Beekeeping Information Centre

Bee Craft Timely Reminder – December 14th 2016

Cowley, Margaret varroa in debris with circles (800x404)

Varroa mites (circled) among debris on a tray from under a mesh floor. Photo: Margaret Cowley.

Check Varroa trays

Did you put your trays under your mesh floors two weeks ago? If so, take them out and count the mites. Divide the number of mites by the number of days the tray has been in to get your average daily mite drop. If it is 1 or less at this time of year, you don’t need to act immediately, but if there are any mites at all read up on varroa treatments because you should continue to monitor the mite levels.

If you have a daily mite drop of over 1, check the varroa calculator on bee base and consider whether or not you need to treat. The only effective treatment at this time of year is Oxalic acid. This must be applied when there is no brood present. A cold snap in November or December will cause the queen to stop laying, and if it stays cold for 3 weeks afterwards, that would be the ideal time to treat as all the brood will have emerged. The queen is likely to start laying again in January and the opportunity will have passed.

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