Varroa Mites Revisited

In April 2017, I posted about some experience I had in dealing with Varroa Mite infestations and Varroa Bombing. Since then I’ve become much more diligent in monitoring. Back then, I would do a sugar shake maybe twice a year. Now I’m doing them more often and not just before treating. It seems like the Varroa are becoming more resistant to just about anything we throw at them, so doing a mite check once treatment is done let’s me know how well it worked, and when I’m using one of the thymol treatments in particular, if I should continue the treatment for a bit longer.

This year I’ll be doing a mite check as soon as temp are up and I can be in the bees. According to our local experts (Dr. David Tarpy, Don Hopkins, and Lewis Cauble), even 1 mite in 100 at this time of year will be a problem before too long. Also, if I need to treat, treating before the nectar flow will be better because there are some treatments that you shouldn’t use during honey flow if you going to eat the honey.

This webpage from the Honey Bee Health Coalition is still one of the best resources for understanding how to monitor for mites and includes information about the best options for treatment based on time of year or condition of the hive. There are great demonstration videos in addition to the pdf with an abundance of information.

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