Sunday, March 11, 2018
Spring Mite Strategy
As colonies start their spring build up, once again mites are on the minds on most beekeepers.
As colonies get more populated with the increased brood production, there is also increased mite production.
Colonies should be treated for mites before divides are done in the month of May. It is better to treat the overwintered colony before doing a divide, than treating them after the divide is made. This is more costly for the beekeeper than if they would have treated before the divide.
Two different mite treatments are the best for spring treatments. Formic acid - Mite Away Quick Strips / Formic Pro or ApiVar.
Mite Away Quick Strips and Formic Pro can be applied in late April or early May. Proper temperatures are needed to assure a good treatment is delivered. Colonies should have large populations when using formic acid. The vapors can be intense and could injure brood and possibly the queen. Colonies with smaller populations may not be able to split, formic acid treatments may have to be delayed until hive populations increase.
If ApiVar is used for mite treaments, ApiVar should be put in the hive in late March, around March 20th. ApiVar is a 42 day treatment. The treatment will be complete by May 1st. ApiVar is an opaque strip treated with Amitraz. Two strips are put into the brood area. There is a possibility that the cluster may move during treatment and the strips will have to be relocated to where the cluster is located. ApiVar comes in 10 strip or 50 strip packages. The active ingredient is micro encapsulated on the strips.
Having a plan for springtime mites will make healthy bees, healthy divides and good hive populations for the summer nectar flow.