Dawn, thanks for getting this out there for me. I appreciate it. It is possible this is not a fail at all. The jump on mite count after the second treatment was the surprise.
First, I had started using ApiGuard recommend to me by a local resource and was using it per label. I was seeing minor benefit and the bees nearly sealed the foil with propolis as they apparently didn’t like it much either. So based on recommendations I switched to OA which really seems to work well but it also is showing me I seem to have a lot of varroa.
I am using a fresh packet of Oxalic Acid from Florida Laboratories. Both flow hives sit on concrete blocks and are not suspended so the surface area of the bases are covered. For treatment, I remove the white boards and pack cloth rags in both front and back. I am using the Varrox 12V 150W brand heating element with a fresh battery. I have found the Varrox plate slides in the rear far better than stuffing it in the front entrance.
I use 1 gram per label per brood box and heat until completely vaporized. I did a trial run so I knew how much time that would take.
After vaporization, the Varrox is removed but the opening and the back remain sealed for 10-12 minutes while I move on to the next hive.
After treatment number one, there were several hundred mites on my white boards which encouraged me. This was FAR superior to the Apiguard I had tried. I waited 5 days and performed treatment number 2 yesterday. Today there were probably close to 1000 on the white board. Yes! Progress…but it left me wondering what happens if mite count remains high after three treatments? Even this three treatment plan is not the official recommended path and the recommended path is to wait until the hive is broodless. I do think however there is merit to treating earlier to allow the winter colony to be as strong and disease free as possible.
So I posted my what if question to Dawn. I do have a question though because I can’t find it easily…after the third treatment, what should my mite count look like? What is a problem threshold?
Red Hot…Your comment about robbing may actually have some merit. The colony with the very high jump after treatment 2 is my very productive hive with incredibly large colony numbers to boast. They aren’t mean but man they make my other colony look like whimps and that colony is actually doing quite well. This one is almost like a super colony. This hive had so many bees I actually added a third brood box (completely empty) three weeks ago to it just to give them some space. They have completely drawn comb and nearly filled the third brood box in about 2.5 weeks. That hive will winter with three brood boxes.
Other facts that might help. Yes I did of course remove the flow supers. In Nebraska they stop collecting mid August due to nectar flow patterns here locally. I have been allowing the bees to simply prepare for winter.
I have performed complete hive break down checks every two weeks monitoring for disease. I am not good enough to find my queen but I see full stages of life cycle inside. Everything seems to be where it is supposed to be.
And since my large colony has three brood boxes…they were treated with three grams of OA. I was more curious if anyone knew why “three treatments?” I have found that there are posts of Brits using OA routinely through the spring. the manufacturer of Varrox recommends treating while broodless. If the molecular density of OA gas is heavy, should I vaporize top down? Anyone know that little factoid?
Video, I can certainly make one. My next treatment is Friday. I keep two cellular cameras on the hives with microphones so recording this would be a simple matter.