Varroa Problems? (part 2)

by John Mumford

I am still getting reports of colonies that have disastrously high Natural Mite Mortality drops and are still throwing out bees with tatty wings. These high mite drops are a sure sign that the colony will almost certainly die over winter.

It seems that Thymol has lost some of it’s effectiveness, or is it just the way it is being used? And I wonder how much longer it can be relied upon as a sole Varroa treatment. With 15 or so generations over a single year the natural selection, (survival of the fittest), of Varroa populations to change is very rapid.

With the very warm weather we have been having, (my bees still collecting pollen in late November), the bees are almost certainly still raising brood and therefore so are Varroa mites.

I put a single strip of Apistan in a colony of mine on 18th of October, the next day there were 500 or so mites on the tray. The number of mites then went down to 80 per day over the next 5 days and by the 31st. October there was only 15 mites per day. On 6th November the number of mites reduced to 0 per day. They are now dropping just 1 or 2 per week and if that is just natural mite mortality there can’t be many mites left in the colony. I counted 1800 mites dropped over a 19 day period.

I am informed, (thank you all), that Pura can still be obtained from Morrisons and Netto, and because Thymol is such a good remedy for Acarine infestations anyway I  will continue to use the Grease Patties for that reason alone.

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