than waiting for signs of infestation.

    Personally I use Apiguard (a thyme/thymol based treatment – http://www.thorne.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=1693), but I’m not sure if you guys would be willing to use that, or what US suppliers would sell it. In late December we usually do an oxalic acid treatment. Drone removal is an option in summer, though personally I don’t do that.

  2. teacher says:

    I find apilife var quite good with a very large mite drop over the four weeks of use. I think it might be organic.

  3. Couple of options: use a bottom screen instead of a bottom board (provided that it is warm enough over winter without the insulation.. I live in Canada, so that is not an option). Keep dusting the bees with powdered sugar and as they groom each other the mites will drop off and fall through the screen. If you can’t screen the bottom try sticky bottom boards made with Crisco or Vaseline instead of the glue so that the bees don’t stick, but the mites will! I would also do drone removal in the summer until your mite load is low.

    You can also do a queenless cycle. If there is no brood, the mites don’t have a place to feed and they’ll be wandering around the hive. So you can pinch off your queen, let the bees either raise their own or buy a locally available queen, and then in a few weeks after the brood is all capped, do sugar dusting and sticky bottom boarding to catch as many mites as you can, and then by the time the new queen is ready/ chewed out of her queen cage, your mite load should be reduced.

    Good luck! Mites are jerks.

  4. bdbatta says:

    As I understand it essential oils such as wintergreen and tea tree oils used during feeding can reduce mite levels. This is what I am doing this year. I’m also using grease patties with essential oils. I guess time will tell if its going to work.

  5. jdkjdk says:

    Thanks for the feedback gang! So very much appreciated. It looks like we’re going to try mite away quick strips. Non-toxic and safe for the bees. We’ll let you know how it goes!

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