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Unable to find queen. Varroa testing

Hello. I’ve been planning to do a varroa test alcohol wash but I can’t find the queen in any reasonable amount of time. Not worried about seeing her too much since I see new eggs everywhere but does anyone have tips or maybe just give some relief on doing an alcohol wash when I can’t be 100% certain of the queens location?

Found her last week but didn’t have time to be in the hive too long. This week she’s back to illusive but leaving egg tracks everywhere haha.

I did do a mite board test. I had about 10 in 72 hours so I don’t think there’s any hurry right now.

I wouldn’t do an alcohol wash if I couldn’t be sure that the queen wasn’t in it. :thinking: Especially in our region, where any replacement queen is likely to have africanized offspring. To help you find her, she is normally on frames of open brood, and she will run like crazy from smoke. She won’t normally be on frames which only have capped brood, but she can be anywhere, as you know. For my own hives, I would only do that kind of count if I knew where the queen was. Otherwise I do an OAV accelerated mite drop.

Those are horribly unreliable, I am afraid. :cry: I would rather treat with no count than rely on those kind of numbers. I am beginning to see crawlers around our hives, which are on a paved area. To me, that means that we need to treat very soon. I am in SoCal, like you and will be deploying OA sponges very soon.

Thanks dawn. I’ll keep an eye out for her and test properly as soon as I get a chance. I’m still hoping to be able to pull some honey off this season but treating will have to come first if it’s deemed necessary. Any tips for for when and how to treat. Maybe I should get more stuff? Planned to stick with MAQS and Apivar. Read apivar can really miss the mites depending on any immunities built to it and MAQS can cause havoc and possibly high death rates. I guess set it and forget it type treatment seemed easiest approach. Maybe there’s ultimately better solutions to invest in?

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MAQS can be used with a honey super on. Apivar can’t, and as you say, mites can develop resistance to it. This is not formally approved, but it uses Oxalic Acid which is “organic” and mites cannot develop resistance to it. I love this method and will be making up some soon, but I will have harvested by the time it goes on the hive. You shouldn’t need to, but it is not EPA approved yet to use with a honey super on the hive. If you are only going to eat the honey yourself, you probably don’t need to care about that, except that it makes you a “scoff-law”… :blush:

Any recommended OAV applicators? So many of them look like homemade weird setups.

Can OAV treatments be permanent solution for spring and fall treatments so no other types of applications would be needed? Dunno if I should work up a routine for the months with different types or be able to stick to one thing.

Follow up questions. How does OAV work with the Flow hive 2 screened bottom board? Is it effective with the open base? And does the metal screened bottom board get affected by the acid?

I have the Varrox, which is a high quality device:

However, I don’t use it much any more, because as i mentioned, I do this instead:

I don’t have a FH2 screened bottom board under my hives, yet… Maybe @chau06 does? What I do with my FH classic is cut a piece of roofing flashing to fit in the slider slot, then rest the Varrox on that, closing up the gap at the back with some old tea towels. Works just fine doing that way, vaporizing the OA below the screen. :wink:

I made a tray that slides in where the plastic tray would go out of Thermoply to put the vaporizer on.

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Does the OA have any negative affect on the steel screen bottom board?

Looks like vapor could work well for me as a permanent treatment solution. Being just one hive in my backyard a scheduled routine is easily doable during any season.

The screen is stainless and even if it etches a bit it will take a while to really cause any significant damage.