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There are two
main types of mites:
-Varroa, which attacks bee when she is a larvae.
-Tracheal mite which place itself inside bee's breathing
These two are
main causes feral bees are almost extinct.
In Southern America this is even worse because of the presence of so
called killer bees which are spread through South America and are now
in North America as well.
Organic acids, essential oils as wintergreen, and pesticides are used
for varroa treatment.
Varroa is a bug which sucks bee's fluids.
In such circumstances, bees are less able to do their daily jobs, not
to mention mites as potential virus carriers.
Also, varroa is found to affect drone's ability to mate with queen and
therefore affects hive population.
All of it points to a necessity of varroa treatment.
week after queen lays an egg, varroa female enters ( just before
Preferably they choose drone brood, but worker cells are affected also,
especially if there is strong infestation going on.
Varroa female lays 5 eggs more or less. Varroa female is bigger and red
Male Varroa is smaller.
Menthol is used for tracheal mite and apistan® for varroa.
How to examine for varroa?Bees
and beekeeping -
One method is to examine drone pupae.
Open the cappings of drone cells and remove drone pupae from it, then
examine it for varroa.
It is easy to see varroa mites against white pupae.
Another technique is Apistan® strips in
conjunction with detection boards.
They can be used as detection method and as a antivarroa treatment
You can make detection boards simply by cutting paper so that it fits
bottom of the hive.
Then spill some vegetable oil over it so that any varroa which falls
onto it does not go up again but to stay there.
You must protect bees from falling to the plate.
You make them net above the plate with the holes large enough for
varroa to fall through and small enough for bees not to fall
It is important to say that late fall and early spring is the best time
when you should use apistan strips, because there is less brood then,
meaning less varroa will be protected under cappings.
Apistan® strips must come in direct contact with the bees, meaning
they must be walking over it in order for it to work.
If there is infestation, then strips are already in place as an
antivarroa measure, and they should stay there for about 6 weeks.
If only for detection purposes then one week is enough.
It is important to say that as with any medicine, you shouldn't apply
it while having honey suppers in place, but you can put them back right
after you remove strips.
Most common appliance is two strips per ten frames of bees.
There's treatment with oxalic acid for
example, used in Europe.