If I have varroa you might have varroa

PA in the USA. Two hives off of two awesome Nucs earlier this year. New beekeeper; mentor has many successful hives.

Zero evidence of anything negative these past months.

Professional sugar roll done by PA Dept of Ag bee inspector when I registered my hives a few months ago. Nothing. Gorgeous frames and all. Zero evidence of anything but she told me to watch drone brood and do a sugar roll and inspect about now.

My mentor went into the drone brood and found evidence of varroa. Very small count. Zero damage. He treated with strips.

If I have varroa, you might.

Know your treatment plan and get going on it. Or if you don’t plan to treat, I think you should still know your counts and keep your hive/s strong.


Great comments. In one of our hives this weekend, I spotted one young bee with DWV. My husband is in denial about it. Next month, we will do a sugar roll test with our “Gizmo” device from UMN. My Varrox vaporizer is ready to go!! :wink:

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I did a sugar shake/roll test for mites. My new Swarm/Flow-hive showed no mites today. I will test one more of my hives tomorrow. I had 1 mite per 100 in that one last month. Our instructor says, Auguest n October are extremely important tests as bee populations drop n mites go up.

Today I inspected my super Nuc I place in the Flow. I put them in the way you mentioned. I was at about 65% to 70% full over all. One week later we are nearly stuff n about 90 to 95% full. I did something I wasn’t going to do this season. I added the Flow-Super … Tougue in cheek … I said to myself … Nothing ventured … Nothing gained ! I also I added a pollin trap n within less than two hours I was seeing fair pollen in the drawer. Guess now … It’s wait n see if the girls are going to move up. We still have a bit of our big Blackberry flow but it’s on the exit end now. Probably one last week. I am seeing a lot of white clover so there is that now … I do see a lot of bees on the clover already.

Well it’s late , Nitie nite from Puget Sound,

If you have bees in North America, they have Varroa. There is no “might”.


How long are you going to leave that pollen trap on for, Jerry? I have read that many people only leave them on for a few days, as they can be a bit hard on the bees.


Dawn, not sure to your question yet. I’m
Guessing a couple weeks … Depending local pollen supplies. I’d like to supplement my need of pollen for making pollen patties.

I worked with a small commercial beekeeper two weeks ago. We added pollen traps to 3/4 of his hives. From what I understand he will leave the traps on for a month … I only have the trap on my two strongest hives n the bees seem to bee dealing with the trap fairly well.

The traps I bought do have a by-pass mode/position should I need to reroute the bees thru normal entrance route. This is all a bit new to me so more questions than answers at this point. What you think ? I’ll share what I see n observe here from time to time. I just checked this morning n even the one “Cedar Hive” that was resisting/have possible issues is moving quickly in n out the trap access. I think it was a learning/routing path learning for that colony. My new Flow-hive took to it almost instantly (weird but true). Sure interesting the contrast between bee colonies…

We’ll need to stay in touch on this one. I believe there is a learning curve here n different thots n ideas. I really don’t know or have experience yet :wink:… If it works I’ll add more next year … If not, I may limit to only my strongest colonies. Do you use pollen patties at all, when/why or why not. I’m learning n curious as you know ! :sunglasses:.

Ta ta n cheerio !


P.S. Here’s a few pix’s:

The first four pix’s are "Maple Hive (my Flow). They seem to have accepted the trap n bringing in best supply of pollen so far.
Next five are of one of my pullets feeding on dead bees n of “Cedar Hive” the colony I added the first trap two days ago. They don’t seem to be bringing in much yet. They took about 48 hours to full adapt. This morning both hives seem to be settled in for the loooong haul.

Real pollen, no. Why? Because I have not collected my own bees’ pollen, and I worry about commercially gathered pollen (disease, chemicals, quality etc). Protein patties (from Mann Lake or Kelley) I will use, if the brood needs a boost and the hive doesn’t have good pollen stores on the frames.

If you want to keep the best nutritional value from your pollen, some people recommend collecting and freezing it every day or two. Quite a bit of effort! I might do it one day, but I haven’t tried it yet.


Yah ! That’s what I have been advised to collect the pollen every day or so n freeze in open baggies to gentle dry the pollen slightly. Again, another learning process n curve … Formately my supplier has pollen patties I can purchase. It’s the same supplier I’ve been taking bee classes from n learned new beekeeping thots n technics ! The class instructor in on the Washington State Beekeeper Ass as well as an instructor at one of our local colleges. He is part of the varroa mite research being done here in Washington State. Danny has taught beekeeping at several large colleges across the U.S. So I’m lucky to have some of his expertise. But everyone had tids n bits from their individual wxperiences. That’s why I enjoy chatting n reading your great thots n ideas as well. I need all the help I can get ! :wink:

Danny n I on a beeyard field day.

Same here.
I let the bees do it. they are very good at storing it, adding their own preservative.
If I find the odd colony has too much stored I pull the frame and freeze it. Now that is a very valuable commodity, a comb of ready to go pollen. It’s great for making nucs up


so I have a varroa infestation. I treated in Sep 22, with no sign of varroa going into winter. I treated again in January after I found some. Today I covered the hive (which has been thriving approaching Spring) with home-made icing sugar and the bees dumped about 300 mites into the bottom tray. After analysing the effectivity of the oxalic treatment, I determined that the varroa perish after about 1 minute. I will spray them again later when it is warmer and cover the bees in icing sugar again in a few days time. I am not going to give up on them so wish me luck! Attached a photo of two of the critters which i placed int a drop of the treatment. They died shortly after


I did another dusting 5 days later. Prior to the dusting I counted around 1600 dead mites in the tray (from the oxalic acid treatment). 5 hrs after the dusting I counted less than 80 mites in the tray. I will do 3 more dustings in order to cover a 21 day mite brood cycle, and I expect that the varroa will be under control. So far that means that the hive has shed roughly 2000 mites, for around 20000 bees - a serious infestation.

Sounds serious indeed but you have a good plan, John. Hoping your bees pull through!

Thanks Eva. I did another treatment with oxalic acid yesterday. They (the bees) look great today. Spring looks like it officially started 20 Feb here in Portugal. The first buds of the ‘pride of Madeira’ appeared (poisonous plant but bees love it) and also the vespa velutina have come out from their hibernation, which means the war against wasps must start again. If my bees produce honey that they can afford to give away this year then I will consider it a major victory…and a recipe for beating the dreaded varroa and asian wasps!!! I’ll keep you posted


25 Feb. Found circa 400 mites after the last varroa treatment (oxalic acid) on 20 Feb (previous treatment killed circa 2000). Dusted today using a large screen made from on old pool cleaner and wooden frame. Much easier than using a tea strainer on a cup. The whole cup of icing sugar was administered in 1 minute. So the varroa count went from 2000 to 400 in a week Two more dustings are planned. The bees still look healthy and the hive is almost full. There were two frames of brood last week. Hopefully this dusting will catch emerging bees and the next dusting will have the count down to a non-infestation level.

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I did one last oxalic treatment yesterday. I had planned just a dusting but I noticed that there was a lot of brood just about to emerge so I thought I would ‘up’ it a level. There were only a few mites in the tray beforehand so I believe we have won this little battle and I look forward to perhaps our first ever honey production in a few months from now. The flowers are all coming out now and there is a good flow on, even with the unusually cold month we are experiencing… more to come, but the bees seem very happy for now