Strateolaelaps

So at the start of the year I planned an experiment. Trialing mites that are supposed to kill varroa mites, strateolaelaps scimitus ( try saying that after a drink or two ). Anyway the plan was establish a varroa drop rate, then use the above mites then see how that changes things vs a control group of no treatment and another group using api life var treatment.
Well the best laid plans got scrapped when in all my hives I got no mite drop. Does that mean I have no mites, well no, because later in a hive I spotted deformed wing virus and went hunting and found mites on the comb; and still there was no drop. So they are clinging on ehh !! Well we will have to do something about that.

Unfortunately my hives are in ‘flux’, ie artifical swarm, swarm, mysteriously queenless, etc. So there is no controlled or fair experiment I can carry out given such variety and a small sample size in the first place.

I need to do something really about the varroa (or maybe not, but I’m going to anyway), so I bought my tube of varroa munching mites and I am going to put them in about 4 hives asap.

I won’t get anything but a gut feeling as to if it has worked, but I will at least have tried, and normally I only treat in autumn so the bees are getting more than they would otherwise.

Wish them luck.

5 Comments

  1. Chris

    What sort of reactions have you seen from the bees? Do they mind the Strateolaelaps in the hive? Does a mite count several months after introducing them to the hive show a lower mite count? I’m curious for an update! 🙂

    Reply
    1. nick holmes

      I didn’t do it properly because I could not get any varroa mite count at the start of the year, none at all. In then end I did add mite, the bees did not mind at all as far as I could tell.

      Reply
  2. Stefano

    Dear Nick,
    Thanks for sharing these information.
    Can you tell us something more after this period?
    How the bees looks like? What about varroa?
    Did you check with the powder sugar?

    Reply
    1. Nick Holmes (Post author)

      I really didn’t do a good job here. All I can say is I seemed to get more honey this year, but then it was a good year all round me too. I did learn not to put them in over the honey supers; but now I know a lot more about straining honey. They come in a coir (coconut husk) medium which leaves bits in the honey. I was surprised the bees didn’t clear it out.

      Reply
      1. Stefano

        Thanks for the information.
        And what about the general health of the bees and the varroa presence?
        Do the mites help the bees?

        Reply

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